L'Wren & the Deceptive Pitfalls of Celebrity

» Not long after I arrived in California [ San Clemente ] two cousins came out from the East coast to visit for a few weeks.

They were not really my cousins, but rather one of them was married to my cousin (cousin-in-law?) and the other was her best friend. But I treated them like cousins anyway.

Two Italian girls. With hard East coast accents.

The Famous Hollywood SignAnd they were not really interested in seeing me, per se, but rather the area » southern California.

Hollywood, to be more precise.

Beverly Hills. Rodeo drive. Sunset Blvd. The Roxy. Every Hard Rock Cafe in southern California.

They crashed in the living room .. on a plastic blow-up air mattress that I had left over. (Myself, I had since upgraded to a futon.)

In this particular apartment, the living room was upstairs and the bedrooms were downstairs (being cooler down there).

They kinda took over the living room. The upstairs. (You know how girls are.)

It was nice to have them. They were lots of fun. I had to work during that time, but I did my best to show them a good time. Especially on my days off.

To be honest, they knew more about Hollywood and Hollywood stars than I did. And they knew exactly where they wanted to go and what they wanted to do.

One of the most memorable moments came at a gas station on PCH up in Malibu .. where they spied some hot girl gassing up her pink Corvette.

"Who?" I said.

I had never even heard of this girl, but the girls were speechless. I mean, they were freaked out. Totally. You could tell that they were both beside themselves. For real. You cannot imagine.

A few minutes later and the girl (who was pretty hot, yes) finished filling her tank and drove off.

To be honest, I dont recall the name of the girl at the gas station. Guess I could call my cousin-in-law, but they have since divorced. (Actually, my cousin remarried and he divorced that girl, too.)

Here's my point » celebrity does not freak me out. Never has. Sure, I like to spot them .. but only because I can tell a friend » "Guess who I ran into today at the taco shop?" Or in the sauna.

I normally just let them be .. because you know they are constantly getting worked.

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••• today's entry continues here below •••

The Dog, when he lived up in the hills above Hollywood, frequently ran into celebs. He chatted up John Goodman at a bar, for example, and ran into Travolta in a sauna. "He's a lot bigger naked than he looks on screen." But the Dog also tends to let them have their space.

And the Film school girl .. it seemed like every other day she would come home saying things like, "I ran into Dustin Hoffman today." Or, "I ran into Reese Witherspoon today. She's so nice .. so down to earth."

I feel for celebrities. Who was it that said » "fame is the excrement of creativity" ?

I almost feel sorry for them .. in a way. Not for the wealth that their fame berings them, no. But rather for the obvious challenges that fame brings.

The loss of just being a normal person and being able to live a normal life. You have to be on your guard against wacko's. Or people breaking into your house just because you're famous.

It probably doesnt suck as badly as I imagine it does .. but the idea of people running up on me everywhere I go .. that sounds pretty sucky to me.

» Are People Being Nice to Me Only Because I'm Wealthy?

Also .. it might be worth noting that I used to make a lot of money. I have made over three grand a week, and over twenty-five hundred a week many times (.. working lots of overtime).

If you are the boss, or you are wealthy .. how do you know if/when people are being nice to you because you have lots of money .. or because they genuinely like you? (As a person.)

If I myself had such questions .. then it seems only reasonable that these same questions must come to the celebrity who has much more wealth and much more influence. No?

I want people to like me (genuinely) for WHO I AM .. and not what I can do for them. This is another topic entirely .. beyond the scope of today's entry .. but worth noting in the context of celebrity ..

.. because you hear many stories about how some of these famous celebrities are so lonesone. (Marilyn Monroe comes to mind. There are others. Many others.)

Fortunately, today I neednt concern myself with with worries that people might like me only for my money or because I am their boss.

» The Gentle Elderly Man and His Deli Sausage

There was a guy, I recall (no names), back before I became management material .. who I heard people describe thusly » "He's got his head so far up ______'s_ [ « name of boss ] ass that he has a permanent shit-stain around his neck."

After I had become a boss, there was another guy, an older gentleman, who we employed in a position that involved minimal technical expertise. A meek and quiet elderly man.

Every few months this man would travel down to a major city where he would purchase ethnic foodstuffs at an ethnic deli there, and he would bring me back some ethnic sausage.

I had never had sausage like this before. The best sausage you ever tasted. Very fatty, yes. He tried to decline, but I insisted on paying him for the sausage. I think it was like five or ten dollars. Not much. (And I was making way more money than him.)

But yes, something inside me felt a special kindness for that man. No one else knew what he did. Neither of us ever discussed our thing with anyone else, and when lay-off time came around, I always made sure that he was not on it.

I should note that he did his job as expected, never missed a day, and made my work-life easy because he rarely (if ever) asked for special favors.

When you have a hundred people, if 10 percent of them want special favors, it greatly complicates your job because an adjustment here usually requires another adjustment there, and you can spend a lot of time adjusting things.

[ I seem to have a knack for management and administration .. even if there are things about it that I don't care for. You have to work within the structure of the organization in which you find yourself, and they are all different. The lever you pulled at one place to accomplish a certain end .. might not necessarily work at another. ]

Anyway, I will say no more on this topic .. except to say that I no longer have this problem. But if a man possesses a strong skill-set, and much experience, and is good at what he does .. he neednt bring you incredibly yummy sausage for you to want to keep him around.

If I had not been the boss, would he have felt inspired to bring back the yummy sausage for me? Probably not. Probably not.

L'Wren Scott and Mick JaggerHere's my real point for telling you this story » When I found myself curious about the story of L'Wren Scott ..

.. who hung herself on March 17th, St. Patty's day .. two weeks before Philip Seymour Hoffman overdosed ..

.. and not unlike the way Aaron Swartz also hung himself last year .. it was not the element of celebrity that caught my attention.

Geeks are people who » try to figure shit out. Who try to craft an algorithm to undo life's gnarlier knots. And the more perplexing something is .. the more Gordian it is .. the more is calls to them. (Seemingly on its own.)

And in the story about » L'Wren Scott, everybody is asking » "What the fuck?"

So it is talking to me. Which surprises me .. because (as I said) celebrity is not something I am drawn to. (Au contraire.)

But this girl (L'Wren) and her story is something I find interesting. Notice how the article says » "she wasn't especially impressed by the trappings of fame." In other words » it was something else that motivated her. [ Tho this article suggests otherwise. ]

Notice also how her sister called her a "super-strong woman".

I remember when the wow-girl said to me » "You're the strongest man I've ever met." So I know a little something along these lines. There are other things .. which I will address.

I could be wrong .. but I feel like I have an intuitive feel for this girl (L'Wren). I feel like I have insight.

Which surprises me .. because of this quote which says » "Women loved her and responded to her. She was a girl's girl." And I don't really 'get' girls .. at least, not girly-girls. I only really 'get' girls who get guys.

People are interesting, fascinating creatures .. and trying to figure them out .. well, that is a challenge to say the least. Why they do the crazy shit they do. Seemingly bizarre shit.

I would like to thank Elizabeth Day for writing that article (published two days ago). Without it, I would never have written today's entry. Lots of things in her article speak to me.

L'Wren reminds me of the girl that I dated who worked in the fashion industry. She was a tall, dark-haired girl, too. She also had long, atraight dark hair with a flair of natural curl to it. When she wore her heels and we slow-danced, she was right up there. But that's another story.

Speaking of celebrity .. look at this » Jagger is producing the new James Brown biopic » Get On Up (August 1). I saw the trailer on the big screen and I was totally impressed.

Karl Ove KnausgaardThe Norwegian Celebrity » Karl Ove Knausgård

Along these lines (of fame and celebrity), I found this article by the Norwegian Karl Ove Knausgaard downright fascinating » I Am Someone, Look At Me (posted 10 June) ..

.. which addresses his » "tortured relationship with fame".

I had never heard of him before that article, which caught my attention due to the reference to and comparison with Proust (.. who I am familair with).

Tho it seems like everybody is talking about him .. due to his book titled » Min Kamp (My Struggle in English) .. same as the title of Hitler's book.

I would like to say to Mr. Knausgård » "Sir, I can confirm » yes, you *are* somebody. And your look makes you interesting to look at. Very interesting." [ Nothing funny. ] Congrats on the book(s).

You tend to learn yourself well by reflective introspection. Learning ourselves, our true selves, can be a humbling endeavor, no?

While fame is not normally associated with humility. So you have interesting forces at work in your life.

I have never been to Norway myself, but back when I lived in San Clemente, during the time I mention up above .. I had a roommate who had relatives in Norway. He took a couple of weeks off to fly there and visit these relatives (for the first time).

He came back something of a changed man. More relaxed. More easy-going. More confident. Funner to be around.

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)He liked to read Nietzsche and Dostoevsky. Smart dude.

I always remember the story he told me about how his dad was so cheap that he refused to pay for novacaine when he needed a root canal.

"It hurt so bad," he said, "that it felt like the pain went all the way down into my soul."

l never said anything, but thought to myself » "The pain from the dentist's drill or from your dad being too cheap to sping for a shot of novacaine?"

Also, the girl who I mention here, the one who took me to Puerto Rico, she had been to Norway and told me that it was her best vacation ever .. the fjords, in particular (they took a cruise up the fiords).

She was blown away by the grandeur of the natural beauty there .. and she was not easily blown away .. let me tell you. (She was older than me .. in more ways than one.)

» The Greeks Want to Meet You

One the subject of celebrity .. I find it interesting what Jesus said when his followers (Andrew and Philip) came and told him » "The Greeks want to meet you."

He basically said (not in these words, no) » "That means it's time for me to be crucified. Let's do this thing. I'm pumped."

Especially interesting because that passage contains the verse of scripture found on Dostoevsky's tombstone.

» There Went Out a Fame of Him

Another interesting verse on this subject (of fame) is found » here. Of course, it is difficult to read that verse without asking » returned from where? from what?

Does it not seem like that passage is saying that the » Spirit of God led Jesus to be tempted of the devil? I will need to think about that.

Because I had always thought that the Spirit of God leads you AWAY FROM being tempted by the devil. No?

Growing up Catholic, I must have prayed » "Lead us NOT into temptation.." a million times. Or maybe it just seems that way.

How would you like to wake tomorrow .. to hear the Spirit of God of saying » "Rise and shine sleepy head. Have I ever got an exciting day planned for you. Don't bother packing an overnight bag. Where we're going, you won't be needing it. Trust me. You're gonna be gone for a while. It's time to get this show on the road."

John Lennon (1940-1980)» John Lennon

When I think of celebrity, I think of » John Lennon ..

.. because he was famous for saying » "Look at me here on the streets of New York.

Where I can live pretty close to the life of a regular person.

'High, John. How are you, John? Good to see you, John'."

John was dead not long after. So much for carefree fame and celebrity.

Today's entry remains a work-in-progress. To be continued.

I am not even done yet with the previous entries, so it will take some time to craft this thing.

Cormac McCarthy (1933- ) | The Real DealCormac McCarthy » Mr. Private

On the flip-side of fame, I sometimes think about » Cormac McCarthy ..

.. who rarely does interviews .. and never does book readings ..

.. or book signings .. who shuns publicity. And who seems uncomfortable in the spotlight ..

.. an approach you might find counterintuitive. Especially for a writer.

Today he is both famous and popular, sure .. now that he is in his 80's. But even back when he was an unknown nobody .. he shunned these things.

If you are a writer, and you refuse to participate in any of these publicity-inducing activities .. then you better be good. You better be the real deal. Or you will starve.

Even IF you are the real deal .. you might STILL starve. So ability and dedication are no assurance that the writer won't starve.

Indeed, one of my favorite McCarthy quotes (because I can relate) is » "I never had any doubts about my abilities. I knew I could write. I just had to figure out how to eat while doing this."

The end. For now, anyway. ■

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This page contains a single entry by Rad published on June 23, 2014 6:23 AM.

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