Obscurity gets a bad rap. As though it’s something to be avoided, a social “black mark” and that celebrity is to be, well, celebrated.
I see it differently. Once we are a celebrity, people see us through a filter; defined by what brought us to celebrity and which established a base from which we are expected to develop. In many ways it’s a trap. The burden of the second album.
Obscurity has real benefits. It allows us to plough a furrow that we want, in pursuit of what interests us and what we believe in. We don’t have to worry about whether our followers will like it or not. We know why we are doing what we are doing, what we are trying to find on our own terms, and that’s enough to live a contented life.
We can experiment in obscurity.. We can be creative. We can connect things without having to explain why we’re doing it. We can begin to understand ourselves out of the public gaze.
Those who pursue celebrity for to own sake need to be careful what they wish for, as it’s easy to become the vehicle for something we don’t really believe in, and find out we’re being defined in ways that both label and trap us. (Right now some politicians spring to mind). We might be able to wear the mantle of the things we don’t believe in, and get the kudos for as long as it lasts, but at some point we will have to explain and that may prove to be difficult, not least to ourselves.
If celebrity happens to find us whilst we’re on our journey, driven by a search for something important to us, so be it. It is likely to be because something resonates with people. I still think it may reduce our options at the same time as it’s increasing our wealth. (I wouldn’t know, but it would be interesting to find out…..)
It seems to me that to achieve celebrity as a goal, and then have nothing to deliver is a dreadful fate. On the other hand to find out something important to us, even if only a few people recognise it is far to be preferred.
The first is as lasting as cappuccino froth. The second retains the probability of discovery at some point, and it may just change things in a way you would approve of.