MINISTRY OF CULTURE
Lesson # 21 : FAME
"Fame! I'm gonna live forever. I'm gonna learn how to fly. High." So sang Irene Cara, who (as far as this correspondent is aware) has yet to fully achieve either of her promises. But she's like that. More full of stuff and nonsense than Dali's Lunchbox. But that aside, it's an interesting notion, this fame thing, and what's more, it's on the syllabus, so get your notebooks out. There will be a test at the end of term.
WHAT IS FAME?
Fame, is, when people outside your immediate acquaintance-ship know who you are. Or rather CARE who you are.
I mean, there are plenty of people who know who you are, but couldn't give the slightest toss if you lived or died. Like your corpulent boss, or your ginger-haired neighbour or that pudgy-faced monkeywoman in the sweetshop; these people know you, but if a piano got lodged up your arse, they wouldn't even stop to play a tune.
No - they have to care who you are; they have to want to read what kind of soup you eat (or er, drink), and where you get your hair-cut. They want to worry on end about your choice of life-partner and whether or not your jumper fits. Yes, these people want a part of your life, and they will stop at nothing to get it. Nothing, do you hear me? NOTHING.
"You ain't even dogshit in this town, unless you got a stalker." So says HRH Queen Elizabeth the second, according to Fat Tony who drinks in my local, and he is very well connected. And in these apocalyptic times, as this fat wheezing planet spins grandly into further realms of chaos, this sort of glib statement is fast becoming fact.
Stalkers are everywhere, and they are getting more and more organised. They will find out where you live and go through your trash. They will write you letters saying: "Please don't pretend you don't love me, what about the time I shook your hand in the queue at Lewisham Tescos, did that mean nothing? You bastard. I made you famous, and now you're gonna pay. I hate you, and place a wet-knickered curse on all your children, you piece of pungent penile discharge. All my love, for all eternity, your biggest fan."
Threats like these are common-place, as the disturbed individual plummets further and further into a fantasy land. But, worry not, psychologists tell us that a very small and insignificant minority of stalkers become violent. Which must come as a great comfort to the two remaining Beatles who haven't been shot or stabbed.
AND THE GOOD SIDE OF FAME IS?
So far I have made fame sound about as much fun as killing a policeman and going on the run. But it can be fantastic, or else why would shameless self-publicists like Puff Daddy go to absurd sartorial extremes to get their picture in the paper? (What does he look like?)
Well, like most things in these depressing days, it comes down to naked, grasping, sweating, tooth-clenched greed. When you think of the benefits, it's easy to see why. Think of it: the money, being on the guest list everywhere, all of the groupies, the travel, the premieres, the hotels, the people you go, the places you meet, the drugs you take.
Another advantage is you "go down in history" - like Monica Lewinski did, several times.
For instance, everyone above 30 remembers where they were when Elvis died. I remember very well, I was at my grandmothers, who like Elvis, is also dead. But that's where the similarity between Elvis and my dear departed grandmother ends. He made 24 movies, she made only 20 with the help of Granpa Summy's home cine-camera. He used a stunt double in Fun in Acapulco, she sucked a boiled sweet in "Walking through Woking." He wore a one-piece white rhinestone jumpsuit and swiveled his hips, she wore fur-lined suede boots with a zip up the side, and pushed a tartan shopping trolley. And most significantly of all, everyone remember's where they were when Elvis threw a seven, but no-one knows where they were when my Gran popped her cork, exept us Summy's; and that's only because we needed alibis.
HOW TO BECOME FAMOUS
If you are a good guy, you are famous, if you are a bad guy you are infamous. But only history will tell which. For instance, if the wheel had turned in a different direction, Robin Hood might have gone down in history as a malignant criminal rather than the folk hero he became. Kevin Costner might still have made a movie about his life, but he and Rickman would have played opposite roles. Similarly if the gunpowder plot had worked, Guy Fawkes might be regarded as a hero, as it is, he is a villain so we burn him annually, and no Costner movie seems likely. Although, after the piece of shit that was The Postman, anything's possible.
Here are some examples of how to become famous; I'll leave it to you to work out which ones you want to emulate, and which celebrities the models are based upon.
Method 1: Be in a band with your brothers, have some hits, go solo, have more hits, make some mad videos, pretend you're Jesus, molest children, pay off the parents so they won't go to court, get a chimpanzee, make some more records, talk in a funny voice like some sort of retarded Disney character, molest more children, buy a ranch.
Method 2: Appear in a rubbish sitcom no-one remembers, dye your hair grey, get a tan, appear in a rubbish hospital drama, appear in a Batman movie, make a last ditch attempt a credibility by starring in a Tarantino movie, get upstaged by Tarantino in said movie, make a string of bad romantic comedies, continue to appear in Hospital drama until something else turns up.
Method 3: Learn to paint, then forget how to paint, live with another painter, drink a lot, go mad, paint loads of mad pictures, cut your ear off.
Method 4: Pretend to rejuvenate the German economy, invade Poland, commit war crimes, lose war, disappear.
Method 5: Kill as many people as you can, put the bodies under the house, wear their skins, keep parts in the refrigerator, play cat and mouse games with the police, get caught, go to prison.
Method 6: Drive a truck, learn to sing, make a record, get to number one, stop driving truck, make some more records, join the army, leave the army, make a string of movies with lots of singing and no songs, go away, come back, move to a big house, take drugs, eat cheeseburgers, die on toilet.
Did you guess the celebrities? No, well it was a trick question. They were all David Copperfield, the creepy un-dead magician and voodoo chile.
Either way if you're still thinking of becoming famous, watch out, it's as dangerous as trying to get a piece of grit out of a lion's eye. With a hammer.
WHAT HAVE WE LEARNT?
- Fame is a double edged sword. Or is that a type of razor? I forget.
- Fat Tony can get you a Ellsworth Truth XC mountain bike for 75 quid
- Grandma Summy may have been nothing in the celebrity stakes, but she knew how to make a mean rock cake.
Until next time
dát spropitné má jméno