And don’t let me see you pick it up again, Mister!
I’m not sure if this essay should go into this blog or into its’ sister: frontierandcolonial.wordpress.com. The original idea came from a person in the photographic world but it really is applicable to a lot of different walks of life. The idea of the name-dropper.
Ever since people started speaking and then writing we have had the name dropper – the person who uses the light of a famous name to reflect a tawdry glory upon themselves. That glory might just be for illumination – they would be invisible to themselves and others otherwise – or it might be used for commercial and social gain. If you drop the name of the American President you might be able to make people think that you and he are confrères. If you drop the name of his wife you create an entirely different impression….
And here is the problem in a nutshell – tagging yourself with name of the rich/famous/powerful/beautiful/talented is all very well but you run a number of real risks:
- People may not believe that you and Barack or Michelle are ” just like that” if you live on a pension in Gosnells and dress in tracky daks from Big W. Even if you go into details about which one is on top.
- People may not know who Barack and Michelle are. This is a problem that puzzled the FBI – and they have far better sources of information than the average person.
- People may not appreciate the influence that Barack might have upon your artistic merit or social charm. They may not be able to make the connection between being friends with Michelle and getting an extra 20% discount on a product. They may fail to see why you are privileged.
- They may not care. Let’s face it, if God Almighty went in to some places and pulled his wallet out they would still charge Him an extra 2 1/2 percent on American Express. How much less a friend of some personality…
- The person you attach your credibility to may come to hear of it and repudiate you.
- Not all famous people are good people. Sometimes the shop assistant that you try to dazzle with the name of a famous superstar mentor award-winning iconic legend has seen said legend ratted on cheap red wine at a photography conference and knows just how insecure and loudmouthed they are…It is all very well being the friend of the superstar but if they are a stupidstar…
- The worst word you can ever hear after delivering a name drop ( and a subsequent demand for discount/preference/adoration ) is ” So “? There are very few convincing “So’s” out there. Even fewer so-and-so’s.
The safest way to drop a name is to drop one that is long-dead. Verifiably dead, too, I might add. No good gassing on about Judge Crater if he turns up behind you in the queue…The English monarchy of the 1700-1800 period is safest. No one can gainsay George II.