Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Boyling Point

Andy Warhol’s famous observations casually tossed like a bone to a hungry paparazzi seem to be even more relevant in our real time, fast food world than they were when he quipped them nearly half a century ago.

Warhol believed, with good reason, that the mainstream media could enable anyone to achieve “instant” celebrity status whether they deserved it or not, even if that fame only lasted a fleeting 15 minutes - or until the media diverted the public’s attention on to another shiny new object.

Today's carnivorous media can gobble up the raw and unseasoned with manufactured fame as soon as their prey has been blinded by the spotlight. Differing variations of the formula media blitz have been played out for the public’s viewing pleasure time and again, where everyone can watch with morbid fascination as the wide-eyed deer in the spotlight is shamelessly fawned and fattened on praise before being publicly roasted and devoured on the spit.

And no meal ticket for the barbeque could ever be sold without the self-promoting Troll on the Bridge (see definition below), since clearly, someone has to take credit for luring that deer out of the forest, and then serve as the toll taker who shrewdly optimizes the deer's 15 minutes by selling as many tickets as possible.

With one look in the rear view mirror where objects may appear larger than they are, we realize the “15 minutes of fame” factor is simply a litmus test for staying power. Perhaps even a succinct way to separate those who’ve laid the foundation and worked with focused commitment toward a personal goal from those who have not, which can extend to include the wannabes and the could-bes.

No doubt media neophyte Susan Boyle has had a crash course in dog-eat-dog since her April 11, 2009 debut on “Britain’s Got Talent”, and her subsequent record-breaking YouTube viewings of the shockingly wonderful performance which firmly placed her name on the lips of a global population at a speed never before seen.

Sneering pre-performance assessments were conspicuously rendered by Ms. Boyle’s talent judges, the audience, and even the world as all watched the frumpy, middle-aged, unemployed spinster courageously step out center stage in pursuit of her dream. (And to think she would’ve been disqualified for being too old to perform on the “American Idol” version of the same show).

While over four decades of hard work and personal commitment obviously preceded that pivotal moment when Susan Boyle found herself “discovered”, we find it difficult not to wonder if there wasn’t more to it than just luck and timing, for her pivotal moment resembled that of a “perfect storm” where each ingredient blended together at precisely the right moment to influence the destiny of all parties connected.

Only time will tell if the decades of prep work Ms. Boyle invested in her craft will give her the staying power necessary to go beyond the proverbial 15 minutes of fame. But what we really want to know is what components must perfectly intersect and coalesce in order to create those fateful moments of manifestation?

One way to cure memory loss can be found in our ‘In The Rear View Mirror’ February 27, 2009 posting "Big Brother Goes Hard…Drive, That Is".

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