I hate fame

I hate fame. I hate what it does to people, and what we—as a society—deem worthy of fame. Santonio Holmes has the magical ability to run fast and catch the rapidly thrown skin of a dead pig—he’s famous. Some scientist uncovers a major breakthrough in, say, cancer research, he’s just some geek with glasses. I just don’t get it.

After some of my books sold well, I had people tell me I was the success story from my high school class. How narrow. Selling books makes me no less successful than a really excellent mother or father, or a killer 5th grade math teacher, or a plumber or a garbage man. Yet somehow, because I’ve been on TV a few times (or whatever), my work is worthy. It’s inane.

To me, the people most unworthy of the fame they’re handed are actors/actresses. Some, admittedly, dazzle me. Sean Penn, Kate Winslett, Leo, etc. But why do we worship and crave and beg the stars of two-bit TV sitcoms? Why do we pick up People and Us Weekly to see what’s up with Jason Bateman (bad example, but you get the idea). Are their lives so much more interesting than yours? Mine? Or is it mere perception; a longing to believe that, elsewhere, dreams and magic do come true.

Bad news: I’ve covered famous people for a long time. They fart and burb and spit and masturbate and break out in zits. Their parties are much like your parties, except significantly more surface. Their sex lives are good and bad, just like ours. They over-medicate and under-empathize, and become embarrassingly unaware that worlds exists where nobody knows their names.

2 thoughts on “I hate fame”

  1. Jeff, let me put it quantitatively.:

    Like a lot of people here, I read Bad Guys Won and Boys Will Be Boys and derived many hours of enjoyment from both. That’s–let’s say–15 hours or so that I enjoyed at the opportunity cost of two mediocre booksread over 15 take ’em or leave ’em hours.

    Let’s say half a million people experienced the same thing. That means that, in the aggregate, 7.5 million hours have been spent reading something wildly entertaining over doing something mediocre (Full disclosure: I have no idea what your book sales have been, nor do I care to google the figure).

    7.5 million/365 days/70 years = ~293 lives spent doing something wildly entertaining over doing something mediocre.

    That alone, sir, makes you a hero and deserving of fame.

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