Q. To Whom It May Concern,
So the other night I was in Kings Cross and some shit had gone down and this news crew was hanging around so I literally just ran up to the camera to talk to them. So I didn’t actually see what happened, but I just figured, whatevs, and made something up. That’s just the kind of girl I am. So it got on the Channel Nine website and then YouTube and suddenly it was fully sick cause I’m like, totally famous now. Someone made a facebook group about me called “Clare The Kings Cross Bogan” which is cool cause I love Australia and I’m proud to be a bogan OK? And it had 17,000 fans so that was cool and now there’s mugs with my face on them and t-shirts and even the politicians are saying ‘chk-chk boom’ in parliament and they’re talking about me all around the world. Even like, Malaysia. Totes.
But then a paper found out I kind of made the wogs thing up and instead of thinking it was funny there are all these losers who are like mad and I don’t get it. I mean, it got me noticed so who gives a? And now I’ve totally got an agent so why is it so wrong to want to be famous? I mean, the guy’s fine he’s not dead or anything. I mean, I don’t condone violence but I’m not sorry I did it. And what’s so racist about calling wogs fat? They’re just totally jealous, right?
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C. Werbeloff, North Shore, Sydney
A. Something fundamental falls apart when we tell stories that are not our own. What usually falls apart first, as you’ve discovered, is our control of the story. Suddenly we find that other people don’t read it the same way we do. Especially the parts we’ve written for them. It doesn’t sound like you are facing jealousy here. Big Mama Thornton wasn’t jealous of Elvis’ success with Hound Dog, she was angry because he stole her song.
In your case, you have become famous for acting like someone you’re not, and saying something that wasn’t true, about something you didn’t see. This leaves you in a difficult position. It’s hard enough to face up to criticism for something we did in good faith. It’s far harder when what we did has no real personal meaning. Without meaning, we are empty and vulnerable to seeing ourselves from the outside, because we have no internal reference point. You want to be famous, but you don’t seem to know why and you don’t seem to know what for. So like anyone hungry, you may be forced to eat what you’re given.
When we don’t have a purpose for our actions beyond momentary personal gain, we lose the ability to tell our own stories, and others write them for us. We become known as the bogans we only pretended to be. Fame doesn’t sound like it’s what you were hoping for. What were you hoping for? Your disappointment with how others see you will be a clue. In other words, take a good look at what you feel you’re missing. You may find out more about what you really want. I imagine that you have more in common with Wogs here than you think Clare. It’s not just the words, it’s who gets to use them.