I saw Birdman a couple weeks ago and the Raymond Carver quote that it opens with stuck with me. It reminded me of one of my favorite Virginia Woolf quotes, from To the Lighthouse:
And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth. (Carver)
But he must have more than that. He must have sympathy. He must be assured that he too lived in the heart of life; was needed, not only here, but all over the world. (Woolf)They express something similar: this compelling need to be loved not just by your friends and family, or in your immediate surroundings, but everywhere. That need gets expressed in a thirst for fame and accomplishment and world renown.
Love, fame, power. I think we crave fame, on some level, because it is like the ultimate experience of love. If we're famous, it's because everyone knows and loves us. And if everyone knows and loves us, we can never die. It's hard to get more fundamentally human than that. Perhaps some people are drawn to fame more by a thirst for power than a thirst for love, but I imagine it comes from a similar place - people don't have to love you if they fear you.
What better modern-day expression of that is there than the Bachelor? It's the ultimate intersection of the desire for fame and the desire for love - not just by the bachelor or by the contestants but by viewers across America. So this week heavily features the Bachelor crew and a few other celebrities, inspired in large part by an US Weekly that my boyfriend supplied me with. I used some clippings from a National Geographic travel catalogue to get at the sense of global scope, and I finished it off with some stars. (Do you see what I did there?!)
I am completely smitten with this. Any spread where Virginia Woolf and Farmer Chris sit side-by-side is okay in my book.