How to Become a Household Word

We have famous people today, but I can’t think of any who are so famous as to become eponymous. Nobody goes around saying “What are you some kind of Obama or something?” or “Look guys, we got us a real Bill Gates over here!” No, maybe that will come later, after legacies are cemented, but it doesn’t feel as though our celebrities become household words like the celebrities of yesterday did.

Albert Einstein. Imelda Marcos. Harry Houdini. These people are synonymous with genius, having too many shoes, and disappearing, respectively. And you could use these names with anyone on the street as almost adjectives, to describe someone else with these same qualities. You see, these people were famous for something no one else was famous for. That is the true secret.

Sure, you could be an actor, or a politician, but practically  everybody famous is one of those. Musician? Ha! Good luck. You will be forgotten as soon as they shuffle to the next track. To be the very pinnacle of a crowded field is difficult. Sure, there is a chance you could be Pavarotti, and everybody could shout “Who do you think you are, [your name here]?!” whenever somebody tries to sing, but the chances of that happening are very low. So it is in the field of writing. I am in the wrong field. Shakespeare has already happened. No one is going to say “Yeah, you’re a regular Tenor Dad!” when confronted with a poem or essay. I need to branch out.

What can you or I do that has not been done before? Ah, there’s the rub. As time goes on, more and more things have been done, so we are clearly running out of things to do! Or are there infinite possibilities? No, there are not, there are like 23 possibilities and 22 of them have been taken. So we need to consider what is left for us to achieve ubiquitous fame. Perhaps we could be the most evil dictator ever? Like Hitler? Nope. Sorry. If you can end your sentence with “…like [name]?” then it is too late. There is already someone who has done it.

Her a few ideas for things that you might come to fame doing: Cat Juggling, Extreme Public Flatulence, Tornado Riding, Urban Tank Driving, Casual Jetpack Use, Teleportation. If you can quickly rise to the top of any of these fields before anyone else, you might have a chance. But probably not. Let’s face it; you really aren’t that good at cat juggling.

Today is Harry Houdini’s birthday. Had he not been punched in the appendix by a fan backstage, he would have been 142 years old today. As we remember the escape artist whose legend has survived 90 years after his death, let us consider our own legacies. And let us also watch this awesome new music video from The Deedle Deedle Dees. Just because. Happy Birthday Harry.

If you love the song as much as I did, you can download it here.

Posted in Houdini, Legacy, Music, Video.

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