Thursday, July 7, 2011

Unknown inventors of known names.

In 1968, Andy Warhol is said to have famously tweeted that, “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes”. As I grew up waiting for my moment in the sun, I was shocked to read somewhere that the Department of Celebrityhood had pruned this figure to 15 seconds.

Just when I started auditioning for my share of the limelight, I discovered that stardom was now being rationed like Kalakand in Kalahandi. Yup, it was down to 3 goddamn seconds! By the time I make the Page 3 grade, I am sure even those fleeting temporal strands, would have gone with the wind.

BOTTOMLINE: If you’re ordinary like me, you have no chance of hitting the headlines. Unless of course, you get a big fat butt-implant like Kim Kardashian or dress up like Lady Gaga.

Since we’re incapable of being outrageous, what’s the way out for us Perpetually Anonymous Folks (PAFs)? The answer my friend, lies in kick starting a ‘You-scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-yours’ movement. Basically it involves making rank strangers famous and hoping that they return the compliment in kind.

Like my plan? Then let’s set the ball rolling by spreading the word about 3 ordinary people who deserve to escape anonymity. Kim Peterson is my Choice No.1. Nobody knows about this bloke. Or the fact that, he’s the guy who gave Accenture (derived from ‘Accent on the future’) its name.

Next up, is Milton Sirotta. As a 9-year old, he gave his mathematician uncle, Edward Kasner, a newly coined term to describe the largest known number in 1938. Milton called it Googol - which gave us Google! Mr. Sirotta is not the only unfortunate soul to have missed his date with glory.

Joan Coles is another example. When her boss Allen Lane was looking for a ‘dignified, yet flippant’ name for his publishing house, his secretary Ms. Coles mumbled, ‘Penguin’. Everybody knows Penguin today. Some may know even Allen Lane. But what about Joan Coles? Does she deserve her obscurity? If you think she deserves more, go make her popular. Who knows, your good karma, will earn you your three seconds of fame!