Saturday, July 10, 2021


This morning K was responding to an article in face-place about the most famous people she ever had a conversation with. It made us question what makes someone famous. Naturally, the first thought was of celebrities, but very quickly we agreed that it should be much more personal than that.

When I went to check online who the most famous people in the world are currently, I found that I didn't know most of them and wouldn't want to know several others. Most of them - no surprise - are men. The most famous person has a nickname (The Rock) and was a professional wrestler. My grandfather spent some time as a pro wrestler and he was famous - to me. 

There is a book that was published last year that I might purchase to further my understanding of the phenomenon of worship of fame: Celebrity Mad: Why Otherwise Intelligent People Worship Fame, by Professor Brett Kahr. 

When I think of the famous people I have been introduced to (a very small list, admittedly) I cannot imagine any that I would be able to even have a conversation with. 

So, what is fame? Why would I, or anyone, get excited about these people? Yes, I might watch a movie with them acting in it. They might be in a position to change my life by making laws that I would like or not. But why would that make them important to me personally? 

As I wrote above, my famous people are the ones who have made a difference in my life. K is famous - to me. So are my children. Seeing the face of someone who makes a difference in your life should give you a warm feeling. It might give you the shivers; I always know something I am experiencing is important and wonderful when it sends a shiver up my spine. 

Nobody on that computer-generated list gives me the shivers. One makes me shudder, but that is different. 

 “Grown-ups love figures... When you tell them you've made a new friend they never ask you any questions about essential matters. They never say to you "What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies? " Instead they demand "How old is he? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father make? " Only from these figures do they think they have learned anything about him.”  - Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry, The Little Prince