March 9, 2008

"Fifteen Minutes of Fame"

Something I’ve noticed for years now is that most people will do just about anything for their “15 minutes of fame”. Run around nude in public, do a stunt (usually of the shopping cart down the stairs variety), people even kill for their moment in the spotlight. We are living in what I like to call a “hey, over here, look at me” society. You’ve got people like Paris Hilton, who thrive on the attention whether it’s positive or negative. People like her and many other well known celebrities play the whole “dumb blond” thing up to obtain attention. Than on a whole other level you’ve got the case of the Columbine School shootings. The two shooters took quite a few lives in order to get the attention of those who had plagued them throughout high school. It doesn’t seem to matter all that much anymore whether the attention received is for a job done well or an act of evil. Attention is attention, right? And why wouldn’t a society, the U.S. especially, develop this “hey, over here, look at me” philosophy. We egg it on through television shows like Survivor, Jackass, American Idol, etc. They show that no matter what kind of stupid stunt you pull or how big of an ass you are that your prime time ready. Of course, this need for attention thrives in many other areas of our society too. The “nerd girl” who sleeps with “Mr. Popular”; hoping to pull some of his attention to herself and the countless women who have slept with “rock stars” and other celebrities; once again hoping to pull some attention in their direction. Even the supposed “alternative” cultures give into the game of popularity; watching terrible movies shot by some tweaked out director who needs a new day job. They say things like “Oh, I’m not into the mainstream stuff”, in effect making themselves stand out. The next group is the “posers”, people who listen to whatever music is popular at any given moment and dress up like the group they’re trying to immolate and spouting the group’s lingo. And they’ve always got ego’s the size of a double wide trailer. Speaking of ego, seems that in this day and age the louder, more obnoxious and egotistical you are; the “cooler” you are. Even the once taboo tattoos and piercing culture has become name brand. People go out and get a tribal band around their arms to show how unique they are; all the while the guy standing next to them at the grocery store has an almost identical tattoo. People take these things and become the poster image of alternative and “cool”, which of course takes everything unique about whatever was alternative and turns it into a fad. So now you’ve got everyone from “Daddy’s” girl to high school drop outs showing off their “flash” or their “tats”. But hey, maybe all of this need for constant attention is derived from “broken” families and my daddy was never their complexes; and people have become so used to running from their problems that they have to express themselves, make themselves “unique”. Let’s face it though, in the long run, if you’re not relaxed enough to just be yourself you’ll just spend the rest of your faking your way through. And guess what, people notice. In the end you’ll just end up confused about who you really are, going to therapy for help and buying up all the “self help” books you can find. In conclusion, if you’re not really being you than you’re just another ant marching along to the beat of a mass drum.