Happy in my insignificance.

I am insignificant… at least in the eyes of most of the world.

There may be some who would disagree with that statement, like my Mother, wife, relatives and, I hope, my friends.

To the rest of the world, however, my life, and it’s passing, will remain largely unnoticed. There will be no state funerals, there will be no masses held in my honor and no black bands on arms to mourn my loss. I will simply be one more statistic in the book of life and death and one more headstone in the family plot.

When I put it in that context and then really read what I have just written, it does kind of bother me, but in reality I am not that hurt by the idea. That is not to say I would not mind having some notoriety, but in all, I am pretty happy being no-one important.

When you look at the price of fame and notoriety these days, is it really such a bad thing to be an unknown presences it the world?  I mean, when you think about it, people who are truly famous are not always that happy about the attention that they get, and I would have to think that they wish, themselves, that they were not so important to others.  Becoming a “someone” puts your life on display for everyone else’s scrutiny.  You are, so to say, unzipping your fly to the rest of the world and waiting for their reactions.  Suddenly the skeletons you once kept in your closet and the bodies in the back yard become public record.  Next thing you know you are “wrecking your car on the way to rehab” and “suing your dad”, as Brad Paisley put it in his song “Celebrity.”

If you look at people like Brittany Spears, David Letterman, etc…  and the issues that they have been through, and the things you hear in the news about famous people either being stalked or attacked, then it makes being insignificant seem very appealing, at least in my humble way of thinking.  I do think that there is something in all of us that would like a little fame, though.  I am not sure why this is, but there is something that makes some of us look for our “15 minutes of fame” that was predicted for all of us by Andy Warhol.

Personally, if I am ever to be known for something, I would like for it to be my writing.  I doubt that it will ever happen, especially with the whopping 10 average views per day that this site gets.  At that rate, I am not expecting anything short of a miracle to make my name known.  I have also been working on a book for the last several years, and that has gone through several rewrites.  The few people that I have let read excerpts from it do their usual nods and friendly “Mm-Hms” over the parts, but I see this as more of a friendly gesture than anything else.  They are being good people and urging me on, but I am not certain that they consider my work as much more than you might regard a fly getting too close to your BBQ ribs at a picnic.  But I will keep trying.  Maybe I will get lucky at some point and things will fall into place.

The question then becomes this…  Should I suddenly find myself with a book that becomes a hit, how do I tolerate the success?  I know… I know…  not every person that writes a book will become the next JK Rowling or Tom Clancy, and even if you do, that does not mean you will always be elevated to the level of popularity that they were…  you might even become the next Salman Rushdie, which would severely limit your mobility and quite possibly your life.  But both are forms of fame that come with something that you wrote.  Be they good or be they bad, they did elevate you, but that can almost be a Faustian deal, as I am sure Salman probably feels every February 14th.

No…  I am pretty sure that even if I am ever able to publish this book, or anything else of perceived importance , I would not really want the fame.  I would probably publish under a pen name, and then not let them put my picture on the cover, assuming that it was a good enough book to go to hard back or warrant a picture of me.  I would let the money role in from the sales, and remain happy in my anonymity.  I would make contributions to the various charities that I like, and help people where and when I could, but there would be no reason to ruin a good thing by letting people know who I am.  I probably would not even tell my close friends, just see if they happen to pick it up and read it… then listen to the comments that they make without them knowing who wrote the book to begin with.

If you are famous… good for you.  I sincerely hope that it turned out to be everything you hoped for, and that it did not have an adverse affect on you or your family.  But if you are like me… one of the great unwashed masses of the insignificant unknowns, then congratulations. Whether you know it or not, you are in good company.

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