Sunday, February 19, 2012

15 minutes of fame is more than enough

for example, does the young woman married today really want to be known as the 14 year old kidnapped at gunpoint and sexually abused? or the 13 year-old object of roman polanski's lust appreciate a case that never ends? notoriety not quite the same as justified adulation! yet confusion reigns in my mind. people famous for being famous, only in our virtual reality could such a mismatch occur. only postumous honor can be endured graciously.

at least i know my limits, that's what i tell myself. last night i attended (briefly) my boss's retirement party. i sought out fellow workers among the humongous crowd, my nerves humming like electric lines in a tornado. whew, got through that and in the men's room relieving myself, i realized i didn't have the stamina to stay, plus i had to drive home eighty treacherous miles in the tortuous feather river canyon, something i avoid doing at night. too many people have ended up in the river. some attendees did recognize me by my voice. and just before i left, the retiree introduced me to a friend as a 'legend.' 

flattered and alarmed, i jumped in my truck and listened to dylan thomas reading a child's christmas in wales. what a fantastic voice! alas, he died of darkness and drink. out, out, brief candle. what would it take to be a leonard  cohen, singing into his late seventies? a good reason can be seen in the early documentary about him, Ladies and Gentlemen... Mr. Leonard Cohen where he makes fun of himself, and of course, he did try a long rehabilitation at a zen monastery in california, in the end deciding he'd have to go on being nasty. it was more fun. 

this last week a famous singer bit the dust from drugs, a familiar cautionary tale for parents to tell their kids. get a job, you'll live longer. and as i go down the list of '11 things you need to do to live to a hundred,' i wonder if it's worth it. never retire, eat the same hearty food every day, keep to a routine, and so on. most of us would rather hitch our wagon to a shooting star. 

and though most don't know the name hank williams, everybody's heard the songs. he expired in the back seat of his cadillac at age 26. see the pictures here of the local show LOST HIGHWAY:  and