When I was a teenager I wanted to be a rock ‘n’ roll legend. A rock ‘n’ roll myth. I dreamt of being interviewed by the Rolling Stone magazine. I fantasized that my life would be profiled by an obsessive and clever writer forever immortalizing me. Yes, I dreamt of fame and glory, but who hasn’t? It’s totally natural to want to be adored and be paid attention to. But I always had it clear that fame was not and end; it was a consequence. That’s what I thought.
The internet has turned the Warholian theory of 15 minutes of fame into something very, very real. No matter what, you will inevitably be famous. People have the power to broadcast themselves to millions of people. The simplest thing can get millions to pay attention, be it a funny picture, video or blog post. People out there are watching.
Wanting to be famous for the sake of being famous is not a new phenomenon. However, it was always understood that you turned famous because of something you did or do. People create a persona in a reality tv show. They stand in line for American Idol auditions. They did what they have to do to get attention. But fame as an end most of the time doesn’t take people too far. That’s what I thought.
The Wired story on Julia Allison taught me one thing. If you want it badly, all you have to do is excessively promote yourself. I don’t know much about this woman and still don’t know much. The story didn’t convince me of her interestingness. Maybe they just want to give us hope. No matter how ordinary and “non-exciting” our lives are, maybe we can be famous too. But fame just as an end in itself only gets you infamous.