Found Fiction is a collection of quick stories about a single object that has been found on the streets— in this case in Rome. We only give ourselves 15 minutes to write, ensuring unfiltered creativity and tons of awkward mistakes. You can find the previous issue here.
It used to be that “famous” was “famous,” with no explanation necessary. A Hollywood star was famous, a musician on the radio was famous, a Nobel Prize winner was famous. But in this Internet era, and especially the social media era, what is “famous?” What do you have to be or do, to be considered famous? It means more than what Merriam Webster defines it to be:
1. Known about by many people.
According to this definition, Rebecca Black is famous and so is Antoine Dodson. Antoine Dodson acquired so many fans with his Bed Intruder YouTube video that he was asked to perform at the 2010 BET Awards. Rebecca Black’s Friday YouTube video got her 167 million views and interviews on morning news shows. Have 167 million people watched a movie starring Hollywood actress, Rooney Mara? Probably not. Does that make Rebecca Black more famous than a Hollywood actress? It depends on your definition of famous.
After Kanye West recently declared that his girlfriend and reality television star Kim Kardashian, deserves to be on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, spokesperson for The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, Ana Martinez, shed some light: “I hate to say it, but a lot of people just don’t like her. No one has ever nominated her.” So what is Kim Kardashian? Dare we call her infamous? What about sports professionals like Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong who are struck with intense scandals that mask their professional talents? Will they go down in history as being famous or infamous professional athletes? Perhaps they take another form of infamous that we have not yet coined.
We created these words, “famous” and “infamous,” in the late 14th century to distinguish between the good and bad natures of fame. It was black and white back then: Al Capone was infamous, Frank Sinatra was famous; Lee Harvey Oswald was infamous, Albert Einstein was famous. But we have so many gray areas in today’s world of fame; these two terms don’t seem to cut it anymore. We need a suite of words to help us better differentiate between the many types of “famous” and “infamous” in today’s Hollywood society.
Here at Sylvain Labs, we’ve tossed around a few. What do you think? Are there any other types of famous?
Every so often we hit on a topic that generates an email chain worthy of sharing. This article/video from NYTimes.com sparked the following conversation…
The two minute video “I Forgot My Phone” has been viewed more than 26 million times. It follows a day in the life a woman while the people around her focus all their attention on their phones.
“It’s a direct hit on our smartphone-obsessed culture, needling us about our addiction to that little screen and suggesting that maybe life is just better led when it is lived rather than viewed.
“It makes me sad that there are moments in our lives where we’re not present because we’re looking at a phone,” said Ms. deGuzman, [who starred in and wrote the piece], She mused that, like it or not, experiencing life through a four-inch screen could be the new norm.”