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The Extreme Desire for Fame

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Boplicity, Jan 23, 2003.

  1. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Watching the interminable tryouts for "American Idol," in which 70,000 ambitious contestants showed up braving heat, cold, hunger and time and other scacrifices, made me pause to think about the tremendous drive for fame so many young Americans have.

    Those who lost and those who won cried equally hard. The winners, tears of extreme joy for a dream that might come true. The losers...tears of abject devastation at a cherished dream destroyed.

    Nasty Simon Crowell spoke about the relentless drive for fame (which he exploits to the fullest), pointing out the desperation to be famous most hapless auditioners displayed.

    What does it say about modern society that fame has become so valued? In this instance, why do they seek to become famous singers? I don't even think many of them are in it for the money. I think they crave recognition, attention, and adulation. But what do you folks suppose is driving these youngsters so hard to risk making utter fools of themselves in front of an entire nation just for a shot at fame as a singer?
  2. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Worst. Show. Ever.

    Probably faked like all other "reality" shows. :rolleyes:
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I think it is another symptom of the "instant gratification/I need Tabz now" generation - so people want things without putting any effort in.

    They want to be famous - but don't want to think about the effort that goes with - so in this case : practising, keeping fit, learning dancing, learning routines songs etc

    It all takes hard work - but you can see in some of these programmes that a large % just think they'll turn up and be made a star, it'll all be done for them!! :rolleyes:

    The other thing I think is that people put too much of their hopes and dreams into their children - they spoil them, do everthing for them, so they get this expectation that they are special, from their parents and think this should carry on into the "real world".

    So - in the majority of the 20th Century we were fighting wars - people had to grow up quickly, there were shortages, rationing etc Now with realtive peace and prosperity, kids are given everything by their parents in western society and have these wildly exaggerated expectations....hence the extreme desire for fame!
  4. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    I see the show as instructive of certain conditions of modern society. Surely there was a time not so long ago, maybe before movies and the rise of mass media when fame was not a human need. I don't recall a single kid in my elementary school back in the early fifties who ever sought fame as a goal or enunciated a desire to be famous.

    And, yes, certainly this show has aspects of bogus behavior. Surely some of the worst, most bizaaro contestants were deliberately chosen for that very reason...to make the world laugh. They never had a legitimate shot. Plus, all contestants were prescreened by various panels of judges before they ever got to Simon and company. Those panels must have been told to pick the best and WORST to visit Simon, Paula and Randy.
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I agree - in the 50s, most of Western Society was recovering from WWII and then into the Korean War and cold war. Parents couldn't afford to spoil children,who had to grow up pretty quickly as 17-18 year olds were drafted into these conflicts - my father was conscripted to India.

    But now - becuase they can - parents spoil children dramatically and I think this gives them an exaggerated view of their own importance and wild expectations.
  6. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I agree with you about spoiling children - it really doesn't work. I know what it's like trying to deal with people my age that were spoilt as kids. However I think kids being taught that they are special is a good thing. But, not more special than others, just special in their own right. And not special meaning that they deserve everything done for them! :)

    And, given the way the media portrays fame (unrealistically), it's no surprise kids latch onto it.

    I'll tell ya what though, what I do find really funny about those programs is the inital stages of auditioning - where they usually just go into the room with the judges and sing part of a song for 30secs or so. Some of them are so unbelievably bad that it's funny to watch, and to think that they actually think they're singing really well!
  7. in my day...
  8. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    You are right Bruce - I know a few people like this. However, they are not the majority. Most musicians I know that are my age or younger know darn well that if they want to make a career out of music, or anything for that matter, they're going to have to work.

    The main reason why I hate that show (and 90% of all Pop music) is just that. They got big in no time and with no work, based on their lack of waistline and/or Daddy as producer... whereas I have met REAL musicians with 1000x the talent of those saps, who have been working hard longer than I have been alive, and not gotten 1/1000 the attention.

    That said, I am under 25, and I think fame sucks. :D
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I hated it at the start, when you get the people who think they're just going to turn up be made a star - just because they're "special"!!

    BUt having watched the end of Pop Idol and Fame Academy in the UK - I think there is a growing appreciation of the effort that goes into music. I saw a TV documentary on the UK winners and they wer talking about how great the musicans on the tour were and how much better it was playing with a live band etc etc.
  10. I hate these shows.

    And I agree people seem to be in this for the fame, but a lot of them go for the money as well, I mean, what could be better than thousands of *insert currency here* and great cars, woman/guys drooling over you becuase your catchy & on MTV.

    I don't see whats so big about being famous. You can go through school, get a goob job and get equally as much money.

    If I ever get famous, it goes to my family, friends and the people who me there. Of course, enough to buy a few Grabber 3's and some big mesa/ampeg amps.. ;)
  11. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Just reflecting on myself and some bandmates from decades past, one reason is (hold on, this is a slice of existential pie) - it validates one's sense of "uniqueness" and "being" by existing as the focus of attention for so many, even if just for a couple of minutes, in a society where the individual is increasiningly reduced to a number.

    Remember the "Gong Show"???

    .......and then there are some people who have no dignity left to lose. :D
  12. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Bruce - was it Fame Academy that had the "boy band" vs. the "girl band"? I especially hated that concept - auditioning for a part is one thing, but one band versus another is just stupid and is not at all indicative of what is going on. This isn't sports, people!

    As far as young people not knowing what they want out of life - I can understand it in one sense, seeing as how the Net and all mean there are more choices than ever before. I agree though, that they have to have skills to offer.

    Almost everyone I know (mind you, most of them are in the 20-30 range) may not know exactly what they want, but they do have skills in some area or another. I can honestly say I know less than a handful of people who think the world owes them a favour. Spoiled children are still a minority IMHO.
  13. OnederTone

    OnederTone Aguilar Everywhere Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2002
    Thornton, CO
    The thing that really gets me about the show, (and of course it's staged to a point- it's edited TV) is the way the "special ones" argue the point- take the twins teen boys from last night... from the minute of the song they sang, they were not in key with each other and to top it off they were doubling each others part the whole time... no harmony between them, just "unison" or at least trying...

    the judges pointed those things out and they argued- "no, were great--- we're better than any of you etc" No concept of Reality whatsoever!

    the generation we are speaking of have been spoiled and adulated to the point of not knowing good from bad... it's good because THEY did it. You don't like it because YOU don't understand the background, the concept, the intention etc...

    the simple fact is- if your conecpt is so obscure that you can not translate it into a performance it is only valid to YOU and there's nothing wrong with that... just don't expect to earn the elusive "fame"
  14. fastplant


    Sep 26, 2002
    Funkyebk, good point, that's one thing I like about this show. they speak the truth when they tell people that they should not prusue a career in music. People are so afraid to hurt each other's feelings now that a parent will tell their child that they sound amazing even if they are tone deaf. Now I don't agree that parents should not support their childrens' dreams, I do think that they should not push them into rejection like so many have. It's much tougher when you have the idea that you are great and then someone with the power to make or break you tells you that you suck.
  15. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Created & hosted by none other than Chuck Barris...International Spy/Assasin.
    (Referring to the recent interviews he's giving about his book. Weird!).

    Back to American Idol-
    ...this IS Professional Wrasslin', people.
    As if the 1st installment wasn't bad enough.
  16. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    My best friend, the most talented singer I know, which includes several professional opera singers in my mom's family, tried out but was rejected inthe preliminaries. Simon Cowell, Mr. A**hole himself, told her that if she had sung a Brittney Spears song, or something of the like, instead of a Broadway material, she would have been in the finals in Hollywood. The producer told her they were looking mostly for people to put on the episodes like last night. The rejects. :rolleyes:
  17. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    In order to keep "reality TV" real, I propose a TalkBass reality TV show which is fair and equitable. Since Bruce proclaimed himself to be "the Simon Cowell of TB", I nominate him as host. ;)
  18. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    This desire for instant fame is similar to why Lotteries are so popular. Get the bag of chips all at once, and make life look sooooo easy.

    On another note:
    All the singers/acts they had on "Idol" whether good or bad were all doing the same thing! The very things they were emulating is the very I tune out on my radio dial when I hear it.

    I'm so tired of the overly soulful/mock R&B.
    It's not convincing! Of course this is only my opinion.
  19. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    P. - You mean the one's who try to hit 16 notes where just one, solid, on-pitch, note would be better???.........(I'm thinking they all have "Mariah Carey-itis" or "Luther Vandross-on-the-brain").
  20. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    No that was Popstars II - The Rivals! Fame Academy just had one solo winner, not a band. Fame Academy was perhaps better than Popstars, because they did actually concentrate on musicality (a bit). All the students played instruments, and they had a songwriting coach. But we didn't see much of the songwriting side of things.

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