Tag Archives: fans

House of Mirrors

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This post is inspired by a comment left by one of my many followers (I think I have three, maybe four). He had read about my receiving a gift and dinner from a friend for Christmas, and commented something to the effect of “Must be nice. Me? no gift. no lady.” I assured him that my life isn’t one long party. That I spent Christmas and New Year’s alone with my cat. Blogging, no less. And furthermore, being alone is pretty much how things are for me, the vast majority of the time. But this got me to thinking, when you are sad, feeling sorry for yourself, it always feels like other people are having the time of their lives. What an incredible distortion! I think most people are discontented with their lives, and yearn for something better. And, for sure, people love to complain. It is stating the obvious to say that there isn’t enough love in our lives. Sometimes our need for love can lead to those incredible distortions. Actually his reaction to my pleasant time with a friend, resembled my reaction to Margaret Cho, imagining that she was this rich, hot-shot celebrity who didn’t read the comments on her blog. Then discovering that she isn’t rich, isn’t really a celebrity, certainly no hot-shot, and she definitely reads the comments. In my lonely apt. I conjured up this distortion from what I imagined she was like. I feel like an asshole, but hey! people do that all the time, that’s why the National Enquirer does so well. People want to think all kinds of crazy things. But my point is about the distortion which warps how we relate to one another. That’s what I’m calling the House of Mirrors. Because it is all you, being reflected back in all kinds of crazy ways.

It is really difficult to step outside of the ego and see people as they are. We make assumptions on very skimpy evidence, or even no evidence. Once again, this same gentleman who commented before. (I assume he is a gentleman. He hasn’t yet confided in me about the human body parts stored in his refrigerator.) commented on my way too revealing blog post Why am I sad? I regret that one somewhat because I was in pain when I wrote it, and I do think that the internet probably isn’t the best place to pour your heart out. But I posted it, and so it stays! Besides, after I read it again, it isn’t quite so bad as I thought, some people might actually understand it and relate to it. But all my follower had to say was “I think I saw her on tv. The program with the guy showing all the old pictures?” Despite this less than erudite comment, I knew what show he was referring to, and yes Margaret Cho was on it. But that was all this guy had to say about an emotional piece of writing. So, my first reaction was “what an asshole! he probably has a beer in his hand as I speak” but this reaction is unfair to him. It could be that he had decided to follow my blog, and came across this screed not knowing quite what to say about it. You know how men are when it comes to feelings, at least he didn’t just ask me “So? Do ya think you’ll ever get to bang her?” But in any case, this is a classic case of distortion, getting my feathers ruffled based on very little evidence. He wasn’t rude. He just didn’t have much to say, but felt like he should say something. Sort of like the guy who asked Mrs. Lincoln after her husband was shot, “So how was the play?” He meant well, it was just an awkward moment. But this is one of the pitfalls of confiding feelings on the internet. You may get your feelings hurt by well meaning people. Not because of what they write, but because of that House of Mirrors which distorts communication. No hard feelings to my follower. You meant well, and no, I don’t think I will ever have the opportunity to bang her.

Given the insidiousness of this process, it is a wonder that we connect as much as we do, as a species. It is so screwed up when it comes to star-struck fans that it is practically impossible for a “celebrity” to really connect with a fan. The fan isn’t really listening to a word, instead it’s OMG I am really standing here talking to so-and-so, I can’t believe it. And then they probably can’t even remember what the “celebrity” said to them. Big time distortion. So I am learning a lot about how to use this blog, basically my primary purpose is to help in my own little way to get people to WAKE UP. Naturally I should start with myself. That is why I am not going to withdraw, but I may be a tad bit more cautious. I may not do any more blogging while I’m upset. Wait until I cool down to write. That would be smart.

I will finish this post with a little story having to do with “celebrities” and how I relate to them.

Back in the early eighties I was working in a small grocery, and one day Bill Murray strolls in. I don’t say anything to him. I had the attitude (and still do) that celebrities are no big deal and I am a celebrity who hasn’t been discovered yet. I refuse to be some stupid fan asking for an autograph. It just felt demeaning to me somehow. So Bill cruises around the store, and keeps coming over to me to ask where various items are. Items that are sitting in very plain sight, right in front of his nose. And I point them out to him and he thanks me. All this time, I’m thinking, “He can’t understand why I’m ignoring the fact that he is Bill Murray. Doesn’t this kid know who I am? Doesn’t he watch SNL? What’s this kid’s problem? I’m Bill Murray!” It was like he kept pestering me hoping that I would finally say “Hey aren’t you Bill Murray?” and ask for an autograph. He was probably used to that. My coworker whispers to me “that’s Bill Murray!” and I say “Yeah. I know.” Of course I don’t know if that was what was going on, maybe Bill just didn’t want to find these items himself, but it’s kind of a funny story. There was another time when I did approach a “celebrity”, Jimmy Page walked into the store where I worked, buying up all the Aleister Crowley books he could find, and I struck up a conversation with him about Crowley and asked about his concert that night. He was a very ordinary down-to-earth guy, and we had a fun conversation. The people I worked with were flipping out, “I can’t believe how you just talked to him as if you’d known him for years!” Well, in a way I had. I knew his music pretty well. But I just wasn’t starstruck. I’m not like that. At least I’m not like that when I encounter “celebrities” in person. One time I had a chance to talk to William S. Burroughs and didn’t. I have regretted that. I was pretty young though. I wish Bill Burroughs were still alive. I think he and I would have some interesting conversations. If I ever meet Margaret Cho, I am sure we would enjoy each other’s company.

Oh, and you know that post “why am I sad?” I might go back and rename it “why do I cry when I go potty?” just to lighten it up a bit.

Why do I feel sad?

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I will never, even if I live to be a hundred, figure myself out!!

I checked Margaret Cho’s website just now, to see if she had posted anything about the celebrity=fan relationship. Her response to that was surprising (well, not that surprising), but oddly disconcerting to me. Why the hell would a nice, honest, positive, response from someone I admire, upset me? She said I was supportive, but that she didn’t feel like a celebrity at all, and felt she led an ordinary life, and considered her fans her friends. So, does that mean I am a friend? That feels strange to me, given that we have never met. And it makes me uncomfortable. In fact, I am uncomfortable writing about it. There is a part of me that wants to stop checking out her website, and just move on with my life. I don’t want to care about her. I want to regard her as a celebrity, not a human being. If you are reading this and thinking ‘I think this guy is fucked up’, I couldn’t help but agree. But here’s the deal, like I wrote before, it is a mistake to get hung up on Margaret Cho. In spite of what she wrote, there is no way that she and I are ever really going to be friends. Her response gave me hope, and I don’t want hope. Clearly, I need to create some distance, because it is fucking painful to care about someone. I’m sure if she were here right now, she would say “I don’t understand why you are making such a big fucking deal out of all this? Why is caring about me a problem? Why can’t it be wonderful?” Damn good question. It’s not like I think we could ever hang out together. That is what upsets me about her saying her fans are her friends. I am cynical about that. I am sure that there are people you hang out with, and those you don’t, I can’t believe she invites everybody into her life. Nobody could do that, even if they wanted to. You see how crazy I get? I don’t want to be liked, or considered a friend by someone I have put on a pedestal. This actually has to do with how I relate to people in general, not just Margaret Cho. I write about the illusion of intimacy, but the truth is that I prefer an illusion. I am afraid of real relationships. Margaret Cho’s response should have pleased me to no end, instead it brought out my insecurities. So I feel sad. I can’t really account for it, although I have certainly tried in all that verbiage you just read.

It is definitely possible to let someone get to you too much! This is an opportunity for me to more honest and brave. I am not really sure of what I am trying to write about, except as a warning to other lonely men out there who might become attached to someone like her, because of her honesty, bravery, and ordinariness, I guess the challenge is to not keep looking for something from her to make you happy. You have to open up to yourself, and come from a place of friendship, instead of skepticism, in your daily life. All of this really isn’t about Margaret Cho, it is about myself.

Like I said, sometimes I discover that I really don’t know myself very well at all.

There is a God

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Finally! A bit of acknowledgement from Margaret Cho!  I had been bitching about that for a few days now, and I have no idea if she read any of it. But, in any case, she thanked her fans for their comments as part of saying Happy New Year. It was nice. There is a God.

I left a comment asking if she would write a post addressing that sticky subject of celebrity and fan interaction. It can be tricky, and it can be fun and heart warming as well. I guess it depends on the fan, and on the celebrity. It’s weird because I hate the whole idea of fan and celebrity. I don’t want to be a fan. I want to be a celebrity, and I am. I just haven’t been discovered yet. Actually, I could give a rat’s ass about celebrity. I have no desire to be famous. I do like the idea of getting my ideas and my humor, and my sparkling personality (Please stop! this is getting sickening) Ok, I’m not all that. But I do think I have something to contribute. Since George Carlin and Bill Hicks died, someone needs to pick up the torch. Margaret has to a large extent, but hey! can’t there be more than one torch?

Anyway, I hope I see a post from her about all this stuff. I would feel vindicated. My voice is being heard! I didn’t  have to pitch a tent in her yard and call it Occupy Cho.

Thanks, Cho

And the Rant Continues

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This is an expansion upon the theme I began as a post on Facebook, regarding celebrity’s lack of communication with their fans. I think it is a wonderful idea to create a blog relating your life, for your fans to read. I really enjoyed reading Margaret Cho’s blog, for instance. Unlike many other celebrities she really lets you know how she feels and what her life is like. But there is also a problem with that. You create the impression that if a fan comments on your blog, you will respond. The unwritten and unspoken agreement is that being a fan is a one way street.

The internet is a dangerous place, psychologically. It creates some dangerous illusions. The illusion I’m writing about here is the illusion of intimacy. I just gotta tell ya that it isn’t really much fun to comment on someone’s blog over and over, and get no acknowledgement. Not only is it not intimate, it isn’t anything. No communication. Nada! I hate the fact that I allowed myself to get sucked in to this illusion. It is a fact that we live in a world that is starved for love, starved for real communication, and crave an end to the endless bullshit. I know I am not alone in these feelings. So when you think you have found a kindred spirit, you are thrilled, and take an interest in everything about that person. Then you come to the realization that none of it means a damn thing. It is nothing more than a comedian hoping to get some traffic to her site so that she can sell some DVD’s, and get some people to come to her performances, watch her tv show etc etc. Well, maybe that is a little harsh. I suspect she cares about her fans. But it was foolish of me to expect any kind of response to my comments on her blog.

Oh well, enough about that! I tell myself that if I were a celebrity I would be different!!! I would acknowledge every comment, I would value every fan I have. Blah blah blah. Actually I would probably be a lot like Margaret Cho.