The image of myself that I project upon the silver screen of my imagination varies a great deal from what I actually am. The truth about what I am is something only other people can tell me; and, since I’m unwilling to accept the truth, I don’t speak to others.
But I am fearing the wrong thing. I fear that people will see me as inferior, when I should be fearing that they’ll see me as superior; for I want to be liked, and it’s precisely because everyone desires to feel superior that inferior people get the lion’s share of love.
Often fame is attributed to hard work, but I think that it’s more a combination of luck and rudeness. And, by “rudeness,” I mean the willingness to push others around. My problem is that I lack this type of rudeness that is required of professional entertainers. (Yet, to be fair, I think that courage is also needed to attain universal renown; and that is an admirable trait that I myself lack.)
In grade school, we children were all supposed to form a single-file line to receive our lunch. Far from ever being single-file, the line was not even a line: it was a surging mass of selves all rudely trying to elbow ahead of each other. That is a perfect picture of our world: the grade school lunch line.
The entertainment industry (at least in the U.S.) is an intensification of that phenomenon; and economics is such a caricature of the same thing that it would be humorous if it weren’t so realistically harmful.
Pain and death are the roadblocks. If you can become comfortable with pain and death, nothing can stop you. I mean, obviously death will stop you; but my point is that you won’t fear it—you won’t let the thought of it bar you from acting according to your dreams.
However, something beyond both pain and death frightens me almost more than either pain or death: that is reputation. I think I’d rather die than make a fool of myself. And the funny thing is that age makes fools of us all: the only hope of achieving a great reputation is to quit while you’re at your peak. The entertainment stars who enjoy godlike status are those who escaped from this dimension early; whereas those who persist into old age all end up as chowderheads.
(Not all, I know—but it sounds better to say that everyone fades.)
If there is a state of existence that precedes the present one, then I imagine something like a heavenly amusement park with multitudes of pre-people lining up to experience a ride called HUMAN LIFE. And the subtitle ad on its sign says: Guaranteed to end tragically!