Chasing Fame


It’s a time when the definition of fame has been turned over and wedged sideways into our minds. What does it mean anymore when Realty TV stars (let’s not go into the inherent oxymoron due the obviously scripted and over-acted, self-indulgent performances) proliferate the airwaves for apparently no other reason that filling time in a programming schedule. Are they famous, yes. Why? Don’t ask me.

I guess being famous meant something back when the famous had some personal standards, codes of ethics, or restrain on public social behavior. Now it appears to be ‘cool’ to be caught in the act of being stupid drunk or stoned in public. It’s all publicity, isn’t it. And we have all heard that any publicity is good publicity. Well, that is until the public becomes disgusted and moved on to tracking the next big thing. And thanks to the PR machines there is always a a new and briefly exciting next big thing.

America has always a land of opportunity but also there are contrasts, extremes and excesses evident to anyone who cares to pay attention. We elect people to govern us because they look good not because they have the credentials to pass the job interview. But one thing has never changed. America has a good heart filled with average people who do their routine things to make everything work. The buy things, including the CDs of downloads of their favorites musicians, watch the shows on TV, and buy all the products advertised. The buy the latest book from their favorite authors whether they stand in line at a book store or download it from an online source. And, thanks to the condition of the world we live in, their attention spans last about as long as the smell of a popcorn fart.

Cousin Ricky Skaggs performing

Fame has always been fleeting but perhaps never so much as it is today, with everyone vying for the publics attention. A lot of people want to be more than a flash-in-a-pan, overnight sensation serving a role as he or she fills 15 minutes of air time. In the shuffling madness of the greatest all time losers, the endless parade of pretty people pushing and shove for a moment in the spotlight, there are people like me who prefer to watch from the background. I’m content on the sideline watching the game, close enough to feel the action and smell the sweat but not about to jump into the game and possibly get hurt. It’s that fear of being overly exposed or too greatly scrutinized that prevents us from being the stars that perhaps we were born to be.

Rick Lewis Drummer Thrush

There is a downside to fame. Unless you are made of stone it will burn you. Even then, it will blacken and scorch you. Still, you say you want to be famous. You think you can handle it? Recently I watched an interview with someone famous who probably said it just about right. All you can be is the best you can be at what you really want to do and if you’re good enough at it you won’t need a lot of the hype and nonsense because if you’re good at what you do people will know. But you have to get out there and let your star shine.

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