Thursday, August 19, 2010

I Don't Want to be Famous

Hey hey.

So I remembered something that I'd like to talk about. This idea comes from a video posted by John Green on the Vlogbrothers youtube channel nearly a year ago.

To get this blog in the proper context, it would be best if you would watch this video and then continue reading.

Fame: The Road Trip

I really like the points John makes in this video. I think when I first watched this video, it stuck in my mind because,...well, John Green has a way of taking ideas that I agree with and putting them into words that make sense. I think it is very true what he says. When you take the desire to be famous and strip it down to it's barest form, it is really just a desire to be respected by the people whose opinions we feel matter.

This whole topic today is another one of those topics that I have not really voiced before, for fear of sounding shallow or something. For a long long time now, at least since I was a sophomore in high school, I've felt pretty certain that I had no desire to be "famous" myself. However, I had/have a very real craving to be friends with "famous" people. I've always phrased it to myself in this way: "I want to be best friends with all of the people that everyone else wants to know."

The most amazing thing though, is that this desire has almost always been met, in one way or another. In middle school and high school, my closest friends were some of the most popular people in school. Even today, I get to say that I am friends with people like Bill Martin (Dr. Noise) and Molly Lewis (sweetafton23)! Although, you probably see how this all can come out sounding really shallow. As if my only intention in being friends with these people is to "ride on their coattails" or something. I really have no desire to "get in on" the popularity of my friends. I am insanely happy for my friends and whatever level of fame they attain to. I get so excited for them when they are recognized in a public place, when people ask to take pictures with them and want their autograph. I don't want that for myself, but I want it for my friends. I am just happy that I get to be friends with these people, and know them on a personal level. To other people, they are idols, but to me, they are real people, real people that I call "my friends".

Partly why I wanted to talk about this topic, in connection with John Green's video, is because his video makes me wonder about myself. I say I have no desire to be famous, but if you look at the desire to be famous according to John's definition, then really, if all I am seeking is approval, respect and attention from the people I admire, and if I've found that, even if it's only from a handful of people, then I guess I do have a desire to be famous.

So then I think about it again, and I think, yes, maybe I want to be famous, but I only feel famous if the people who are paying attention to me are themselves famous. And.... wow! Saying it that way makes me feel conceited and prejudiced.

I guess I can only hope that people who know me, will know me well enough to know that my friendship is genuine. Yes I want to be best friends with famous people. I've had the chance to rub elbows with quite a few famous people, I've had the chance to sit down and talk and have dinner with some big names and that makes me happy. It makes me happy even if no one else knows that I am friends with these people. It just makes me happy that I know it. Anyway, I strive to be a good friend to the people whose friendships I have been blessed with. I suppose if I wasn't a good and true friend, then I wouldn't be so lucky in friendship as I am. So right now, I choose to take comfort in knowing that these people choose to be friends with me just as much as I choose to be friends with them. I hope no one ever feels the need to call me shallow. It's not as if I avoid being friends with people who are not famous. That is not the case at all! What I'm getting at here is that, if I feel famous at all, I feel so when I am considered a friend of someone who is already famous.

That's all this blog was about. John's discussion on Fame has had me thinking for nearly a year(!) and this was my first attempt to really sit down and answer his question. "Who is the silver-backed gorilla of your jungle?" I think I know the answer to that question now. I think we should all be aware of whose attention we are trying to get. It really puts all of your endeavors into perspective.

As for me, I really don't care if I never have 100 subscribers on youtube. I have 95 followers on twitter and at least 78 of those are actual friends, people I have hung out with and know personally. Even right here on this blog, I have about 8 subscribers. I am happy knowing that at least a few of my friends read every post. That is enough for me, because I'm not trying to be famous here on the internet. I have the respect and support of my good friends, and their approval and friendship is enough to make me feel famous already. :-)

Have any thoughts? Feel free to share it in the comments. We'll leave off again with today's quote from the book "365 Days to Let Go: daily insights to change your life."

August 19: "It only seems that there is something more important for you to do than to just quietly be yourself."

1 comment:

  1. Your post made me think of this. I love this poem very much.

    And I don't think you're a bit shallow. I think, as you say, you're a good friend to people so the more popular people that you've met (as well as others, like me) tend to remain in your life and become real friends. There's nothing at all wrong with that.