While it is never fully acknowledged as having any ill effects, the hunger for Fame has reached epidemic levels and has replaced art, education, politics, medicine and civil service as an acceptable career objective for today’s youth. Because once under its spell, the pursuit of Fame can become an obsession on the order of chasing the dragon, making one all too willing to sacrifice anything in order to obtain its fleeting and instantly addictive high.
What an interesting generation we are. We all acknowledge that not everyone should be famous, that celebrity is toxic, and that everyone wants to be one. We know that being famous is a poor drug and goal, (think of those people famous for being famous, and you know what I mean: Paris Hilton, William Hung), and yet it’s something that most of us do strive for. Many people are hit hard when they realise, at the age of forty, that despite having no real musical talents they will not ever be a rock star. Those same types reel with shock when they discover that they are not already great writers, athletes, and television personalities.
Is it enough to say that sometimes, and in the past certainly, I’ve been like these people too? What is it in our culture that creates and stokes this desire? It should be self-correcting. People should learn, with their first brush with fame, that something’s wrong– just by needing that extra high. But they want more, and accept that as something they need to feed and flame. Because in the twenty-first century, the body is never wrong.