Archived 9/03 

thepragmaticthinker.com

“FAME! What is it good for?”

By Larry John

I was watching the News on TV the other night. The news reporter was talking to the wife of a man who had just been killed in a drive by shooting. He was shot at 3:00 AM and by 7:15 AM the wife was on the local morning news crying and telling the horrible story. WHY? First, what makes a news reporter so impersonal that he would even go to the widow’s home, knock on the door, and expect to interview the lady? Second, what kind of personality would answer the door and be interviewed on television about the death of her husband just 4 hours after his death? I don’t get it. We have made our “15 minutes of fame” so important that we can’t see past the “spotlight.”

When I was doing my show on television I was always amazed that people would do ANYTHING to get on the show. They just wanted to be on television. They just wanted to have people see them. I can’t believe the immense attraction to the American Idol show on Fox and all the so-called “reality” shows that have become so popular.  I have never watched one of these shows. I hate the fact that so many people want to be famous.  Anyone with any intelligence feels sorry for these people, and frankly anyone with any intelligence feels sorry for ALL the so-called famous. The problem is most of us don’t have experience with fame. If we did, the last thing in life we would want to be is famous.  I am sure that all of us have heard the expression, “like moths to the flame.” The expression is used to state the obvious - that people are attracted to something (fame) just like moths are attracted to the light of the flame.

Last night I was at the Ranch, and noticed that outside my window were several moths that had been attracted by the light in my room. They were flying franticly up and down the glass of the window trying to get to the light in the room. Of course, they couldn’t get in, but they didn’t know that. They just kept hitting the windowpane, flying in all directions, wanting to get in and fly to the light in the room. I walked outside, and as I did 3-4 of the moths flew in the door and flew straight to the light and hovered around it darting in and out around the light. I came back in and turned out the light. Rather than resting, as any intelligent moth would do, they flew from that room to the next room and went straight for the lights that were on in the next room. They were drawn to the light of the light bulbs “like moths to a flame.” They really didn’t have any choice. This is the life of a moth. Fly to the light and then die. Yes, the next morning they were all dead on the floor. They got their “fifteen minutes of fame” in the “spotlight” and they died.  So it is with many people who are so attracted by the “spotlight” of fame, and perhaps the expectation of fortune, that they run from “spotlight to spotlight” chasing the ever-elusive enticement of fame until they find themselves living lives of sadness and disappointment.

I am always amazed at who wants to be on a talent show. Many times these are people who you would never expect would want to get up in front of other people and perform.  No matter how quiet and bashful they are in their “normal” life, they too are enticed by the desire for fame. I am sure that there are those who perform for the pure delight of performing, but in many cases, if not most cases, people want to be famous. They want to be seen. They want to experience the rush that comes with being famous, even if that is only to be seen and admired by a few selected church friends or company cohorts.

The funny thing about the “really” famous among us, like the stars of television and the movies, is that these “famous” people don’t understand that THEY are not “really” famous. It is not their great looks and talents that people love. People love the medium that made them famous. It is the medium that should have most of the credit for their fame. Take for example a TV star that forgets this most important point and begins to think that HE or SHE is the reason their TV show is so popular. They normally get so caught up in the greatness of their talents and they “hold out” for more money when their contract is up for renewal. Many times the producers will replace the star with a new “up and comer” and we very seldom hear of them again. It is the medium of TV, Movies, Radio, Newspapers, Magazines, Books, Records, etc. that people worship…not the stars, authors, musicians, models, actors, sports casters, news anchors, etc.  It goes without saying “out of sight, out of fame.” Famous people need the medium in order to be famous, but the media that creates fame can create a new famous person within a few weeks. The media remains the same, only the stars and famous people change.

So, why is it that many of us have this uncontrollable hunger to be famous? Why are we drawn “like moths to the flame” to have others put us on the pedestal of fame? Why is it that all of us, whether we admit it or not, want to enter the halls of immortal fame? Perhaps we are only trying to be immortally famous to ourselves. Perhaps that as we search for self worth and love and acceptance of oneself, the “counterfeit value and greatness” of SELF is satisfied for a short time by the short lived, shortsighted experience of FAME.

Of course I am not sure. But until I am complete and sovereign within myself, please note that I continue to write so that others will notice my wisdom and intelligence and at the top of each of my articles it says “by Larry John.” The “spotlight” of fame, regardless of how dim it shines, sure feels warm and comforting. Fame, what is it good for? Absolutely SOMETHING! It’s SHOWTIME. Point the spotlight at me! Think about it.