The Rant has been amused of late by all the celebrity hang-wringing over not getting complete, unquestioned love from the masses. Katy Perry still cannot believe that her mere presence on stage with Hillary Clinton did not ensure the presidency. Or that anyone would criticize her overwhelming displays of goodness and light while making millions of dollars from teenage girls and dating men with a need to paddleboard naked.1
To prove just how disillusioned she has become by the glare of the spotlight, Perry launched her new album by spending 96 hours straight on her YouTube channel. Not unlike how The Rant expresses our disgust with alcohol by drinking Old Fashioneds until we have visions of Hunter S. Thompson. Katy. The Rant. The Dali Llama. All sources of enlightenment.
Lorde is another pop star with conflicted feelings about pop stardom. So she wrote an entire album about not wanting to record another album and will soon be launching a world tour to sing the songs she doesn’t really want you to listen to. But be sure to visit the merch table. There’s no reason to be unhappy and poor.
But Katy and Lorde can’t hold a candle to the pathological neediness of Jimmy Fallon. Poor Jimmy has never recovered from his hair tousle of Donald Trump. Twitter hysterically declared the gesture had “humanized” Trump and won him the election. Jimmy recently spent thousands of words in the New York Times explaining why he doesn’t care what people think of him by repeatedly declaring how much he cares what people think of him. One negative comment on social media sends him into a tailspin.
The Rant would not wish the horrors of modern celebrity on anyone. But at some point we must come to grips with the fact that evolution has not equipped us to deal with the vicious outbursts of the digital age. We are literally hard-wired to cling to one negative moment much longer than dozens of positive ones. Remembering the negative, like poking the saber-toothed tiger with a stick ended with one less family member, used to help us survive. Now it merely destroys our sense of well-being. We have created an enormous machine that enables this to happen with breathtaking efficiency.
Creativity must serve as its own reward. When it becomes the means to attract the gaze of strangers, you will eventually be crushed under the harsh stare of eyes you believed would only contain adoration.