"Fame is a flame untamed . . ."


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  • Judgement Seat

    © 1997-02 GSIS

  • "Fame is emphemeral,"once remarked the insightful but rather still-famous Marcus Aurelius. Saged an all too zealous yet aging Lord Byron, "Fame is the thirst of youth." Whether statesman or poet, thespian or thug, the allure of personal glory, beauty, riches, and power have led many a proud practitioner of abundant worldly gifts to crow adroitly before shameless crowds in exchange for their own peculiar measure of rapt adoration. To a high degree of surface satisfaction, the exchange is one of mutual respect. The performer's deep thirst for popular approval is met, while those in the mostly faceless crowd express their foraging need to individually, even collectively merge a self-perceived mundane life into the more effective, more glamorous aspects of the performer, the performance, the oscillating composite of fantasy kept warm by the faint afterglows of memory.
        While it is true that we not only need role models and mentors to help guide our raw aspirations, it can not be overstated that in this era of instant gratification, hero worship, and the non-stop media circus, the golden mean stating "moderation in all things" has not been preserved by the masses. On the surface of everyday life nothing is accepted as intrinsically valid unless corroborated by star power, a certified famous quote, or a witty reference to some other currently hip media result. Rational thought is swapped for adoration sickness. As we scramble from our own backyards whether here in the severe streets of Comptom or there across the plush grasses of Graceland, foraging for originality and self-expression we become ever more dependent on imitation. Each succeeding wave of fresh hipness can only reflect itself back onto its gathering crowd because the attempt at originality is merely a masking, exposing the sameness we both fear and yet yearn after.
        Stating this another way, deviation within the wave is tolerated in reverse proportion to the precise timing of the deviation as it pertains to the length of the wave's prosperity, that is before the wave gives way to the next wave. Judgement within this wave is most harsh and most immediate at the very beginnings and the very ends of these waves, whereas the wide middle suffers variations as its sheer numbers increase.
        But while it can be said that fame emulation is somewhat healthy and necessary to the human experience, competing sets of adoring fans soon rush to defend their own choices while ridiculing or maligning fans of another flavor, just as vehemently, and often more so, as the artists or famous themselves claw, scratch, slander, and maim in Darwinian rites of passage on their way to the top of their respective chosen fields. --GT