Andy Warhol was supposed to have said that that in the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes (apparently, he didn’t. Probably he said it was just five).
As a writer I can’t help but notice that the scramble to be seen is becoming ever more frantic. In 2018, there were more than 1 million indie authors on Amazon, most of them hoping, at the very least, to sell a few books – and in their secret dreams, to become a household name like Lee Childs or E.L.James And that’s just the scribblers – there’s also the photographers, the fashionistas, the cat lovers, the travellers and those people who unwrap packages on YouTube. Nude.
So if I fail in the scramble to get my head up above the writhing masses, what then? If a book falls in the forest and no one is there to see it, has it really fallen? Who am I talking to, and does it matter if they don’t reply? Does anyone else feel there’s something a bit silly about jumping up and down like a kid in a classroom yelling “Pick me, Miss, pick me!”
Times have changed for attention seekers. The attention we crave has become scarcer than a self-deprecating comment by Donald Trump; if you want it, you have to get busier, louder, sexier. The market is glutted. Maybe instead of trying to catch the world’s ear, we should talk to the people who live next door. If it’s worth saying to a thousand people, it’s worth saying to one.
Which leads me to wonder – if you were absolutely guaranteed your 15 minutes of fame, what would you do with it? Is there something you’d like to say to the world that can be said in under 15 minutes and that is so important that you’d gladly give those 15 minutes of a lifetime over to saying it?
Come on then – what would it be? (And going from the, um, philosophical to the frivolous, here’s my song about bras – they shit me.