Thursday, 24 May 2007

The price of fame

Millions of people are pining desperately to be celebrities - to swap their dull, everyday lives for a spell in the global spotlight, their every move watched and remarked on by the teeming masses.

I can't think why. Myself, I couldn't imagine a more horrible fate than being scrutinised and dissected by every voyeuristic Tom, Dick and Harriet who feels like passing an idle moment with a bit of mindless celeb-gawping.

I'd be trapped in my own home, protected by state of the art security systems and unable to walk the local streets in case I'm attacked by a stalker, besieged by shrieking fans or simply stared at like a monkey in the zoo.

I'd have to watch my appearance like a hawk to check I was thin enough, glamorous enough, confident enough, youthful enough. A few surplus ounces or a crumpled jacket and the media would pounce, telling the world I was letting myself go and my career was on the skids.

Even if I sought refuge on some far-flung Pacific island, the pararazzi would follow and snatch illicit shots of me in the buff, smooching with some unknown beauty who would then have to go into hiding herself.

Worse still, I would be a sitting duck for every journalist and passing low-life to heap abuse and contempt on me whenever the urge took them, on the grounds that (a) if I put myself in the public eye then I'm inviting custard pies and (b) I have to pay the price for my privileged lifestyle.

Who needs it? Why would anyone want to put themselves through all that for the sake of banner headlines in the tabloids? And to those who say, ah but it would be worth all that to have shedloads of money and untold luxury, well sorry to buck the trend but I prefer being able to slouch down the street in my worn-out jeans muttering to myself without the entire British population sneering at my degenerate habits over tomorrow morning's cornflakes. Anonymity? It's just fine by me.

(see also Paparazzi no thanks)

PS: Talking of celebs, Happy Birthday to the gorgeous Julian Clary, a spiffing 48 tomorrow. Julian's columns in the New Statesman are just LMAO funny.


  1. Maybe fame seekers fear death so much that they want to attempt to make some lasting impression in society. Or proof that they're alive?
    It's a puzzle to me as well, Nick. I'm happy in my quiet corner of the world.

  2. I'm completely with you - the idea disgusts me. Mind you I always fancied having a stalker. Just the one mind and not a crazy loon just one who thought I was utterly fabulous and bought me lots of presents!

  3. Medbh - that must be part of it. But how sad that they don't just wake up and FEEL alive like you and me.

    Con - I'll stalk you if you like. I could even think you're fabulous. But sure you don't need more presents, with all those birthday gifts about to hit your letterbox.

  4. Plus it's a lemmings/sheep/mob mentality. They see Joe Schmoe on tv making money and becoming famous for being a jackass on some reality show and say "hey, I can do that."
    There's blame to be shared out to the audience for creating these people though I'm sure you would agree, Nick.
    It's hot as hell in Toronto right now btw. Sweat and type.

  5. What's always intrigued me about this nonsense, Nick, is the unsaid.
    Like all the plastic surgery to keep it all together and the horrendous micro-diets, the personal trainer putting one through the paces, the life never, ever being your own. And you can only hang around with those of your own ilk. Boring, boring, boring. Give me my wrinkles, my dear friends and my precious anonymity!!

  6. You can never have too many presents I say!

  7. Medbh - absolutely agree re lemmings and audience. A story today that Celebrity Big Brother will be scrapped cos it's getting too vicious, but I'm sure some people would like nothing better than a serious on-screen punch-up.

    www - as you say, all those grim keep-your-looks regimes and then only feeling safe with other celebs. A bit like being in permanent Olympics training mode but with the abuse rather than the respect.

  8. Con - oh yes you can. That's why Christmas gets up my nose - far too much of everything.

  9. The worst of all are reality TV "celebrities" - they get the tabloid scrutinising when they do something stupid/leave the house looking like shite/fail at something, without either the career or the money to go with it.

  10. You're right - they're just duped into being helpless victims for other people's entertainment. Although some of them actually seem to enjoy the humiliation and arse-kicking - how sad is that?

  11. It seems to be like the drug chain. Sleb users our our contact with the world, but there's a whole hierarchy of pushers behind them manipulating us all in their pursuit of power and control of the present and future.

    As long as we at the bottom are kept placid worshipping or denigrating the facade we don't question the puppet masters.

    Many don't care because they're happy with their lot and don't feel the need to rock the boat. Many others, excluded from an average lifestyle, would be rebelling against the incredible injustice, that some get to live such powerful and luxurious lives while the rest of us struggle along, but for the pretty pictures and shiney distractions.

    As long as the rest of us are just comfortable enough and have just enough invested in our lives, we won't stick our heads above the parapet. Celebrity seems like a buffer between us and them.

    That was a bit ranty, wasn't it? Sometimes I have no idea I feel so strongly until I open my mouth to speak.

  12. Well said, Bellulah. That's just it - as long as most people have enough comfort and goodies they're afraid to ask for more in case what they've got is abruptly taken away. So they just pine after a VIP lifestyle.