I am not talking about any specific person when I say this. My cell is cheap, I have the minimum $35 dollar plan. When I use my home wifi as a hot spot to avoid throttling back on my phone, if I am in a voice space for over an hour the quality of keeping up with the room declines. Sometimes my buttons lock up on my screen, and it can seem like nobody is talking when they are. But I highly suspect it was more than my cell phone acting up on me.
I think in this one instance my opinion of life got me in trouble and not the actual unintended interruptions. I am an atheist, and I make no apologies for it. Many of my poems are skeptical and it isn’t designed to say believers are evil, but only to say, “have you considered this”? I think most human beings are good, I simply don’t think anyone needs a deity to do good or be good.
And as far as getting rich and famous of of writing poetry, that is rare, and while not impossible, it will not happen for most. That is not being negative or pessimistic. If a writer gets on the map I am always happy for them. But at the same time, I do not want to see someone dive into a deep depression, or gain an addiction, or commit suicide if they do not reach that goal. The competition simply does not allow everyone to be on top all at the same time.
I take this very personally because my favorite comedian, who never rose to Jerry Seinfeld fame, Richard Jeni, committed suicide because his short lived sitcom “Platypus Man” got cancelled. He was a very funny guy, but even as a standup road comic, he could have had a lifetime living even without becoming the level of Seinfeld.
Whoopie Goldberg said on “Inside The Actor’s Studio” when a student in the audience asked, “Will I sit where you are sitting someday?”. Her rightful response was, “You are all capable of being great actors, but most of you, if not all of you, will not sit where I am sitting”, meaning they would not rise to her national/international fame.
If an artist, musician, sports player, business person, anything, wants to shoot for the brass ring, by all means, try. But the top of the top, the people we know nationally and internationally, are outnumbered by the unknows. Not because they don’t try, or because they are bad. But because the competition is fierce.
I simply do not want to see good people end up depressed or suicidal because they did not get to the top. It is a very rare place to get. As a poet, I read many people that will never be famous, who deserve it, who could rival Plath and Dickenson and others you know. It may be your dream to make it big, but you still have to be grounded in the math of odds if you want to remain mentally healthy. All art must always be done first, for the love it, not the money, not the fame. I will not apologize for saying that.