So you may have thought “What?” in response to that In the Summer, In the City poem that I put up here a few days ago. So here’s a little further clarification, and further thoughts on the subject
So I wrote that because I had had a conversation with a friend a few days ago about fame. He’s planning on moving to New York and I asked him “Why?” His response was “Because I want to be a super-star.” Now, I should say that he is an intelligent man and certainly is aware that you don’t get handed a pamphlet titled “Now that you’re a superstar, here’s some good bars to check out” at Grand Central Station. In fact, when you first move to New York, I’m pretty sure you’re going to have a far different experience in the first several years, unless you get real lucky.
However, that got me thinking about fame and everyone’s strange hunger for it. I remember thinking at one time that I can do whatever I do with my life, but if I don’t get famous, then it’s worthless. Now, don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t mind being famous, but I would like that to be something that happens from becoming successful or respected. My point being, I’m not looking for J-Lo or Olsen Twins fame. But I just started wondering why I wanted to be famous anyway, or why any of us do. We just crave attention that bad? I sometimes feel like my story doesn’t really matter all that much unless everyone knows it. Or the pain in my life is okay to endure, as long as I can make a real successful movie out of it later. It might be partially my writer instinct kicking in where I enjoy writing down everything that happens to me to tell people later, or maybe it’s just my thinking that the only way I’ll feel important is if the media loves me.
I think I’ve grown up a little bit from those thoughts now, but I still feel that twinge of “wanting everyone in the world to love me” syndrome (Evita syndrome, if you will). One thing I’ve realized is that fame, especially American pop culture fame (in the words of Jack Nicholson from A Few Good Men, “Is there another kind?”), is so fleeting that it seems meaningless to try to strive for it. Britney Spears, Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Simpson, they are all products, not people. They will wither and disappear from the media, and will exist only when the populous says “Hey, do you remember ….” I think for me, I’d rather just have a beer, watch the Cubs game, and slowly slip into oblivion.