Blogs by A. Colin Wright
On Michael Jackson, Celebrities, and becoming Famous
7/14/2009 7:47:31 AM
All the recent hype about Michael Jackson has caused me to think more about my attitude towards celebrities and the question of fame. I should say at once that I have never really been interested in celebrities for their own sake. I have never screamed at a rock concert and the most I would ever indulge in for anyone is enthusiastic applause. Of course, there are celebrities I greatly admire: Meryl Streep in particular, because besides being attractive she is a superb actor. I can certainly appreciate talent, but this in itself isn’t a qualification for celebrity.
I once asked a colleague who was feeling depressed what was wrong. “I want to be famous,” was his answer. So, of course, do I—and many others too. But while he aspires to be a famous physicist, and I aspire to be a famous writer, neither of us is ever going to become a celebrity. We probably wouldn’t want to. It’s the pop stars such as Michael Jackson, the sports heroes, the film stars, the political leaders and royalty who are the celebrities—not those who are famous in other fields. I remember in Kingston there was once a rumour that Brooke Shields was coming to a friend’s wedding (she didn’t) and the barman at our Faculty Club was really excited, saying “She’s world famous!” When I pointed out that he met world-famous scholars every day he wasn’t impressed. We’ve had Nobel prize winners appearing for honorary degrees at the University with few outsiders showing any interest, whereas when Prince Charles came with Princess Diana—well, you get my point.
So when I say “I want to be famous,” what is it I really want? Not the crowds shrieking admiration. What I want is simply for people to recognize and appreciate what I have written, particularly those whom I also appreciate for their talents. I enjoy giving readings, I enjoy acting, giving lectures, leading tourist groups: well perhaps I just like being the centre of attention—which, not being an extrovert, I rarely experience in my everyday life. Is it as simple as that? Isn’t it the same for most of us?
A.Colin Wright's novel Sardinian Silver can be ordered from any bookstore, from www.amazon.com and other amazon sites, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.iUniverse.com.
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Return from New Zealand - Monday, January 31, 2011
Allbooks Review Editor's Choice for Sardinian Silver - Sunday, January 02, 2011
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Rewriting St. John - Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Mikhail Bulgakov and the Question of Greatness: a Reassessment - Tuesday, September 07, 2010
literature & Fiction Interviews Volume II - Tuesday, September 07, 2010
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Faith, belief and knowledge - Wednesday, March 03, 2010
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Bethlehem (a Christmas story, in two versions) and other stories - Friday, December 18, 2009
85 ; 15 - Monday, December 07, 2009
Time versus Eternity - Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Hoping to put on more articles - Wednesday, November 11, 2009
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More readers' comments invited! - Friday, August 28, 2009
Chance or Fate? - Tuesday, July 21, 2009
On Michael Jackson, Celebrities, and becoming Famous - Tuesday, July 14, 2009
More on what I believe - Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Writing and what I believe in life - Friday, May 29, 2009
Likes and Dislikes in Reading - Tuesday, May 19, 2009
What you can do to help - Tuesday, May 12, 2009
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How Sardinian SIlver and other things came to be written. - Tuesday, April 28, 2009
More on what I want to write about - Tuesday, April 14, 2009
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