Years ago the Beatles scandalized the world by claiming to be better known than Jesus Christ. Even today Paul McCartney, made even more famous by my rewriting of his “When I’m Sixty-Four”, is still what we used to call a universal household name. I’m prepared to bet that most Eskimos and even some tribes living in the depths of the Amazon jungle (what’s left of it) would know who he is. But they – and 99.9999999etc% of the rest of the planet – have never heard of ME ! So what ?, you say. Well, I’m jealous, that’s what !
My shrink, of whom no one has ever heard, has tried hard to get me to realize that it don’t matter a damn, man, whether I’m famous or not. That’s all right for him, deservedly unknown except to his equally unfamous if not infamous patients, whereas I (capitalized and in bold) . . .
What makes us crave for those fifteen minutes of fame ? And how do you define “Fame” anyway ? Name recognized by 10,000 or 1,000,000 people ? What does it matter, after all ? Some people try to assassinate Presidents just to get their name in the paper. Terrorists don’t mind dying so long as they are revered as martyrs. The need for recognition is indeed a curious trait. As with money, some already famous people, like Oliver Twist, keep asking for more.
Take Trump, surely one of the most famous, if not THE most famous contemporary celebrity in the world. “The” Donald is the third celebrity in world history to be given the definite article, like “The Chè” and “The Don” – coincidentally another Donald. What did you say ? Come on, you must remember Australia’s greatest cricketer, Sir Donald Bradman ! No ? “Sic transit gloria mundi” !
I have finally discovered how to console myself for the fact that I have lived eight decades totally unknown, and will shortly disappear without even a State funeral. You can find the answer in your daily news programs or newspaper or weekly magazine, if you still read the Press as well as this Blog – or more likely in the social media. You see, the news is filled with not only “famous” people but even more with politicians, actors, sports men and women, criminals and authors of whom you have never heard up till now. THEY have never heard of us. So we’re quits, right ?
It’s as easy as that. Nobel Prize winners, Olympic champions, brilliant scientists, profound philosophers and genius bloggers have names we discover and very quickly forget, as others step in to replace them in the limelight of the evening news. We call them stars but in fact they are fleeting comets. So what does it matter, at the end of the day moving forward, if we – like, for so long, the Terra Incognita I come from – remain unknown ?
That’s all well and good for you, perhaps. After all, you really are a nobody, whereas I, Frank O’Whatshisname, alias Uriah Heep . . . I still hope my name will one day appear in the Parish Bulletin, posthumously no doubt, as the other Voice Crying in the Wilderness.
P.S. It’s April Fool’s Day. I couldn’t resist.
P.S. 2 : I left out “La”Callas and “The” Bard. Three, as in the Trinity, is a nice number.