Winners and losers


I posted the following on facebook, then did some thinking.

I really, really liked Tom Hiddleston in Thor, and I expect to like him in Thor 2and the current BBC version of Shakespeare’s history plays. But he has become way too popular.

He’s a terrific actor. But extreme popularity makes me uneasy. Don’t ask me why.

One of the reasons I draw back from extremely popular actors and writers is my dislike of living in a society of winners (a handful) and losers (the vast majority). I would like fame and money spread more widely, so everyone had enough money and regard.

Society works because many, many people act together to make it work. Only a few are rewarded, and those few are rewarded excessively. I speak with feeling. I think I am a pretty good writer. But I have not ever come close to making a living at writer.

I write too little and too slowly. But I know writers far more disciplined than I am, who write many good books and cannot make a living. In the same way, most aspiring actors, dancers, musicians, artists give up ultimately, because it’s too hard to hold a day job and create art in their spare time.

Then there are the people who hold society together — clean buildings, serve food, do childcare and patient care, work in warehouses and factories and on farms — and can’t make an living wage.

I don’t like it. I don’t like hero worship, and I don’t like celebrities. Instead of daydreaming about famous people and imagining ourselves as billionaires, we should appreciate our own lives and make them livable — and go to local theaters and concerts, that do not showcase world stars.