Feb 092015

Wouldn’t it be nice if some famous person—some extremely famous and successful person—an actor or musician at the very top of their field—famous for not only their artistry but also their style, their poise, their savoir faire, their beauty, their perfect-looking mate (or mates), their access to the very best of everything in this dazzling buffet of a world—were to confess to some interviewer on national TV that their life was utterly empty, bereft, devoid of meaning; that she or he was bored of sex, bored of material gratifications, emotionally bankrupt, dead to pleasure, dead to any sense of hope; and the only thing she or he really had left, the only remaining currency of value to her or him, was the undiminished rabid envy of millions and millions of strangers?

And now, she or he would relinquish even this, just so that “kids out there should know, and it might help them get their heads straight about what fame is.”

I think there must be many actors and rock stars who subsist on the thin spiritual gruel of adulation and envy. They don’t start out that way, but I imagine that Big Success gradually strips them of all else.

I have at times bought into the myth that “You’re nobody if you’re not famous.” But I think it’s probably the other way around: Fame inevitably costs you a piece of your soul. The more famous you are, the more of your soul you stand to lose.

Though that wouldn’t necessarily be true in all cases, would it? Are there any truly content, well-adjusted super famous people out there, or are some of the more skilled deceivers among them just fooling us?

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