During the coronation of a new Pope, it is traditional for a monk to hold up a burning piece of flax. After it burns, the monk says, “Pater sancte, sic transit gloria mundi,” which is translated as “Holy Father, thus passes the glory of the world.” Catholics are supposed to remember that despite the power of the Pope, he is still a mortal man.
This is how we get the expression — “Fame is fleeting.”
Bookfraud was down on himself last week because so many novelists publish their first novel before they are 30: Jonathan Safran Foer, Zadie Smith and Gary Shteyngart. And he felt that the deadline had passed.
I can relate. We all want to be acknowledged for our work. It would especially cool to be famous.
But let’s think about this “fame” business a bit. Is writing a book really going to give us what we want?
Jonathan Safran Foer? Gary Shteyngart? Seriously, I bet you that 95% of the American public think these are the names of the two main characters on “Two and a Half Men.”
What is fame anyway?. American Idol has millions of viewers, but how many of the contestants will be remembered? How many CDs have you bought that were released by any of the former contestants? Quick — who won the runner up in season two?
From 1915-1922, the biggest female box office star in Hollywood was Mary Pickford. From 1923-1926, it was Norma Talmadge. Other than Danny from Jew Eat Yet?, do any of you know anything about these hugely popular actresses — the superstars of their day?
The #1 Blog on Technorati is Techcrunch. Enough said. No one will remember Techcrunch in 100 years.
In Junior High, I was forced to memorize this poem. At the time, I was too young to understand it. But now —
OZYMANDIAS by Percy Shelley
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter’d visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp’d on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock’d them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
Every single writer, politician, movie star, and celebrity will eventually be forgotten.
But all is not hopeless. There is one celebrity from today who will be remembered forever — Arnold Palmer.
Yes, Arnold Palmer, was once the greatest golf player of the day. But like, Mary Pickford, a person can only be at the top of the game for so long. Eventually a Tiger Woods comes along, and everyone starts to ask, “Arnold who?”
Arnold Palmer, however, was a marketing genius. He instinctively knew the lesson of Ozymandias. By creating a drink — the Arnold Palmer — half lemonade/half ice tea — he did what no other celebrity could do — made sure that his name would be famous forever. Just today, I was eating lunch in Beverly Hills, when I saw a beautiful women calling her waiter over to order an “Arnold Palmer,” her lips smacking in anticipation. Can you imagine what it must be like to have women all around the world wanting you like that?
Arnold Palmer is the only media consultant who deserves to speak about “branding” at web conferences. Arnold Palmer — the ultimate brand. There’s even a drink named after him.
I was once misguided enough to think that this blog would give me fame and glory. Every day, people would wake up, rub their eyes, turn on their computers , and come to Citizen of the Month, ready to be astounded. I had this illusion that even if flying robots from Mars were destroying the United States outside, my loyal readers would not flee for their lives until they finished writing a witty comment on my latest post.
But is this loyalty a constant?
Already, I’m noticing newer and more exciting blogs catching your eye, your attention spans dulled by years of MTV, video games, and prescription drugs.
Luckily, I have a plan for when this blog loses its buzz. The Neilochka — 1/3 Pomegranate Juice, 1/3 Cranberry Juice, and 1/3 Seltzer.
Please, start ordering it NOW at your favorite watering hole. Remember to order it by NAME. “I’ll have a Neilochka.”
This is the only way it will catch on, insuring that my name will live in glory forever.
The Year, 2246
Bar, Moon of Saturn Outpost #23A
Beautiful Female Cyborg: I’ll have a Neilochka, straight up!
Bartender: Excellent choice. Coming up!
Beautiful Female Cyborg: I’ve been wanting a Neilochka all day. I’ve always wondered why this delicious drink is called a Neilochka.
Bartender: At Harvard Bartending School, they taught us that Neilochka created this drink. He was a famous blogger about 200 years ago.
Beautiful Female Cyborg: He must have been an amazing person. No one could create this wonderful drink without having been super talented. If I lived back then, I would have definitely f**ked him. What else do you know about him?
Bartender: Supposedly he was very famous. Very popular. Did this thing called blogging.
Beautiful Female Cyborg: Blogging? What the hell is that?
Bartender: I have no idea. But, he’s certainly remembered for this drink! I better stop talking and get back to work before I’m dooced.