Thursday, December 17, 2054

Chapter Eleven

William Goldman, for those of you who don't know, has written a bunch of terrific books and screenplays. In Stephen King's novel It, he is said to be the only good writer ever to go to Hollywood and remain good. Its been said that Goldman had a rocky relationship with Hollywood. He once said, "Nobody knows anything". He was referring to the fact that the geniuses at the studios through ridiculous amounts of money at pictures like Ishtar and Howard the Duck and then nobody is willing to shell out ten bucks to see them. On the other hand, some nobody (at the time) has a bake sale to finance his movie and...Voila...American Grafitti; ...Shazzam...Blair Witch Project!

The heads of the studios are constantly making Grand Pronouncements about what the public wants to see, and guess what...if they're right two times out of five, they're actually doing really well. For a while, they might even convince themselves that they possess superior insight...but in the end, the fact remains; Nobody knows anything!

Which, coincidentally, is the point of this part of my story. When I got home from my lunch with Darrell, there was an even larger crowd than before. I ducked into the house aided by a flying wedge of State Troopers and a string of "No Comments".

The answering machine was overflowing again, and I was amazed to discover that most of the interview requests had been left after the Rose Garden fiasco. Apparently, one-hundred minus one hundred equals three-hundred in the new math. Who knew?

I've had a lot of time to think about the nature of celebrity over the last year. To me, the most interesting point of debate is whether the media covers celebrities because the public clamors for it or if the coverage itself is what creates the celebrity and thus, the public demand. And I'm talking about all of the media. The serious guys like to claim the high ground, but they're in it knee deep, just like The National Enquirer.

Example? Explain to me the cult-status Princess Diana's death created. The public claimed they were watching every minute because it was the only thing on the air or in print for a week solid. And they had a point; you couldn't avoid it. The media claimed they were only giving in to public demand. Considering the millions of people who got out of bed at 3:00 a.m. on the east coast to watch the funeral live, apparently the media had a point, too.

Or consider our year of All Monica, All the Time! The media spent a year apologizing while the kept trying to come up with better euphemisms for blowjob and dildo. The public said "Enough already", and ate up every minute of the coverage anyway. Monica spend a year running to limos in her sunglasses and ball-caps trying to avoid the cameras and then she showed up on Saturday Night Live. Way to dodge that spotlight, girl!

Anyway, the point is when the coverage of my story began, it was a legitimate news story. At some point, it had become self-perpetuating. As far as I could see, my fifteen minutes should have been up. The original story was about something I'd done. Now, they were covering everything I said. Who the hell was I that anyone should care what I had to say?

So here's the questions I was asking myself. Was he media creating my blip of celebrity or just catering to the public's curiosity? And more importantly, when was it all going to end?

I sure as hell didn't have any answers and I doubt, I could find anyone, even now, who's got a clue, because the fact remains; Nobody knows anything!

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