Passage Three (Pop Stars Earn Much)
Pop stars today enjoy a style of living which was once the prerogative only of Royalty. Wherever they go, people turn out in their thousands to greet them. The crowds go wild trying to catch a brief glimpse of their smiling, colorfully dressed idols. The stars are transported in their chauffeur driven Rolls-Royces, private helicopters or executive aeroplanes. They are surrounded by a permanent entourage of managers, press agents and bodyguards. Photographs of them appear regularly in the press and all their comings and goings are reported, for, like Royalty, pop stars are news. If they enjoy many of the privileges of Royalty, they certainly share many of the inconveniences as well. It is dangerous for them to make unscheduled appearances in public. They must be constantly shielded from the adoring crowds which idolize them. They are no longer private individuals, but public property. The financial rewards they receive for this sacrifice cannot be calculated, for their rates of pay are astronomical.
And why not? Society has always rewarded its top entertainers lavishly. The great days of Hollywood have become legendary: famous stars enjoyed fame, wealth and adulation on an unprecedented scale. By today’s standards, the excesses of Hollywood do not seem quite so spectacular. A single gramophone record nowadays may earn much more in royalties than the films of the past ever did. The competition for the title ‘Top of the Pops’ is fierce, but the rewards are truly colossal.
It is only right that the stars should be paid in this way. Don’t the top men in industry earn enormous salaries for the services they perform to their companies and their countries? Pop stars earn vast sums in foreign currency – often more than large industrial concerns – and the taxman can only be grateful fro their massive annual contributions to the exchequer. So who would begrudge them their rewards?
It’s all very well for people in humdrum jobs to moan about the successes and rewards of others. People who make envious remarks should remember that the most famous stars represent only the tip of the iceberg. For every famous star, there are hundreds of others struggling to earn a living. A man working in a steady job and looking forward to a pension at the end of it has no right to expect very high rewards. He has chosen security and peace of mind, so there will always be a limit to what he can earn. But a man who attempts to become a star is taking enormous risks. He knows at the outset that only a handful of competitors ever get to the very top. He knows that years of concentrated effort may be rewarded with complete failure. But he knows, too, that the rewards for success are very high indeed: they are the recompense for the huge risks involved and if he achieves them, he has certainly earned them. That’s the essence of private enterprise.
1. The sentence Pop stars’ style of living was once the prerogative only of Royalty means
[A] their life was as luxurious as that of royalty.
[B] They enjoy what once only belonged to the royalty.
[C] They are rather rich.
[D] Their way of living was the same as that of the royalty.
2. What is the author’s attitude toward top stars’ high income?
3. It can be inferred from the passage
[A] there exists fierce competition in climbing to the top.
[B] People are blind in idolizing stars.
[C] Successful Pop stars give great entertainment.
[D] The tax they have paid are great.
4. What can we learn from the passage?
[A] Successful man should get high-income repayment.
[B] Pop stars made great contribution to a country.
[C] Pop stars can enjoy the life of royalty.
[D] Successful men represent the tip of the iceberg.
5. Which paragraph covers the main idea?
[A] The first.
[B] The second.
[C] The third.
[D] The fourth.
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