Power and fame

A lot of people, or so it seems, want power and fame. I don’t get it.


Sure, I can see power as a means to an end. It’s convenient to be able to get your way, and if what you have power over is something you care about, it’s obviously nice to be able to affect it. But power in and of itself? No attraction. Can’t see the attraction.

Do you want power? Why? Do you see it as a goal in itself? If not, do you understand people who do?


I’d like to make my living as a writer, which kinda includes fame if you’re going to be successful. I would love the kind of fame where you get fanmail and people come up to you in the street to tell you they liked your latest book, but I’m repelled by the kind of fame where people go through your garbage and say you’re gay. It’s tricky to get the first kind and not the second kind.

I have had a little taste of fame. I’ve been very well-known in a small circle of people. In short, it sucks. Everyone thinks they know you. They call you by nickname and you don’t even know who they are. You’re public property. That tiny little sliver of fame was bad enough. Can’t even imagine what Brad Pitt goes through.

Do you want fame? Why? If not, do you understand people who do?

The only sort of power I’m interested in is purchasing power. I’m not interested in wielding my influence over other people.

Well, let me take that back. There have been times in my life when I’ve been interested in being a local politician, which I suppose is a form of power. I’d be interested in effecting positive change in my community. But that’s certainly not power for the sake of having power.

I definitely don’t have any interest in being well-known. I’m a pretty private person, and I don’t quite get the allure of being recognized by strangers.

Power? I’d definitely want that. There are things I’d like to change, and a few positive changes I’d like in my community which I can’t affect without it. I don’t really understand someone who doesn’t want power, because to me that means they can look at all the problems and not want to fix them.

Fame? No way. Too much hassle, and people think they own you. Then there’s the problems with being a target for criminals, scammers etc. I tend to think people who want fame for fame’s sake really haven’t thought things through.

Maybe because I don’t know how to do a better job than the people who already have the power. So, the problems would still be there, but then they’d be my responsibility.

I would see power as defensive. Not wielding power over people as such, but preventing others from jerking me around. Yes, I want that.

I’ve had a few moments of low-level fame, and liked it. I could do with more of that – like being known among the literati, who wouldn’t be so crass as to rush up to me and swarm me at every public outing. Britney fame, no way.