It was Andy Warhol who said that, ‘In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes’. He had a point, and didn’t realise then, just how ‘on the money’ that statement would prove to be.
What got me thinking about this today was JK Rowling’s new book, ‘A Casual Vacancy’. It has been released to cool reviews, not received perhaps as well as everyone hoped it would be. I’m not so surprised by this, I mean Harry Potter’s shoes are very large to fill, but it is how everyone seems so saddened by the news that makes me wonder. Poor JK, I mean her ‘15 minutes’ of fame were probably as big, and far reaching as anyone’s ever could be; if this book disappeared into obscurity tomorrow she won’t be hard done by exactly!
Yet, this ’15 minutes’ gang are all over the world, in one form or another. They pop out of the wood work on a near constant basis. It seems the whole of the entertainment industry is littered with one hit wonders, actors and the like, who have been discarded, ousted from their thrown of omnipotence. They lament for a moment in time they have lost, and feel angered that re-gaining their crown is being denied them, by new talent. Yet, aren’t they the lucky ones? Why do they see their one moment of world glory as not being enough? There are others who have never been given the chance to stamp their mark on the world. Isn’t it just greedy, clinging onto fame, to keep perusing fame and fortune when they have already had their taste? They have already been given the gift of their ’15 minutes’, what more is there to have?
Surely anyone with half a brain knows when it is their time to move out of that spot light and say, ‘OK, I had a damn good run, I’m thankful’, no, they keep on and on trying to claw back what they once were? Why?
Is fame like any other bad habit or addiction? Is it that once you have tasted it, you become a new person, and that person is someone who cannot stop wanting more and more, regardless of the cost to your self-esteem and reputation? Why then doesn’t this fame and fortune come with heavy health warnings, making those that dare to venture further guard against their mental health?
Look at Lyndsey Lohan and Britney Spears; it’s over and yet they refuse to see, and people merely encourage false hope to mock them! It is sad.
I believe the ’15 minutes’ stretches to us mere mortals too. Aren’t we all at some point famous for 15 minutes, not world-wide granted, but in our own way we make headlines with those around us. Isn’t there something we did so well no-one could then replicate our successes, or could they, as we are all replaceable and pervious to the change of opinions and attitude. One minute we are flavour of the month and next, everyone is avoiding us.
None of us can be ahead of the game all our lives though, there comes a time to graciously step aside and let another shine. Yet, some of us seem more able than others to admit it’s over, concede, leave when the leaving is good and maintain our dignity. Aren’t those who are remembered the best and for the longest those that depart quickly; Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Bruce Lee. No, I don’t imply we should have to die young to be iconic, just accept that we have given our best and that was good enough. No one wants to be remembered as a ‘has been’ after all.
This says it all……
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