If the last twenty years of the Internet has taught me anything, it’s that being popular has nothing to do with being talented. But it’s also taught me that being popular is a lot like being in an abusive relationship, so, this is where I would make a comparison to the pronunciation of tomato, but that really loses something in a blog post when you can’t actually hear me saying the word aloud in two distinctly different ways.
Popularity is truly a subjective mythical concept used as a salve to cool one’s blistering ego. I have to imagine the worst part of being popular are the fans who made you so. The real American Dream is to knock every last one of our god-damned idols off those goddamned pedestals they’re not even grateful to us for putting them on in the first place. Sonsabitches. There are few things we do better than overcompensate in defense of our terrible choices and their devastating consequences. We are masters in the art of hating what we love. It’s better than caffeine at getting our righteous asses out of bed. We’ve got a shit-ton of people to judge and don’t want to waste any time doing it.
Or so I have observed through the miracle of awareness.
Constant validation, whether it’s the need to give it or receive it, is just plain ol’ fucking exhausting. It’s draining to be so needy, and it’s tedious to be clung to so desperately. Popularity is nothing more than a ping-pong game of constant validation between crazy people and their egos. (I guess it’s a mixed-doubles tourney.) Supporters need to legitimize their embarrassingly over-the-top love for you, and you need to perpetually reaffirm your worthiness of it. It’s way worse when obscene amounts of money enters into the scenario. But that’s what popular culture is… the insane pursuit of popularity, and the reality of its pimps who are nothing more than glorified door-to-door vacuum-cleaner salesman.
My Mom bought a bad-ass Kirby from a door-to-door vacuum salesman. She used that thing for twenty years. It was a beast.
All anybody really wants out of life is to get by doing what we love to do. The problem is: a lot of people love stupid stuff and are mired in their own short-sighted selfishness. Myself included, of course. This is why I feel I can write on the subject. Most of the time I feel like I live in some limbo-like state of muted unconventional-ness, increasingly gaining momentum with each passing anniversary of my birth. I’m different… but everyone is different. And my lack of conformity is laughable in a subjective existence.
I say this with a modicum of experience on the topic, but with out any bitterness (anymore). Ahh, the ambivalence of cynicism.
Someone super-popular once said, “No one here gets out alive.” Then he died of a heart attack in his bathtub at the age of twenty-seven.