Please join us Thursday, November 15th, at 2:30pm EST as SpouseBuzz authors discuss the book of the month Ben Stein's The Real Stars with featured guest Ben Stein, live on SpouseBuzz Radio.
Mr. Stein, wrote a popular column called Monday Night at Morton's which featured the piece called The Real Stars. A piece that went viral on the Internet in 2003. I recall getting the column sent to me in at least 15 emails, while my DH was serving in Iraq. I, for one was not surprised at the content of the message, but the messenger. Such support is typically not garnered from the mainstream media, or Hollywood.
Mr. Stein's biography is one of the most impressive to date. He is an economist, and an attorney. He was also a speech writer for Gerald Ford and President Nixon (although, is quick to point out the "I am not a crook" line was not his). He continues to be a syndicated writer for the Wall Street Journal, Barron's, The Washington Post and several other publications.
So what struck a chord with the military audience?
I no longer think Hollywood stars are terribly important. They are uniformly pleasant, friendly people, and they treat me better than I deserve to be treated. But a man or woman who makes a huge wage for memorizing lines and reciting them in front of a camera is no longer my idea of a shining star we should all look up to.
How can a man or woman who makes an eight-figure wage and lives in insane luxury really be a star in today's world, if by a "star" we mean someone bright and powerful and attractive as a role model?
Real stars are not riding around in the backs of limousines or in Porsches or getting trained in yoga or Pilates and eating only raw fruit while they have Vietnamese girls do their nails. They can be interesting, nice people, but they are not heroes to me any longer.
A real star is the soldier of the 4th Infantry Division who poked his head into a hole on a farm near Tikrit, Iraq. He could have been met by a bomb or a hail of AK-47 bullets. Instead, he faced an abject Saddam Hussein and the gratitude of all of the decent people of the world. . . .
We put couples with incomes of $100 million a year on the covers of our magazines. The noncoms and officers who barely scrape by on military pay but stand on guard in Afghanistan and Iraq and on ships and in submarines and near the Arctic Circle are anonymous as they live and die.
I am no longer comfortable being a part of the system that has such poor values, and I do not want to perpetuate those values by pretending that who is eating at Morton's is a big subject.
The Real Stars is a compilation of Ben Stein's essays. Not only highlighting those in military service, but he speaks candidly about philanthropy work with T.A.P.S., the death of his Father, the American dream, and his obvious love of his family. He writes about how people can get lost trying to translate what is important to them while working for a goal, and how others manage to stay focused on what is really important.
I think the contributors at SpouseBuzz will agree, that when we chose The Real Stars as the book of the month we did it for several reasons, but most importantly the book is inspiring.
Please join us Thursday November 15, at 2:30pm EST as SpouseBuzz contributors Andi, Sarah, and I discuss the book, and will be joined by Mr. Stein on SpouseBuzz Radio. We will be unable to take calls for this show, because of the limited time we have with Mr. Stein, but feel free to submit any questions you would like answered, in the comment section. We will try and address them as time permits.
Also feel free to join us in the chat during the radio program.
*Due to our featured interview and change in time, there will be no Thursday night program at our regular 9pm EST.