On Being Famous

Let me preface anything said here with the acknowledgement that I myself am in no way, shape, or form famous.  I am but a blip on the radar (if I even show up) of the fame monster.  That being said, I have a LOT of famous friends, in my own head that is.  Some of you may be able to identify with having an incredibly active inner dialogue that is both irritating and enriching in its own rights and I, like many, have a constant stream of conversation going on inside of my own mind.

Maybe due to the fact that I have a pretty active imagination or maybe due to some form of isolation (still not sure which) I find myself having conversations with the people in my life that take place solely in my mind.  The fact that I may be admitting to some form of weird mental illness is not lost on me, but I don’t think that this is the case.  Have you ever re-played a moment in your mind to try and figure out how you could have acted differently or said something else to make it better, or less embarrassing, or even to simply have changed the outcome to what you’d intended to have happen from the get-go?  It’s like a scene in a movie where the main character is the socially awkward geek who takes the bully out in their own fantasy world.  So, in that context, I guess so long as I don’t act on the majority of it, my sanity is still in tact!

More recently, I’ve found this happening with famous figures.  Let me clarify that I find fame to be oddly detestable.  The fact that fame and infamy are notches on a belt that tell us we’ve succeeded is clear, but the invasion of ones personal space is a ghastly proposition in my book.  The fact that millions of people feel that they have the right to any and all details of your private life that they can find or that because you’re famous, it becomes acceptable to insult and make fun of a person is just absurd.

So, I find myself imagining what a conversation with famous people would be like, outside of the context of their fame.  Sitting around the dinner table and asking them how their day was and hearing the laundry list of mundane responses about trips to the bank, the grocery store, etc…. Ok- so maybe my imagination is just as boring as I am, but I have to contemplate whether fame is in itself actually mundane.

Follow me on this- if your entire life is being watched as it is with the people that we see in the tabloids every day, then how do you do any of these simple tasks without provoking a litany of stories about how you’ve begun a secret affair with the bank teller?  I realize that there are many celebrities who welcome the attention, but I can’t believe that this applies to more than a small percentage of them.

And this is my rational for why I don’t think that I want to meet any of the people that I do follow in the media.  Yes, there is hypocrisy in what I’m saying.  How can I contribute to the media onslaught by reading the crap that they publish and my only answer is, how can you not?  Coverage of celebrities is a ridiculously large portion of what we see on TV and in magazines.  My personal tastes lean toward CNN and the Economist, but each of these media outlets still have profiles of entrepreneurs and actors and singers, which are tasteful, but still qualify as invasive.

If I had the chance to meet any of the people whose careers interest me, will it be a disappointment?  Remember that we are all human and we all have to do our laundry.  By that rational, would I respect them as much if I found out that they hire a maid to do their laundry for them?  Ok, so I’m delving into class-ism, but I hope that you get my point.  There are so many contests running on the radio station this month that involve getting to spend time with a band or an actor and I cannot bring myself to enter them because I know that someone else would get much more out of it than I would.

Maybe my issue is that I know I would want more than I have any right to ask someone who is doing a meet and greet for fans because I have very little interest in their public persona that isn’t academic (i.e.- how does that contribute to the marketing plan) and isn’t that kind of request MUCH more invasive?

So, I limit myself to the imaginary conversations that take place as I’m brushing my teeth or ironing my shirts.  I will let all of the celebrities know that you are very intelligent and wise in my own head- you always provide awesome advise and chastise me when I’m just being a hater 🙂



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