Wednesday, February 17, 2010
THE VAGARIES OF FAME
Someone wrote to call me an asshole. Perhaps I am one, you never know but all I did was say what was true, that J.D. Salinger lived a long life, was willing to let his words be his epitaph and that he enjoyed his privacy. But apparently, by saying such to the person calling me an asshole I was saying good riddance to the talented author.
I wasn't. Lives should be lived so well that when we die the thought is how much was left that causes us sorrow. We should mourn the loss, instead of saying, well they lived a long time, so there it is. But J.D. Salinger, to me, didn't seem to be all that happy with his existence, with his fame, and with his ability to interest others simply by existing. So in a sense, while I am not saying goodbye you old fart, I am unwilling to say such a loss, because I don't see a reason for it. The loss of his life, too should be considered in another light, something we don't talk about much in this world, but, provable or otherwise, maybe the place he is exists now is better. Perhaps he is banging 128 virgins daily. Perhaps he is without form or thought, kept alive only in our memory. Perhaps he is in the happy hunting grounds. But wherever he is, I doubt that there are people trying to capture his picture, gain his signature, or find out what he really meant when he said...
Any life lost is a sad thing, but it isn't because we are dead that lives are lost. Unwillingness to live, infirmity, circumstance and more can steal the joy of life. I plan to die a long time from now, eating sushi, drinking Stoli, reading poetry, surrounded by my cats, naked but for a smile, and laying upon a massive king size bed.