tirsdag, oktober 02, 2007

Yet another brush with fame

And by brush with fame, I mean learning that there was a famous person in the same city as I was. Don't be fooled into thinking that I actually talked with, saw, or in any other way came into direct contact with anyone famous.

Anyway, apparently Bill Clinton is back in town, and during his trip, before the visit to the prime minister, he decided to wow the townspeople by signing a few of his books. Keep in mind that Denmark is fairly besotted with Clinton as it is, and the feeling seems to be mutual...I have the idea that Copenhagen is home to a speech by or visit from the former president at least once a year, though this is just anecdotal, I don't keep official track. So, Bill in a bookstore is a sure winner.

You can see a photo of the chosen bookstore here. Note the signs on the side of the store exclaiming that you can 'Meet President Bill Clinton'. This seems to be making a statement about something, though whether in favor of Clinton, or against the favor of the actual president, is hard to say (I'd say it's a strong mix of both).

According to the article, the line to get in to meet the president was 'long, very long'. I didn't see any line when I passed by on my walk to class (it was maybe a bit early), but there were guards at the door...actually, that's what clued me in that something was up, though my thoughts were more 'Arnold Busck is closed, and there are police guards at the door...has there been a horrible crime committed?' I also passed by some increased police action in front of parliament, presumably in preparation for the big visit(or).

It all got me thinking. And my main thought was, it must be strange to be Clinton. Everywhere you go, you're surrounded by bodyguards. You can't just go somewhere, the area has to be vetted for security for days beforehand. People line up to see you, and want you to sign books for them. You get to see the world, but never in a natural way, just seeing how people really live their everyday lives. Can you ever have just a bad day? Do you always have to be warm, friendly, and approachable? (It seems that Clinton doesn't have a problem with this last one...here he is in the store...the headline reads 'Clinton charmed Copenhageners'). Is it possible to maintain strong ties to reality with a lifestyle like that? Of course, the reverse is that you can have way more impact on the world than just about anyone. You can raise awareness of a location by just showing up, or of an issue by just discussing it.

But is it worth it? Would you give up a normal life for that kind of influence? I'm pretty sure I wouldn't, though that's easy for me to say as I'm pretty confident that I won't have the chance in any case. If you had the opportunity, and took it, what would you do with the newfound power? What would you speak about? Where would you go?

14 kommentarer:

theblackscorpio sagde ...

If I had the skill to really change the world into something better for a lot of people, I'd give up "normal life".

Scholiast sagde ...

I'd have gone to see him. I think. Except last time he was here ... I didn't...

I'd go just anywhere to see Rufus, though - and lo and behold, I am! Going to Berlin tomorrow, with sweet hubby (and no kids!) and we'll see Rufus on Friday. Bliss...

I don't know if these people can ever lead 'normal' lives --- but that's normal to them, isn't it?

Devil Mood sagde ...

I wouldn't either.
I don't understand how people don't get how awful this celebrity lifestyle must be...and everyone still wants to 'be famous', be in the spotlight, be someone...as if that means anything other than 'you're disposable, there are millions like you'.

Well, in the case of Clinton is it is different because he has goals, important principles that he wants to see respected, so he is not in it for the short ride, he is serious.

But I wouldn't want to be ahead of anything with that much responsability. These people give away their privacy, personal freedom and sometimes their whole lives to a global cause. Not me.

Greg Mills sagde ...

Just out of curiousity, why do the Danes like Clinton?

KB sagde ...

You know, I used to think that if I had some really important goals and thought I could make a difference (and of course had the opportunity!) I could give up a normal life. But now, no, I'm quite certain I could not.

How did I come to this conclusion? Well, a few months living in Africa has given me the tiniest glimpse at what it must be like to attract attention everywhere you go, all the time, and I'm not a fan of the lifestyle. All foreigners here - and especially white foreigners - are assumed to be rich (which we are in comparison but not to the standards people here assume we are) and treated like celebrities. Children run up to touch you, want their photo taken with you (even though they won't get the picture) and there's generally a great commotion everywhere you go. Adults stare, quite frequently want to be your friend for no reason at all beyond your nationality and skin colour (and probably supposed wealth), and, generally speaking, treat you differently from everyone else. Obviously you can't open your own car door, carry you own bags or walk more than 10 feet without collapsing. Heaven forbid you have a bad day and snap at someone, annoyed with all the attention. And, the worst part, you're never alone. Your home is secured by guards at all hours and you have a driver in case you need to venture out beyond their watchful eye. There is always someone around.

Now this is all dandy for a short while, like a holiday, but as a lifestyle? Forever? And multiplied by a million times like it must be for Bill Clinton? No. I agree with you. Not for me. Not for me at all.

DayByDay4-2Day sagde ...

I think it is fun to think what we would do if say we were rich or famous or powerful , but to actually do it well, I'm not sure how many would really do it.

Neil sagde ...

have a feeling that his wife will be the next President. I wonder how he is going to handle being second banana.

Etchen sagde ...

I grew up with Katie Holmes and am embarrassed & disgusted that she has done nothing of social importance with her fame. I love my privacy, but I think I would give i up if I could be a better voice to a cause that was important to me.
I'll tell Kytari to email you--thanks for agreeing to talk with her. ;-)
By the way, in the states, all former Presidents retaint he title of "President"

sangroncito sagde ...

thankfully there is one global representative from the U.S. who can counteract the hatred the world feels for the Bush Regime.

The Egel Nest sagde ...

Just wanted to swing by and tell you thanks for your comments over at the nest...Very glad you enjoyed my story! :)

The Egel Nest

Simple American sagde ...

Gosh. All I want is a book for people to sign.

Fitèna sagde ...

My cousin has very famous friends. At least they were friends but he distanced himself from them. I asked him why. He said it's because whenever you call or try to meet them (they're too busy to be the one's calling or visiting) they assume it's because you need something!
It reminded me of how I felt the day I called my uncle. He's not famus, the dude is only a doctor. When we arrived I called all the uncles and aunties (the country is huge, there was no way we were going to call on everybody) to let them know that we were safely back. I call this doctor uncle, introduce myself, and tell him the purpose of my call. And he say "yes" like "yes???", its a question. I said huh? he asks me if I need something. I say "Nooo" he says "huh sorry then, ok fine welcome then". I hang up and I have this impression that he thought I was going to ask him a free consultation or something like that.
If the price to pay is being constantly worried about who cares about ou for you and not for what you are, then I don't that. Thank you!


Maddie sagde ...

I would not give up being me to
be famous - I like to slink around with my camera - unshowered -
messy hair - sometimes even in my
pajamas - so I would not appreciate
the lack of privacy -

I love Bill however I would not
line up to meet him:)

I think I would only line up to
meet the Dalai Lama, Thay and
perhaps Bruce Springsteen.


Maddie sagde ...

THANK you for visiting my etsy

um...did you say what I THINK
you said?????