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January 18, 2005 at 7:26 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

There he was, locked in a group hug with other partyphiles from the thin-crust of upper-middle class society. The picture is taken from the launch of Icon mag, which is trying to do with print what OUT! tried with broadcast.

He is wearing crimson three-fourths, emphasizing his torso with its tightness, fluffy feathers around his neck like a stealthy boa constrictor. Tasha wonders if I had been there, and quickly adds she would’ve introduced us if I were.

And at once my ego is deflated. He’s an ex-steward, a stage actor, a TV host, well-known in the Malate circuit, a Frank Provost protégé, and on top of all that, he’s gorgeous, pedigreed and obviously well-educated. What would a guy like that want to have anything to do with a guy like me?

Tasha, a kindred spirit with more pizzazz and flair tells me he’s watching their production in LB on the 20th and promises to introduce us if I go.

I point out that we’ve actually shaken hands before, during the launch of OUT! in Malate, when I was with the staff from Amnesty International. But then again, I tell myself, I doubt he even remembers me. So I say yes, and am now making plans for an LB trip — to watch Tasha’s production, to meet up with Jazzy whom I haven’t seen in two years, and yes, all of that just for a chance to say hi to a star.

That’s the stuff stars are made of. You know them, and you don’t expect them to know you back. They’re a fixture of the industry that makes them familiar names, which makes them attainable even if they don’t even give a rat’s ass about your life. Not to be mean, for I’m sure stars like Jigs are real people with real feelings and real problems too, but if stars really cared about me, then how come I haven’t seen any of them walk through my door when I’m in deep shit?

Nevertheless, that’s just the kind of fool I am. The possibility of seeing him is enough. An introduction would be good. The giddiness is alright, since it’s not everyday that I get to see a star. Oh, wait a minute. I do see stars on a daily basis. The despicable, corrupt kind that litter the halls of this government institution I work in.

But that’s the stuff stars are made of. They seem like they’re someone you can relate to. Someone who has some of the stuff you want to have in your life like good looks, bad-ass cars, a high-rise condo unit and the good old familiarity and recognition that go along with the name.

Andy Warhol said that in the future, everyone will have their fifteen minutes of fame. But for other stars out there, why do 15 minutes seem like such a long time? In a fit of deep hatred for the famous, I can’t help but ask: when is my time coming up?

How does it feel to know that people know you? What is it like to walk down a street ad have someone call out your name? What’s it like to have someone ask to have their picture taken with you? How does it feel to have people seek out your signature, so insignificant a drawl yet so treasured by a fan?

He may not be that big of a celebrity, but Jigs is one of those people who are certainly no strangers to a certain segment of the population. The fact that he is who he is sets him up there, while I’m just me, and I’m just here. Poor me, the nobody. So why would I want to even bother going to LB just to see him?

Maybe because a part of me still believes it is possible for a million Notting Hills to come true. A part of me still believes in the power of love to bring together even the most unlikely of pairs. A part of me still clings to that faith, hoping against hope that it isn’t all bullshit, and that indeed, love is blind to status and backgrounds and inhibitions.

Which is why it’s so easy for me to keep my sight fixed on stars; even as I’ve reconciled myself with the fact that I have to stay grounded if I’m to go anywhere.

Friendster’s profile form asks “Who I Want To Meet”, and after so many revisions, I come up with the final answer: “shooting stars with permanent scars”. I take the line from Drops of Jupiter, about ambition and the love we forego in search of those dreams. It is a song about distance, dismissal and disillusionment, the painful return to what you left behind. It is about going after something you want so badly and the crash that follows after failing to acquire it.

For people like us, whom plain old jane calls those who are “too afraid to fly so he never did land”, to fall for a shooting star seems like sailing across the sun, making it to the Milky Way only “to find the lights all faded.”

We who are too afraid to fly and can only see the shooting stars across the sky can only hope that, as Train puts it, “heaven is overrated” indeed. It makes stars like Jigs seem more real. And one can only know if one stops treating celebrities and semi-celebs like shooting stars.

Stars are made, not born. And they are made not by agents, not by studio honchos, and not even by the media. We, who are too afraid to fly are the ones who put them up there to worship them and then spite them once we think they’re out of reach. Fame-whores are only as good as stupid fame-consumers allow them to be. We consume stars for as long as they stay up there because they feed our own dreams, our aspirations. We make them unattainable and then we covet what we gave them in the first place.

So I guess my LB sojourn shouldn’t be about a star. I’m not going for a star. I’m going there for the people, the real people, who are waiting there to see me. I don’t have to go to LB to see a “star” to see if he has “permanent scars”. Maybe I’m just taking my Friendster description too literally.

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  1. Update: yeah we shook hands. and that was it. and i was like, ummmkay. so there.


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