Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ordinary is Underrated

What's wrong with being ordinary? It's a question I ask myself quite a lot whenever I see the tabloids hanging on every movement of those that have been dubiously crowned as 'elite'. If there wasn't a market for exposing every blemish, every pregnancy, every affair for the vast anonymous public out there to consume, the tabloids and the paparazzi wouldn't exist.

At one time I thought we had reached the apex of technological goofiness, and then Twitter came along. Tweeters and the tweets they send out are received by 'followers'. Why should any of us care when Jennifer Aniston tweets she has a zit? What difference does it make that Jason Alexander tweets he is for more gun control? Who would pay attention to Jason Alexander about anything? But there are those who aspire to be as close to fame as they can, any way they can.

Blogs like this, for example, can have 'followers'. I don't want any followers (not that I would get any). This is a way for me to pound out my thoughts. I have no problem with people reading this, and I have no desire to attract 'followers'. If anything, I would like to motivate people into being leaders. There are enough 'followers' in this world. In fact, there are too many.

Our latest psycho / killer / soon to be death row initiate in Colorado wanted to be famous. Instead, he's infamous. But, people exist in this world that don't care what kind of Number One they become. Some want to be the Number One loved person in the world, and then there are those who realize they can't aspire to that level and choose to be the Number One hated person in the world. HEY! At least they're number one. Right?

American Idol, America's Got Talent, Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, are engines that drive people to reach for the stars of fame or the quick buck and maybe have a few minutes of being on TV. All the reality shows are full of people who just want to be on TV. And, millions of Americans tune in to see what the latest idiot is doing in the swamp or in Jersey or on some deserted Island trying to survive being voted off by the other twerps. Remember, if there wasn't a market for it, there wouldn't be a show or article or photograph about it.

So, is it a disadvantage to be ordinary? Is it a crime to be a faceless member of a crowd? What's so bad about people's lives that they show such an interest in someone else's life that wouldn't spit on them if they were on fire? I just don't get it. With fame you lose your anonymity. No longer can you go into a restaurant and not be noticed. You know, there's value in being anonymous. With fame comes money, and then come the hanger's on that once were like you....wanting to be with someone famous....that drain you of your soul, spirit, self-worth, and eventually your bank account. When you're famous, there are thousands of people who want a piece of you and attack like piranha.

When a movie came out that Elvis Presley wanted to see, he had to rent the entire cinema and go late at night for a private screening. Only his closest associates and friends were with him, and it had to be kept quiet that he was coming to the theatre. After what happened in Colorado, this isn't such a bad idea, but back in those days it was safe to go see a movie (still is, in my opinion). Can you imagine the crowd outside the cinema if the news had gotten out that Elvis was going to be there? He was a prisoner inside his vault of money and fame. He had no life like ordinary people have. You lose a goodly amount of personal freedom when you become famous.

Me? I write books and hope to be wealthy one day. It is possible to be rich and not famous. I can do without the fame. Just throw money. I have no desire to have my face plastered on the television or to have papparazzi following me around everywhere or to have my 'followers' panting with anticipation to receive my next tweet. I don't tweet, by the way. Never will. What I want to do is write a book that about a million people want to read. Not because of me, but because they like the story. That will result in me getting to my goal. The American Dream. Will it happen? Probably not. All my life money has seemed to run from me like a scalded dog. I am doing well right now, financially; but I am not rich by any stretch of the imagination. Rich is where you can throw away your alarm clocks and wake up naturally every morning if God so wills you get another day. That's my definition of rich. I haven't gotten there yet, but I'm working on it.

In the meantime, relax in being ordinary. Ordinary is a good thing. In fact, it's something to not only be proud of, but to be thankful for. Ordinary people is what makes this nation great. Not those hacks in Hollywood who live lives that are just as make believe as their movies. It is the ordinary where we usually find extraordinary things and actions. Three men in Aurora, Colorado threw themselves in front of their girlfriends to save their lives. Up until that moment, these were ordinary men. They ended up sacrificing their lives to save others. I call that outstanding behavior. These men didn't want to be famous. They just wanted to watch a movie. In the end, they have captured the imagination of an entire country. I will say this. Kudos and a big HATS OFF to Christian Bale for visiting the victims in the hospital. Maybe there is some 'ordinary' goodness in some of those Hollywood guys after all. So, remember...ordinary is a good thing. Fame is not. From what I've seen in the history of famous lives, it sucks the life right out of them. Goodnight Marilyn, Janis, Jimi, Elvis, Michael, Jim Morrison, et al. See what I mean?

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