Dude, Where’s My Warholian 15?
Call it appreciation, recognition, validation. Even blarney, flattery, sycophancy. They all do their wondrous stroke to stoke the fire in anyone – to have more, to do more, to be more.
Andy Warhol, an American painter and a leading pop artist, was dead-on when, back in the 1960s, he coined the expression that served as a mantra of the not-so-pussy-footed wannabes who would stick their feet (and necks) at any revolving door of opportunity: “In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes.“ True enough, this has even turned into a cold-fish ”15 minutes of fame” cliché nowadays. All those who cringed at the American Idol outtakes and auditions could only agree and exhale with relief that, thankfully, these posers could torture us no longer than our usual wait for the pizza delivery (or you have the power over that TV remote, yes?).
In retail pop-culture, YouTube, that great democratizer and equalizer of entertainment content and distribution, is replete with videos and vlogs of these 15-minuter celebs whose fame have either sky-rocketed (e.g. Charice, Arnel Pineda of Journey, or the skateboarding bulldog, Tillman, from the iPhone commercial) or were launched into stratospheric digital oblivion (the DietCoke-Mentos symphony creators; Susan Boyle who?). Then, there are these unreal reality shows that make instant has-beens out of their new “It” boys and girls as fast as these shows’ meat grinders could spew them.There’s vlogging and then there’s blogging.
While others relentlessly rant and rave about their rank, wretched lives, others took the road less blogged and pursued their passion pushing all the right (and wrong) buttons where fame and notoriety found them well beyond the Warholian constraint. Take Perez Hilton, the self-proclaimed “Queen of All Media”. All he did was made fun of celebrity pictures by scribbling white notes of insults, praises, insinuations, or anything he fancies, which is engaging, quite frankly, if not at times downright silly. His pink accented website is not about to let go of that ingenious, winning formula just yet, so the mockery of googol-dollar stars with his mostly irreverent doodles on their photos continues to entertain, enrage, and energize the rumor-mills, the digital equivalent of defecrating — can you think of anything worse than defecating and desecrating ? — the pantheons of the commercially-crafted and cosmetically-perfected deities of Hollywood , even after his latest Michael Jackson callous “cold feet” double-entendre. Perez found his groove and brings hordes to his site to dance to his tune while he sashays his way to the bank. And then there’s another blogging wonderboy named Bryanboy. Ever heard of him? If you don’t know who Anna Wintour is either, or wonders if Burberry Prorsum is some kind of furry, berry-eating marsupial, and well, you don’t follow überbloggers (ahem), then you would think that his name evokes visions of a dirty-blond Texan model trying to look like a rich kid trying harder to look poor selling jeans shirtlessly. Still with me? Maybe the name Marc Jacobs would help. Yes, they are friends. How about The New York Times? Now, you can’t get any better ultra-liberal validation than the Gray Lady which called him “internationally loved fashion superblogger” because his blog has 0% fat and his posts BS-free (my words, not the Lady’s; oh yes, say that you love me, too, Bryanboy!). By the way, he’s a Manila-based, self-deprecating (not defecrating, silly!), self-loving, self-made androgynous Filipino celebrity blogger (sorry for dashing your hope for a blue-eyed blond blogger bloke). Clearly, he’s out of Andy’s curse because to this day, he still does click-click-click his way to the world’s major fashion capitals and is on a first name basis with the gods and icons of fashion. If you see your name in the window display at Toronto‘s posh Holt Renfrew store paying tribute to your craft, then you know you have arrived and can tell Andy to take his 15 (make that in decades) and let you do your thing because you have the world in your keyboard, baby! Some boy, huh?
Now back to earth (Batangas City, Philippines), I’d be lying if I say I don’t dream of such a good fortune. Living in the outskirt of a city of 300,000 whose main idea of urban recreation is malling at a boxy SM City and its main watering hole called The Ledge (thank goodness it’s not in a real one lest people would have jumped off out of extreme ennui). I can’t skateboard like Tillman nor am I as telegenic. I don’t wanna dress like Byanboy either (no offense, Baboosh!) or defecrate ala-Perez Hilton. Write I can, so blog I do. When The Digitizer was officially listed as one of the 10 nominees for the Filipino Blog of the Week contest at The Composed Gentleman blog for this week (August 1-7), I had my Warholian moment even if I haven’t won yet (lol). It feels good to know that all the sleepless nights studying HTMLs experimenting with widgets and themes and color schemes (let alone writing the posts which made me get acquainted with the laptop’s blank screen) would somehow pay-off if only one seasoned blogger whose comment even edges to a glowing “review” (thanks luminerli) is like multi-colored fruity sprinkles on a vanilla sundae. So I went on a full email-blasting and tweet binge (believe me, it wasn’t as bad as it sounds, like I was trying to out-campaign the early presidentiables, you know?) to my hapless friends and acquaintances. I was thinking of attaching in my email this annotated screen shot of the voting site (see below) but thought against it for fear of coming off as shamelessly desperate crass. Glad that I steered clear of a spammer’s career. So yeah, my future in dirty, sexy, gritty politics is still intact. (Rolls eyes).
The strangest thing is, most of my friends read my blog for the very first time and not from the steady stream of my blog posts in Facebook and Twitter. The best thing is some of them were inspired to start or at least renewed their vigor for blogging.
Now that is the vanilla sundae right there!
I don’t see myself churning out posts that don’t bear a morsel of my soul nor shall I ever enjoy an endless stream of electronic soliloquy and digital narcissism. Winning this badge – getting that validation for my work – means breaking my own glass ceiling and seeing the world through borrowed eyes, so when I write I don’t write for myself but for him whom will my message find. Should that ceiling be tougher to crack, I shall still find it rewarding to remain true to my voice and an ardent student of my craft Andy Warhol be damned!