Culture

Baby Remember My Name

Zeitgeisters,

I’ve always thought of the lyrics of the song Fame (from the film of the same name) as particularly asinine. But maybe they’re quite accurate for some people. What I don’t like about them is the unreasonableness of wanting anything like this:

Baby look at me
And tell me what you see
You ain’t seen the best of me yet
Give me time I’ll make you forget the rest

I got more in me
And you can set it free
I can catch the moon in my hands
Don’t you know who I am

Remember my name
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

Its the fever-dream of someone who doesn’t know who they are.

Gen Xs and particularly Gen Ys are very in tune with the notion of being famous no matter what. We have seven seasons of Big Brother to show us that. But just maybe, there is something fundamentally untenable about wanting to be famous and especially wanting to stay famous. In the first case, you don’t know what its like until you get there, but after you’ve experienced it and you still want it, what excuses do you have?

Looks like Britney Spears needs to stay famous despite everything.

As you probably know by now. Britney appeared at the MTV Video Music Awards yesterday and failed once more at a comeback. Actually she was trying for a comeback from addiction and post-natal depression, but let that not stop the many pundits and disappointed fans for heaping scorn upon her for not being as young, hot and talented as she used to be.

Except she was never THAT talented. (Yes, I know she has a Grammy and co-wrote some of her hits.) The talent she had was for being a good dancer and an okay singer with a modicum of charisma, who had a scary will to succeed. Hers was the type of success that launched 1000 wannabe ‘Idol’ kids . Add to this, the male audience’s projection of jailbait sensuality that went with the whole faux catholic schoolgirl thing and for a while there, she was bigger than the biggest thing ever. But aren’t they all until they’re not?

As an artist with little else to offer other than channelling some okay tunes and some momentary distraction from the white noise, does Britney even need a comeback? She’s not Joni Mitchell, Patty Smyth, or Deborah Harry. She’s not even Pink. She has never for even a moment transcended pop and now she isn’t popular, some people have the temerity to criticise her for it. Maybe her not being famous for a time would be a good thing. Six months ago she was getting off her face regularly in public, shaving her head and attacking a paparazzo with an umbrella, why does she or anyone else expect her to be able to deliver the goods right now?

Many of the formerly famous work towards their second shot at fame. Or they accept a used-to-be famous status that means guest roles on television or worse still, on reality television. Clearly not being famous is a fate worse than death. The famous think so. And apparently many of us in the non-famous community think so, too.

Elevate the Insignificant

Mr Trivia

Text Portrait by Ralph Ueltzhoeffer
Fame written by Michael Gore and Dean Pitchford

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