This is the last week of the A to Z blogging challenge. Not long now. What words begin with X? They all seem to be medical conditions. The end of the alphabet sorts the wheat from the chaff. Throughout the month of April, I have been using the challenge to modernise the seven deadly sins with my suggested twenty six versions. Humans, it would seem, have an insatiable ability to sin.
X is for X Factor. We live in an age of celebrity. People used to be famous for doing something, such as being a film actress or a sports person. George Hamilton once said he was famous for having a tan. (Not George Hamilton the fourth, he is a country singer and is very pale, yet famous for doing something, however.) These days having a tan wouldn’t just make you a celebrity, it would make you a star. A star is a much over used word. (See O for over-exaggeration.)
Andy Warhol said that ‘In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes’ and these days people such as Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian are famous just for being famous.
It would seem that fame itself is worth pursuing. A lot of this is down to the weekly gossip magazines, such as Heat, reality television shows such as Big Brother and manufactured talent contests such as the X Factor. They have been the mainstay of much of our TV output of late. It is a cruel twist. They create the impression that all you have to do is to cavort on stage to have a lifestyle beyond dreams of avarice.
Of course none of this is true. Cream rises to the top through sheer hard work. Creativity and productivity comes through flow, a state of mind you achieve when you are fully immersed in a task, and not just through being recognized. Seeking fame for its own ends is a form of narcissism (see S is for Selfies) and is a sin.
Thou shalt not seek to be famous for nothing.