Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I'm Almost Facebook Friends with... a modern tale of near fame

“Everybody’s a dreamer
And everybody’s a star
And everybody’s in showbiz
It doesn’t matter who you are” – Ray Davies

“Remember my name ... Fame!” - A large exuberant gathering of talented adolescents enraptured in the joy of terpsichore and song amongst the parked and idled conveyances on Hell’s Kitchen’s 46th Street, one score and seven years prior to the incursion of the extremely irritating… I mean, extremely gifted... cast of Glee.
(Should it strike you that “score” is a somewhat pretentious and arcane expression for a passage of time - I was involved in a conversation on that very topic just a fortnight ago, not half a league from here, and it was proclaimed to be acceptable terminology.)

“What is fame? The advantage of being known by people of whom you yourself know nothing, and for whom you care as little” - Lord Byron

“Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!” - inbred American talk show participants (see also - Sarah Palin supporters and Tea Party Patriots)

Beloved “Annie,” Andrea McArdle. Punk Rock pioneer, Richard Lloyd. Professional Hanger-oner and lacker of any discernable talent or ability, Stuttering John. And Eccentric Rich Guy, Team Owner and Dancing with the Stars alum, Mark Cuban – what do these people all have in common? Fame - and, most importantly, they’re all almost friends of nycityman in the fictional fraternal franchise that is Facebook - an imaginary realm where one can rub shoulders and superficially communicate with those one would never encounter in harsh reality.

Now, not to needlessly boast, but this is no fabrication of my Facebook cred. Somehow, someway (or perhaps more appropriately “Someday, Someway,” as Marshall Crenshaw is one of the many luminaries just one Facebook friend removed from what would surely be a treasured and lasting relationship) yours truly is but a single association away from some of the leading lights, brightest stars and most creative and accomplished minds in the public eye. And most fortuitously, I myself have achieved absolutely nothing to merit any sort of alliance with such distinguished and renowned company. I am completely, thoroughly and undoubtedly undeserving of even this minute suggestion of a correlation. But such is the delight and eccentricities of the social network. So, consider this a sincere salute to those actual acquaintances, those cyber go-betweens, who astonishingly and incredulously and simultaneously link me to both Maya Angelou and Marla Maples. To Curtis Sliwa and Bill Moyers. To Brady Bunch, TV royalty Susan Olsen and British Knighted thespian Dame Helen Mirren. And, yes, like yourselves, I too am now thinking, “How can that be? “ But we shall carry on. When perusing the extensive inventory of Facebook’s, “People You May Know,” one discovers certain qualities and/or certain categories in which “your almost friends” will be classified. For example there are playwrights and Broadway performers - John Patrick Shanley, Israel Horovitz, Donna McKechnie, Brian d’Arcy James and Lea Salonga. News people - Magee Hickey, Deborah Norville, Al Roker and Chuck Todd. And many comedians - Jackie Martling, Sandra Bernhardt, Mario Cantone, Will Forte, Zach Galigianakis and Dave Attel. Then there are those who share a more unique connection, for example, I have seen Sean Hayes and Renee Taylor in person in public. I have seen Judy Gold and Carol Liefer at tapings of stand-up specials, and I have seen Dame Helen Mirren and former Miss USA and current porn… I mean, adult entertainment auteur, Kelli McCarty … in the all together. Unlikely alliances arise.

So, kids, do try this at home. This time-wasting and inevitably pointless exercise goes far further in connecting people than even Kevin Bacon could fathom. If each of your 300 friends has 300 friends - it won’t be too much longer before you get friend requests from Hosni Mubarak and Yakov Smirnoff - who, by the way, loves this country. And should you heed this advice and spend an hour or two - or eight - tomorrow, trolling Facebook rather than fulfilling your job responsibilities, thereby putting your very livelihood at stake at a time of tragically high unemployment - ponder, what does this varied and interesting assemblage of near acquaintances, famous or not, reveal about your persona, your interests or your philosophies? For me, I learned that I’m very likely a wealthy, elderly woman from Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

And now, Ladies and Gentleman, once again - the Kinks!

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