Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


What Is It About Fame?

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 10:24 am

This entry from Communicatrix got me thinking:

She laments her unending addiction to fame and her desire to achieve it.

There are many embarrassing admissions one might make on the road to the Truth, but one of the most excruciating has got to be this taste for fame. It is profoundly uncool: a state seething with need, and we all know how wildly attractive a feature is need*.

I thought I was done with this need for fame once I set acting aside. As if. Those of you familiar with the treating of symptoms vs. the addressing of root causes are having a hearty chuckle now, no doubt.

It followed me, this back-clinging monkey, into the blogosphere, helpfully hitting the “refresh” button when we’d visit Sitemeter. How many people clicked on my site today? How about now? How about now?

As much as I try to push it away, I also have a desire for fame. For me, I think it is that brief glimpse of immortality that attracts me. Without fame, our lives are lived quietly and after our deaths, we fade in memories until there is nothing left of us. My great, great grandma? Gone. I am here because of her, but I have no memories of her. My mother has never told me the story of her. She is wiped from the face of this planet with only a grave marker somewhere.

With fame, however, we still remember. Caligula? Emily Dickinson? Ludwig van Beethoven? All childless with no progeny to remember them, but we all remember them, for better or for worse. Fame is the atheist’s clinging grasp at immortality.

Is it all that bad?



  1. Very provocative, Laura.

    Haven’t we all wondered what would become of us later? Don’t we all have a tinge of guilt that we have not done more to protect and preserve the names of those who have gone before us?

    I haven’t worried too much about my heritage, afterall, my parents are “the genealogists” in the family, wouldn’t their knowledge someday just distill upon me? Maybe I could just rent the movie??

    When my grandfather died this year (after whom I am named) I felt a sudden, deep urge to make sure… to be sure… that I connected wherever possible with those in older generations of my family, and tried to find ways to pass down, or pass along, who and what they are to those two and three generations younger than me… still yet to be born in the ages to come.

    Where does this need come from? There is a nobility to preserving our own heritage, isn’t there… and a very human ability to not care about it until all the pages worth preserving are turned to dust and lost.

    Comment by Robert Merrill — 7/8/2008 @ 10:41 am

  2. Interesting, b/c I’m not an atheist; if anything, I’m more the type who believes in reincarnation but hopes to christ it’s not true. (Come back here…again?!!)

    And I’ve also never been a LOOK AT ME!!! type. Introvert, up and down the line, albeit one with a gift for gab and an urge to speak that overrides the urge to be alone now and again. But I was never one to don a lampshade at a party, as it were.

    I’m starting to wonder how much of it is me living out parental/grandparental dreams, or a need for validation of worth because of the way I was raised (i.e., to find it from external sources.)

    And yeah, there’s the living-on-after-me thing, but I feel less of a personal stake in it (my ideas living on) than profound agony at the thought of the waste (I went through this hell and no one benefits?!)

    Goddammit. I’m nuts, aren’t I?

    Comment by the communicatrix — 7/8/2008 @ 3:44 pm

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