The fame neurosis

From the New York Times:

Surveys done since then, in communities around the world, suggest the same thing: aiming for a target as elusive as fame, and so dependent on the judgments of others, is psychologically treacherous.

I have long felt that the desire for fame is an indication of psychological disturbance. The problem is that fame, even a modicum of it, is so useful in achieving other things that one might more reasonably desire. It has to be incredibly frustrating to a genuinely talented singer and musician to see a talentless media whore like Paris Hilton not only handed a record contract, but given the benefit of a major marketing push as well.

As I mentioned already, the reason I pulled the rights to my forthcoming novel – it will be out later this fall – from Pocket Books was due to their enthusiastic revelation of their new strategy, namely, marketing ghostwritten autobiographies of 50 Cent and other rappers. So, fame certainly has its uses, but if you look at its downside and at the ambivalence of the famous towards it, there doesn’t seem to be any point in actively pursuing it unless you are a very sad, very damaged individual.