Friday, August 21, 2009

My Rock Stars Are Not Your Rock Stars

Have you seen in the Intel commercial where Ajay Bhatt, co-inventor of the USB port, is given the rock star treatment? I love it, and it made me think how my rock stars would be perceived by others. Aside from the fangirl in me who thinks Geoff Tate's operatic voice is, and always has been, inspired and basically any non-Extreme band on Hair Nation could make me choke on a pastry in their vicinity (like the guy in the Intel commercial), my rock stars are probably not your rock stars:

Michio Kaku is an American theoretical physicist and bestselling author who specializes in string theory. He is the son of Japanese immigrants who rose to recognition after his entry at a national science fair in the 1960s gained the attention of leading physicists at the time. While his professional theories remain inaccessible to the majority of us, his rock star comes from being able to translate physics and the intricacies of our world into language we can all understand. Last week when he appeared on Fox News to discuss how NASA cut funding to track asteroids that could potentially be on a collision course with Earth, one might have thought Keith Urban had appeared in my living room and called me "doll" for all the excitement I displayed. Or maybe Kaku channels my long-ago infatuation with my high school physics teacher, who single-handedly plummeted my geek-perfect GPA. How could I transfer out of his class when he looked like this? I wasn't stupid, you know. At any rate, Michio Kaku is a rock star in my book.

Texas Ranger's Second Baseman Ian Kinsler is a rock star, not only for his prowess on the field, but for ignoring throngs of single women hitting on him at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo to sit with a young fan for a full hour discussing the game. For helping to restore baseball's heart, he's a favorite in my book.

Lastly, every person on the Reader's Digest heroes archive and those who never reach the limelight. When I can't clear my pallet of that sour taste that so often accompanies negative news media, I read through a story here and get my Pollyanna-groove back on.

Who are your rock stars?


Charles Gramlich said...

I like this. Well said.

Marilyn Brant said...

Michio Kaku isn't someone I'd ever heard of until today, but I'll pay attention if I see anything about him now :).

Some of my rock stars really *are* rock stars...but there are authors and a couple of artists that I'd include on my list. And, also, my brother.

Jen FitzGerald said...

Any man or woman who serves or has served in the U.S. military is a rock star to me, L.A.

Robin said...

My MacGyver is definitely a rock star to me! :) He's the most unselfish person I know. My mom, two of my oldest and dearest friends, as well as a few new writer friends - published and unpublished - also have a special place in my heart.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Sandra Ferguson said...

I keep my back copies of RD with the hero sections. It's always reinforced my belief that heroines and heroes are everywhere in our every day life. I love the story about the Ranger's 2nd baseman. Where did you hear it? Or did you see it? That would have been totally uplifting. While we were gone on the cruise, I walked down one of the halls quite early (7ish). No one but the housekeeping staff was stirring, except for one adorable two-year-old in footie jammies who'd figured out how to open the door and escape into the hallway. With no fuss, the housekeeper (a young man in his twenties with a strong African accent) bent and spoke with the youngster, gently turning him back up the hallway and toward sleeping mom. Kids know who to trust and this little one placed his hand in the tall man's grip and let himself be led to safety. Yep, heroes around us.

the walking man said...


Bet you thought I was going to say Bukowski didn't ya?

Actually before Bukowski comes Stephen Crane

L.A. Mitchell said...

@Charles - Thanks :)

@Marilyn - Your brother *is* a rock star for taking you to all those concerts.

@Jen - excellent answer. I wholeheartedly agree!!

@Robin - Let's rub it in that you landed a MacGyver in real life, shall we? Love your list.

@Sandra - Your story about the man on the cruise ship is awesome. I love looking into the everyday and finding the good in people.

The Ian Kinsler story came from a conversation we had with the family in front of us at the July 4th Ranger game. The son (maybe about 12 years old) was the one who'd sat with Ian for that hour while the Dad attended to the Mom, who'd had to go to the medical tent in an emergency during the Stock Show.

@walkingman - I did thought you'd say Bukowski. What a heady list you have ;)

Stewart Sternberg said...

at first, I thought: I don't have rock stars..but then I realized that I guess I did. I'm shallow, so you can expect my list to be as well.

Alice Cooper (I'll start off with a real rock star). The father of shock rock and a magnificent satirist walking on the dark side. I could write a paper on gender in Welcome to my Nightmare.

Robert B. Parker. The man is the God of dialogue. I have read his Spencer books and focused on the back and forth, admiring his economy and wit.

Me. Told you I was shallow.

Miladysa said...

Rob - the Consultant who treated my grandson when he had Acute Myeloid Leukaemia & of course, the little man himself :)

Melanie Atkins said...

My first rock stars is Chris Meloni from L&O SVU (I know, big surprise, right?), but not for the reason you think. He's a great supporter of Smile Train, an organization who helps kids in third world countries have a born with cleft palates or worse, who would never have medical care otherwise. He goes to Africa on a regular basis to work with this group.

My second rock star is Mariska Hargitay from that same show, for founding The Joyful Heart Foundation, which seeks to heal victims of sexual assault and domestic abuse. Kudos to both of them!

Robin said...

Sorry, L.A.! I wish he had a brother I could introduce you to. :)

laughingwolf said...

very good post, lam :)

two dead guys: jim henson and joseph campbell