Fame, the remake of Alan Parker’s 1980 multi-Oscar-winner hits out screens this week and I will leave the critical stuff to the critics. Thirty years on the world has changed considerably. Fame seemed like an intangible whisper of a dream to all who cultishly fell in love with the original all those years ago – and we now have a generation who believe that it really could happen to each of us.
TV reality shows – the legal human ‘guinea pig’ studies of the most base of human behaviours can be blamed for much of this. Willingly subject yourself to being imprisoned with a bunch of strangers in a house, island, or jungle outpost and if you can hack it, you can achieve fame.
And before the reality shows, various chat shows including perhaps the most excruciating to watch, Jerry Springer invited us to air our dirty laundry in front of the nation. Worse still, they positively encouraged us to rip each other to shreds, often physically. And so we coined the term ‘fifteen minutes of fame’.
The talent shows – XFactor, Britains Got Talent et al are more focused on finding real talent, although one should not forget that TV executives control them and the ultimate goal is ratings and entertaining viewers.
And today, well we are all self-published – youtube, facebook, flickr and blogging allow us mere mortals our now ‘one minute of fame’ with various warnings from the sidelines about creating our digital footprint. What goes online stays online.
So what does fame mean? Our celebrity-obsessed culture seems to suggest that fame is the most desirable goal to attain. Aren’t we forgetting that success is synonymous with hard work, ambition, dedication and real talent? And to make that sustainable, one needs a raw, driven, relentless passion to follow our dreams.