Thursday, April 4, 2013

Being Famous- A Brief History

I don't get why some people are celebrities, or why anybody watches TLC, or why 'Glee' hasn't died yet. The world is a largely awesome place with awesome people in it (Youtube search "people are awesome", kiss your afternoon goodbye). As fun as it is to bash Kid Rock for everything he's ever done, the world could do with fewer pointless famous people. Seems like there should be more of a reason for someone owning a multi-million dollar empire than simply "...Because".

On the other hand, you could be the next big thing. But probably not.

To illustrate this confusing and troubling trend (which I considered terming the "Honey Boo-Boo Principle", but decided against it because merely typing those words chipped away at the rock of my hope for humanity) I have put together a list of people from history that actually did something worth noting hundreds of years later.

63% of our readers catch this reference without any further explanation.

1750 BC - Hammurabi Gets Things Done

There's really no such thing as the world's first celebrity (don't "Adam and Eve" me, smart-ass) but here's a guy from way long ago that deserves some degree of fame and attention:

With a profile like that, he had to grow up to be famous.

The dude made Babylon the world's first metropolis, which is a big deal (probably- don't ask me, this is a blog not a research paper). He also wrote one of the first recorded code of laws in history, which included basic elements of presumed innocence and the necessity of evidence to prove a crime. He is one of the twenty-three historic law-givers portrayed in the chamber of the U.S. House of representatives, accompanying figures like Thomas Jefferson, Napoleon, multiple popes, and Moses. Yeah, THAT Moses. Look at you, learning stuff on the internet.

336-323 BC - Alexander The Great

There's too much history regarding Big Al to write here, and you're probably already bored of historical information already, so here's all you need to know- his name is Alexander.....The Great. You want people to recognize you 20 years from now, you'll be something like "Suzie, who puked in gym class" or "Steve who went streaking during the homecoming game". 

"Miley The Bewildering and Undeserving of Success; Daughter of Billy."

1452- Leonardo da Vinci

Okay here's the deal, I can't do a quick rundown of Leo because

A. There's way too much ground to cover


B. You all already know....which is kind of the point I'm trying to make. 

1800's - Liszt and Paganini, Rockstars Before Fog Machines

Paganini is the best violinist the world has ever seen, and will ever see. He played things thought believed to be so impossible, it was rumored he was in league with the devil (Seriously. I guess this has always been a popular accusation in the world of rockstars). He was solely responsible for virtuoso style performances, for coming up with public concerts where people actually paid to come watch- not because that was the what people did back then (it wasn't), but because people were so amazed by his talent and showmanship that they were willing to pay to watch it. He didn't give interviews. He rode in an all black coach with red interiors. He (probably) had the 19th century version of groupies (wenches?). He was the original Rock Star.

The Chops.

Liszt is basically Paganini  but on Piano. He was going to be a monk until he attended Paganini's concert in the wild summer of 1831, at which point he decided he absolutely needed to get in on that action. And it's a good thing, because he became the greatest piano player of all time. He was the first to ever give a full piano recital, turning the piano sideways so the audience could see him better (We've left the piano like this on stage ever since, by the way). He was perhaps the first musician to have a hotel room key thrown to him onstage.

2013 - What happened?

I do realize that a lot has gone down since Paganini started getting paid for rocking,   but seriously, 3OH!3 should never have been a thing. It's not just music- there will always be fluffy pop music for as long as teenage girls exist. But does anybody remember who this is:

And why is this the least horrifying picture of her I could find?

That's Kate Gosselin. Remember like three or four years ago when she was famous for no reason? Do you see how dumb we all look now for giving this lady so much attention, since now she's pretty much completely forgotten? I wonder who will fall into obscurity next.

One can only hope.


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