Why I’ll Never Be Famous

Recently on Facebook I stumbled upon a heated discussion between several of my friends and a few strangers. The subject was a girl who I’d not heard of and the comments were split right down the middle, voraciously defending or caustically attacking the subject, who was not involved at all herself. Out of curiosity, and the fact that it was late and I couldn’t sleep, I browsed to find out more about the girl. A petite teen, covered in tattoos stared vacantly out of a photo with over 5,000 “likes”. My curiosity was piqued, what was it that she did that drew such attention? I chose to join her 18,000 “followers” to see her status updates. With posts as insightful as “at the bus stop”, “so drunk” and “just had bacon”, the most interesting thing she wrote in the month that I followed her was “in Mcdonalds” (6,000 likes). In that month her followers grew from 18,000 to 82,000.
Seemingly, if you’re pleasing on the eye, you don’t have to be much else. Smart, interesting, funny, caring, talented, all are superseded by being aesthetically appealing.

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This is me. I’m 6ft 4in, I have a five o’clock shadow 45 mins after I’ve shaved and have done since I was 16. I’m not skinny, though not particularly fat, I’m not muscular, though not particularly twiggy. No matter how sharp my observations, keen my humour, beautiful my wordplay, the sad fact of the world is that I will never have 82,000 followers.

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Where Astronauts Unwind

I met her writing meta
Fiction, carefree in a cafe
Silent for a second, bar the tipper
Tapping of the spacebar

Her eyes met mine, glanced
Down then roved back and locked
On as the caps lock engaged
And screamed out HE HELD HER TIGHT

Release, lift your finger, and he released her
As she realised there was much more involved
Than the friendly smile had first suggested
It was steamy on the page and
Paige wiped steam from her glasses on the hem of her skirt

Dripping wet, drip, drop
Was that too much
Perhaps she’s cold and resistant at first
The mug was cold too, a top up please
Hot and white, just the way I like it
The meaningful look across the tables

Too much, yes, far too much
The waitress sighs but Paige chuckles
Then returns to the tipper tapping of the spacebar
As I take the space beside her

And All That’s Staged Is The World

I remember the day
Yet this night seems so familiar
As though every waking second is
Lived through this curtain of darkness

The air is still
Cold, and yet, something about it
Tastes so sweet, offers hope and
Hope offers so much more than itself

The most generous of words, the promise
Of something, anything
Hope reaches out and grips in
I’ll ride these midnight moments

A gift or curse, forget
The cliches and lose the cynicism
Not everything is satire, no need
To be such a cunt

And don’t act so offended by loose lips
And lexical slips, if these words reach you
Or hurt your soft sensibilities
Just brush it off, or vindicate my vulgarity

It’s not his fault, it’s this time
It’s this hour, it plays with the mind
Or opens it up, one way or the other
He’s not himself, or he’s far too honest

Embrace deceit, hide your face
Wear this mask, a harlequin, a harlot
Whether painted on or tightly fixed
Never show them who you are, never drop your guard

Raise your shield, your sword arm
Block, parry, block, thrust
You brought a blade to gunfight
Standing in an open field with a stick as they carpetbomb

It’s been a long night,
Cuddle up closer my dear
I’ll close the curtains
You’re safe in here