The glorious Andy Pressman of beautifully designed Oh Messy Life! infamy has posted a picture of a singular poster. The poster reads, “Then it hit me, I’m not going to be famous, I won’t get to be a rock star, I am going to be stuck on the payroll doing work that doesn’t interest me for a very long time”. And it reminded me of something I posted eighteen months ago which read:
“It’s slowly beginning to dawn on me that I’m never going to be famous, I’m never going to be truly exceptional, or lauded over – I’m never going to travel to the moon, I’m never going to kill someone, I’m never going to gazelle on stage. This may be one of the most crushing realisations of my life”
But I was wrong. These are the words of the old world that we all used to live in. The world before the internet, before weblogs, before we realised the truth. In the future we will all be superheroes if we want to be. This is a distributed world – a world in which the barriers to flight have been lifted. You don’t have to be a multi-millionaire to make your mark, you don’t have to have all the luck in the world to rise up from your origins and hold your head up high. This is the post-American Dream – to live in a world in which you can get the respect you deserve simply by posting rubbish to the internet, by talking about your interests, your dreams and your interests. The man who made that poster has already proven himself wrong. His words, his image have been ripped from the streets of New York and broadcast into the ether. Hundreds of people have already seen it across the world and taken his words and thought about their lives. An impact has been made. And, like the impacts that we all make online, it should be celebrated. So this is my clarion call, here is my manifesto. Throw away the doubts that bind you. Shed your bodies and celebrate what makes you unique and important – all the stuff that helps you sleep at night – and take to the net. We need you. We love you. We want you. Nothing else is important.
Addendum: Thanks to Matt Jones for the related conversation over AIM that ended with us agreeing that an ISP with built in weblogging functionality and a low bandwidth limit could do worse than use the slogan: “In the future everyone will be famous for 15Mb”.
Related: Wired On the size of the weblog nation