Celebrities are everywhere, grinning from magazine stands and TV screens galore. But good luck trying to join the glossy ranks of fame, Jim Hanas writes in the New York Post. The odds are daunting: Only 4,763 people are famous, says a market research company, and only 2% of them have a high "awareness score." That puts your odds at 1 in 62,986—"slightly worse than your chances of being put to death by legal execution."
Yet more than half of 25-year-olds say fame is one of their generation's top goals, more than helping the needy (30%) or becoming more spiritual (10%). No doubt, times have changed: Jesus was the 16h century's big celeb; by the 18th, there was Mozart and Marquis de Sade. Today, kids watch 1,300 hours of celebrity-driven TV a year and assume they'll be next. "That such a transformation seems likely to occur is, I contend, our culture's Big Lie."