All of which leads me to this obvious point. It is no good everyone repeating that tiresome cliché about x, y and z 'only being famous for being famous' – their fame exists in our heads and it is therefore our fault, not theirs, if fault there is. I can’t blame Jade Goody for the fact that I know her name. Many famous people may well be guilty of being ambitious for fame, for 'hunting after it all their lives' as in the quotation above, but while I could be guilty of wanting everyone in Britain to send me ten pounds such an ambition is useless unless others are foolish enough to realise it for me. It is our curiosity, admiration, idolatry, envy, rage, resentment or obsession that privileges the famous with their fame and the only way we can take it away from them is by forgetting. Which is hard. And it's no good saying: "it's not my fault Abi Titmus is famous … it's other people who have made her so" – the very act of uttering that sentence has spread the infection, has transmitted the fame meme. Yes the media institutions, the newspapers, television and indeed internet have a part to play as pipelines, but the energy that drives the fame along those pipelines derives more from the receiver than the transmitter, it is more suck than blow.My god, I adore him.
Many thanks to Tigtog for the heads-up.