Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Fame

(This blog is also available in Timmerish formats)

Fame
I'm gonna live forever
I'm gonna learn how to fly
High

I feel it coming together
People will see me and cry
Fame

I'm gonna make it to heaven
Light up the sky like a flame
Fame

I'm gonna live forever
Baby remember my name

Remember
Remember
Remember
Remember
Remember
Remember
Remember
Remember

Remember my name

--Fame, Irene Cara
There was a time that I wanted to be famous. When I was in grade school, I wanted to be one of the Beatles and have girls scream when they saw me and chase me. At age six, I knew I wanted to be chased by girls, I just didn't know what I was supposed to do when they caught me.

As I got into junior high and high school, I wanted to be a jock and have the cheerleaders and drill team girls fawn over me. But I was an honor student and the drum major in band. Plus I played the bass clarinet. So fame eluded me even in the microcosm of high school (though I was in Idaho's all-state band one year...oh, and I was an alternate for the Junior Varsity Quiz Team).

In the waning years of high school and my first years of college, I decided that writing was going to be my ticket to fame. I worked part time in a public library shelving books and I swore that someday, some pimply faced kid was going to be shelfing a book with my name on it. That would mean I was famous. It never occured to me at the time that I shelved thousands of books by thousands of authors and most of them were pretty obscure and more often than not, dead.

After switching my college major six times I settled on Journalism as my path to professional writing and the fame that had eluded me. I transferred to Seattle University and started working on the school newspaper. Almost immediately I started writing a humor column called Healyiums (the editor named it). On a weekly basis I cranked out random stuff much as I do in my blog today. And for almost two years I was a god among men on that campus of about 3000 students (or so I saw myself). One time while paying my tuition at the beginning of a new quarter cashier at the office told me they read my column every week. And once, after a philosophy class, a girl in my class turned to me and said, "So you are Tim H****...I read your column. You don't look funny."

Yes, I had it all. And then I graduated. My fame dissipated as quickly as it appeared.

I entered the work world and my fame stymied by what I discovered was the relative anomity of being a copywriter or "communications" specialist as the bureaucratic world likes to call writers.

Then the World Wide Web appeared. I knew from the beginning that the Internet was Information Highway to fame. And for some reason I decided to hitch a ride on that Highway on Elvis' pink Caddie. I created Disgraceland (which became Dizgraceland after a dispute over domain names). It seemed like a good idea at the time. I mean, Elvis is huge and his fan base seemed unlimited. For some reason it never occurred to me that that fan base was pretty whacked out and that most of them didn't appreciate my humor, especially at what they perceived was the King's expense.

In the early years, Dizgraceland was featured in articles all over the world. Parade magazine contacted me and printed a photo of Friz-Elvis, the world's only Budgie Elvis impersonator. I had links in the Washington Post and newspapers as far away as Sidney, Australia wrote features on what they perceived as my grand obsession with Elvis.

But still, the fame was sporadic and unsatisfactory. I kind of got sick of getting hate e-mail from both Elvis fans and Elvis-haters.

And then about a year ago I discovered blogging. It was a new medium that allowed everyone to publish their own Web column about anything they wanted. It was an uncharted wilderness of creative space just aching to be filled with words...my words...my photos...my philosophy...dare I say it, my First Class ticket to fame.

Nawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww....

Blogs aren't the road to fame and fortune. At most, Blogs allow us to express ourselves on an electronic soapbox that potentially...potentially being the operative word here...reaches around the world. But there are millions of us out there screaming out from our dust specks like the Who's from Horton Hears a Who, "We are here, we are here, we are hereeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" And lets just face it. With all of us screaming out we are hear, we are hear, there aren't too many people left to listen.

So I've pretty much given up any illusion of fame in my life. It's one of those things that appears more desirable when you are young. But there is still part of me that wants to somehow be remembered after I die. Maybe it's my recent journey into genealogy that has taught me that for most people, even having your name remembered after you die is asking alot. And as cemeteries disappear and more and more people opt for cremation, even the hope of having a tombstone with your name on it is disappearing.

I guess my point here is that, if nothing else, blogging at least makes a mark in eternity (even if it is for a nano second). And with that, I'm going to live forever, so baby remember my name.
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