Fifteen Minutes?

I was thinking about this yesterday as I watched video of the disappointed fans of Susan Boyle – some of them with tears in their eyes after her loss on “Britain’s Got Talent” – mourning this “stunning” defeat of their hero. I was thinking that perhaps Andy Warhol was a better prognosticator than we all thought when he predicted that at some point in the future “everyone will have fifteen minutes of fame.” Maybe we’re to the point where that is down to ten minutes or less, but really, his comment in 1968 has certainly proved to be more accurate than all of the “experts” who predicted that the 21st Century would see flying cars, meals consisting of pills, and the 12 hour work week.

Well, the 12 hour work week is kind of accurate if you average in all of the unemployed and underemployed people in the country (like myself), but I don’t think that was the intent of the prediction, so again, that leaves Warhol almost alone in successful predicting.

There are plenty of stories about fame being gained on Youtube and other similar sites. Twitter is now starting to make people famous. There are also people seemingly intent on becoming “infamous” in these days of quick and fleeting fame. But to what end?

Now, of course, many embark on campaigns to become “internet famous” just for the chance to market themselves and make a lot of money. The “Octomom” now has a family of 14, but apparently the deals didn’t work as well as she thought. She doesn’t have a popular television show like Jon and Kate, and neither does she have the best selling books, the $10 million dollar, 24 acre estate in Virginia that they do, although I’m sure she was counting on that happening.

I really don’t know if someone “discovered” Susan Boyle and helped her market herself to fame and apparent fortune, but it would be sad to find out that they did. Like most people, I love the surprise celebrity of someone who has been obscure and ignored by the world and by the good things in life, the someone who when finally given the chance proves to be worth as much as the many privileged who occupy the celebrity shelf in our society.

I hope that Susan makes as much money as she can in the next year or so, and that she invests wisely, because after about a year she’s going to go from “Hey, you’re Susan Boyle!” to “Didn’t you used to be Susan Boyle?” If she’s smart, she can be set for life. I hope she’s smart.

As for me (and the rest of us)? Well, we will continue to toil away, hoping that someday, somehow we will move into the spotlight for the fifteen minutes Warhol promised.

In the mean time, at least we have each other… Don’t we?