bright lights

Stephen King went off on Stephanie Meyers. Michael Phelps did pot. Prince Harry keeps putting his foot in his mouth with racial remarks (the second apparently a lame joke). The media tries to keep it quiet, but our new beloved President smokes.

Much clucking of tongues ensues. But really, these things happen all the time out of the spotlight. So my question: should people truly be held to a higher standard because they're in the public eye?

Minor though it may be, I experience relative fame in my small world. People in my world know I write and edit. Some of them even read my stories. I spoke at two conferences last year and promoted my magazine at WorldCon. When I wear a "presenter" tag at a conference, attendees examine me closely to see if I'm "somebody." (More often than not, they turn away disappointed.) People asked about my Electric Spec t-shirt, and upon learning I'm an editor, tried to sell me a story on the spot. I tend to get around (read: ingratiate myself) in the "In" crowd at these functions. So, in that capacity, I've been asked to introduce people to famous people I know; I've been asked if I'll read someone's work; I've had my conversations interrupted. I've watched it happen to friends. I have a passing acquaintance with the public eye. And I hold myself to a higher standard because of it.


I think I would resent someone else holding me to a higher standard. Perhaps it's the American in me, but sheesh. We're only human, eh? I'm only a writer.

King has been lamblasted this week because of his statements. Phelps may be an icon; he's also a kid who might want to live a little outside the pool. Prince Harry made a bad joke. Obama has a bad habit. And part of me really wants to say, Lighten Up People!

But I'm not sure. Maybe there's something I'm missing here.


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