There is a wonderful show business saying that if a performer is a great enough talent, “you could put him or her behind a brick wall and they will still find a way to entertain.” While I believe this to be true in idealistic theory, I also think that not putting him or her behind a brick wall would be profoundly helpful to their cause. If a website is going to be worth a visit, publicity is going to help get that visit.
I have gone viral approximately not once, so I have some expertise in the field of not being at all famous.
Some of you may not remember that last March I was almost on the verge of getting on line for the waiting room to visit the Land of the Almost Known. My “About.me” page was featured on that website’s “popular” list, and my page, which usually receives about 150 views per day, was seen by 3051 other About.me users, 2000 within the first hour of being listed. Another 1300 visited the next day.
Three thousand. I know, I know. I have lived in at least one building that had a larger population.
What does fame feel like? Living in Philip Johnson’s “Glass House.”
This post will be number 192, I think, on this website. There are a handful of columns that I am proud of having written and published, and they are these:
1. The several pieces I have published about my life with adult spinal muscular atrophy. I even explain the duck on my website. Here, I will group them together in one package: Spinal muscular atrophy.
2. A Conspiracy Theory of Conspiracy Theories
3. Guilty of White
4. Requiem for a Sponsor
5. Two appreciations of the Bonzo Dog Doo-dah Band and its leader, Vivian Stanshall
6. A column about the Baseball Hall of Fame
7. An appreciation of one of my favorite places, Opus 40
8. Comedy: The ‘Fish-Slapping Dance’
9. A column about W.H. Auden’s character: “Auden’s Decency”
As a self-publicist, I am not certain I would hire me, but I was the only person to apply for the job. On Twitter, there are a handful of people who profess to like what appears here and even share selected pieces. That amazes me, and I am speechless.
There are also people on that service who use unpleasant names (I was called the B word recently, which was a surprise) or offer strange advice (when I shared a recording of T.S. Eliot the other day, the fiftieth anniversary of his death, one person took the time to explain what drugs I ought to get a prescription for, and that he could help). In the name of publicity, I should never block anyone, but I did in both of those cases.
No glass house for me.
The WordPress Daily Prompt for January 6 asks, “Your blog just became a viral sensation. What’s the one post you’d like new readers to see and remember you by? Write that post.”