Of course, we now live in the age of Youtube, where just about anyone can earn some mild notoriety for behaving like five year-old cocaine junkie with ADHD in front of a camera. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that being famous wouldn’t be as terrific as it seemed when I was a young third-grader dreaming of making my name as the next Indiana Jones.
Hey, I want to do that.
See, fame has its drawbacks, and I’d like to point out some of the ones I’ve noticed.
People Will Always Recognize You
It is nice when people notice our accomplishments. Once, in fourth grade, I came in second place in the school spelling bee, and damn, did I feel good when people saw me in the halls and called me “champ” and “the spelling man” and “that smartass douchebag.” So, it makes sense that we would think it cool to be able to go out in public and constantly be approached by people who love our work and want to let us know how spectacular we are.
But here’s the thing: you’re not always in a good mood when you’re in public. Maybe you’re feeling sick, maybe you just got over a tough breakup, maybe you’re going through amphetamine withdrawal—either way, you don’t want to be bothered by anyone, especially not some mouth-breathing little turd who thinks you’re so great because your portrayal of an orphan in some shitty movie helped him cope after the tragic murder of his parents.
Or hey, maybe you’re not even in a bad mood, but you still don’t want to be bothered. You’re just at the mall, on a date with your significant other. Eating at The Cheesecake Factory already kind of sucks, but it has to be even worse when you can’t hold a decent conversation with your guest because no one will leave you alone.
Oh, and the worst thing about it? If you do ask to be left alone, then you’ll cultivate a reputation for being an asshole.
Just as we want to be famous, we also want to be with people who are famous. A lot of them got there through some kind of performance; if they are actors we associate them with the characters they play, if they are musicians, we associate them with the songs they write, and if they are politicians they can just sit there nice and still while we all take a nice shit on their faces. So, when we think about being with Scarlett Johansson, we don’t really want to be with her, we just want to be with who we think she is.
Either way, some people take this obsession too far. These people usually live in their mom’s basement and masturbate to episodes of My Little Pony while thinking of interesting ways to torture all the girls who rejected them in high school, but they are out there, and if you become famous, it is possible you’d have to deal with them. It’s bad enough to cope with a creepy ex who won’t stop posting on your Facebook wall and writes shitty songs about you. Now imagine that person, only ten times more insane.
Everyone Knows Everything About You
Anyone who has ever been through a painful breakup knows that the aftermath isn’t the most pleasant experience in the world. You spend most of your time sitting in a dark room listening to music you thought was cool when you were fifteen, neglecting your personal hygiene and only ever leaving to make a trip to the liquor store.
Now, imagine that not only are you going through this breakup, but dozens of vapid gossip magazines have the news plastered on their front page, along with info about a new celebrity sex tape and a rumor that Snooki may in fact be an escaped Oompa-Loompa. The painful personal details of your life have been turned into entertainment by parasites.
Or, Heavens forbid, you get arrested for some minor crime, and now the entire world knows about it and is very, very disappointed with you. People who have never met you and probably never will now think you’re an asshole simply because the bad shit that you did gets talked about in the media, whereas no one cares about that bad shit that they do because no on cares about them in general.
So yeah, while it would be fun to be famous, don’t place too much emphasis on it. Aside from the millions of dollars that come along with it, it’s probably not that great.