Illustration by Alec Borchardt.
For celebrities, they have each and every one of their obituaries already typed up, almost everyone’s, just waiting to go. See, the media hounds can’t be caught off guard. They have to have this stuff ready to print at a nanosecond’s notice, as soon as the first tweet about the murder, suicide, disappearance, overdose, execution, massacre, martyrdom blips onscreen. They can’t be unprepared.
You know this. They, these public figures, know this. They are somewhat always aware, constantly aware, the tepid breath of the thing postponed second by second. A thing they could never dare themselves to read, even if they had the option. It would be simply too much. And now they see each new accomplishment as being weighed against this final judgment. Will this premiere really mean anything? Sure, it’s a hit now, but will I really be remembered for this? Will I be remembered for anything at all?
You and I don’t have that problem — although, we wish we did. On the bus or the light rail, we like to watch the other stupid idiots in the city go by and think, someday they’ll know about me. Someday, you whisper to yourself as you watch strangers in an airport bookstore pick up a New York Times Bestseller and read the spine, they will be picking up my book and reading the spine.
The jet lag doesn’t dampen your inner demand to be in first class, either, but it won’t be long. Sooner than later, you tell yourself, people will finally listen eagerly to your opinions on, well, everything. You have so much to say about the economy, but more importantly, you can tell your story, beginning to end, without being interrupted. You can finally let out all your secrets and the public will completely embrace you in their enthusiastic, mass media bear hug.
Only, you know that isn’t true. There are no heroes anymore, we remember numbly as the blogger hounds tear yet another childhood icon to shreds with newly revealed allegations of this and that. Is anyone not a secret pervert? You are afraid to consider even this, unsure if the question will bring you under extra scrutiny.
Worth the risk of them finding my skeletons, you consider, as you create another Vine or leak your own nudes and wait for them to contact you (Who are they, exactly? You’re not sure. But you’d better make sure they have your email address).
And if you do go viral — what then? Will you be smart enough to invest your YouTube millions? Altho, these days, you’re lucky if you get a few dimes from Google. Maybe that doesn’t really matter — so long as your name, your sarcastic face, is always the very first search result.
Mene Tekel is a half-assed visual artist living in Phoenix. Here is his website wait he doesn’t have a website (loser) and here is his twitter and here is his social security number: 440-88-0012