Yes. We must.
Now, I’ve long since adjusted to not having heard the names of nouveau celebrities until they hit the Twitter scrolls or the severely reduced gossip/entertainment section of the Daily News. Or the seriously enhanced gossip/style section of the New York Times.
I don’t know who these people are or what they have done to thrust their names into the public spotlight. But I’m OK that they are there. As far as I can make out, none of them has a deleterious effect on anybody’s life.
What I’m not OK with is how many of these names are enhanced by the appellation “legend.”
If I’m going to be crustily self-centered about this, I’d say they can’t be “legends” if I’ve never heard of them. But this can’t be just about me. Shouldn’t there be a poll taken before these unknowns get called “legend”? Some sort of standard, I mean. Maybe they can only be called “legend” if 78 percent of those polled say, “Oh, yeah — I’ve heard of him. Remind me: what does he do exactly?”
I’ve long had the impression that you don’t get to be called “legend” until you are not around anymore. That is, first you’ve got to be dead. Demised. Deceased. Canceled. Passed on or just passed.
However, it is a death which brings me to this heartfelt critique. Dawn Wells died. Since I never watched “Gilligan’s Island,” I’m not surprised never to have heard of Dawn Wells. But I have been surprised to see several tweets which embossed her with that “L” word.
If you heard me now, heard my wrenching sigh, you’d take pity and set up some rules limiting the application of the word “legend.”
Give it a shot.
Oh, also “icon.” Deal with that, too.