There is no worse hell than fame
Where everybody knows your name
Your life is just another thing to read about
in the section between politics and sports.
To be famous is to have contracted reverse leprosy
People are drawn to you for no discernible reason
They chase after you, screaming out your name
and they shoot you in the chest for not wanting to accept their gift,
a shoe box filled with their pubic hair.
Imagine that you are famous
Beloved by all and immensely talented
in the field of your choosing,
and everywhere you go people stop you and say,
"Hey! You're (Your Own Name). Did you know that?"
You smile and you nod and and admit it,
you are, in fact, yourself. They scream with glee
They ask if they can take a photo with you
Or, if you can shake their hand
Or, if you can write your name on something
Some of them will savor the memento,
others will sell them on the Internet.
This happens constantly.
You cannot go out in public
without hordes of people chasing you,
fighting with your personal security
for a chance to grab a piece of your skin
or massage the grease from your hair onto their fingertips.
If this was your life
would it make you happy
or would it make you sad?
Los Angeles, California
Your name is being trampled
beneath the feet of thousands daily.
Would it make you happy
or would it make you sad
to know that you will be remembered throughout history,
not for who you really were, but as a character,
all of your actions and achievements
condensed down into a sentence or two.
They say fame is fleeting
But if you have a Wikipedia page
you will be famous forever.
Fingers crossed that you do enough before you die
to be anything more than a stub article
flagged for deletion or merger
with the page of someone or something
that is more famous than you.
I have decided
I want to be famous
I want to be hated
I want to be famous for being hated
I want to be the most hated man in America
Blinded by photographers, you veer blindly off an escarpment, careening through a guard rail and scattering aluminum debris across the roadway. Vespa-mounted paparazzi collide into each other to avoid running into the jagged metal spikes left in your wake.
But by now, you are already rolling down the hill, surely dead by this point. Your body is smacked around the interior of the limousine like a rag doll. You are sucked violently out of the broken rear window and sent flying, only to land softly in a patch of cacti and poison oak.
As the dust settles, one photographer remains standing at the top of the hill. His video camera is pointed steadily at the smoldering wreckage and your mangled corpse. He is covered in ash and soot and he has twisted his ankle from jumping out of a moving car that was headed for a head-on collision with a semi-trailer in the opposite lane.
He will be paid handsomely for this footage. He will probably make enough money to take a break for a while and focus on his artistic photography. Maybe, one day, he will become a famous photographer like Ansel Adams or Terry Richardson. Maybe, one day, he will be lucky enough to have people want to take his picture.
Maybe he will be the greatest photographer of all time, his art inspiring peace across the globe to the point where he is worshiped as a God, and you will be remembered as the celebrity whose death, although tragic, is celebrated for giving rise to such an incredible genius.
Or, instead of that, maybe he will take the money he made off the footage of your death and lose it over a three-day blowout in Las Vegas with his best friends, and when he wakes up at the end of it all, with his hair stuck to the bathroom floor of his penthouse Bellagio suite, the room he spent your money on, he'll pour out the very last drops of vodka into a glass, raise it, and toast your life, and your death.