i’ve been thinking a lot recently about the complexities of fame and fandom. by nature i am a ‘fan’ type of person, i get borderline obsessive about things and can go through periods where i am particularly gripped by some particular programme or musician. sometimes they are passing fixations, sometimes longstanding interests.
i’ve never been extreme – ive never followed a band on tour for example but i have, when i was younger, frequently waited for hours outside venues to catch a glimpse of someone only to be to afraid to say anything if they did appear.
now that i am a bit older i find myself caught between wanting to give in to the pleasure of hero-worship and being cynical enough to know it’s all a load of rubbish. i almost don’t want to meet my idols now for fear of the pressure to be ‘grown up’ about it.
i like my icons to be untouchable. i mourn the golden era of hollywood when there was a whole galaxy of moondust and magic between the stars and the mortals. not a stint on big brother and muck-raker story in heat.
why do we need to have someone to look up to? is it where we find our faith and our spirituality when god has gone? even though i know that the famous are falliable i still fall for it. and it is a fall, like falling in love only a little less noble. there is something rather discpicable about the way we eulogise and mythologise the famous but i know i am guilty of it too.
for anyone that hasn’t spotted it allready this blog is named after a lyric in sheryl crow’s ‘if it makes you happy’
We went searching through thrift store jungles
Found Geronimo’s rifle, Marilyn’s shampoo
And Benny Goodman’s corset and pen
it’s a great referance to those objects of lust and attraction that are so purely because they are iconic of the celbrities they are synonymous with. when christies auctioned off most of the marlilyn monroe estate in 1999 it included everything from the ‘happy birthday dress’ to her plastic kitchen spatula. why would anyone want marilyn’s spatula? simply because it was hers.
i’ve been at fairly close quarters to people who have gained a modicum of fame, or notoriaty, and seen it from the inside. how people will start to talk differently to them, look at them differently. it is foolish and self-depreciating but…
put me in a room with my icons and watch me (metaphorically at least) drop to my knees.