“Fame doesn’t fulfill you. It warms you a bit, but that warmth is temporary.” Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe — seen here being presented to Queen Elizabeth II — was very savvy about appearances; about what made people tick, and how fame blurred the picture. She struggled to balance her inner life against a manufactured persona.

Everyone’s childhood plays itself out… I think to love bravely is the best and accept as much as one can bear.

Marilyn Monroe

Some court fame, some are born into it. Some can bear it, some can’t. Living a public life requires fortitude.

Today we need a special kind of courage. Not the kind needed in battle, but a kind which makes us stand up for everything that we know is right, everything that is true and honest. We need the kind of courage that can withstand the subtle corruption of the cynics, so that we can show the world that we are not afraid of the future.

Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom

In a recent interview, her grandson, Prince Harry, had this to say.

Is there any one of the royal family who wants to be king or queen? I don’t think so, but we will carry out our duties at the right time.

Now that’s a mature perspective informed by a lifetime of “living in a goldfish bowl,” even when serving in the military.

“Lieutenant Wales is a prince of the UK royal family. He is entitled to do his job in the regiment without interference. However, in the ordinary course of duty, recall that his grandmother is head of the armed forces, his aunt honorary colonel of the regiment, his father and brother will both one day be king. Treat him with discretion, circumspection, and respect.”

Prince Harry Boy to Man, William Kuhn

In the modern era everyone with a digital presence (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, WordPress, Instagram, Google +, etc., etc.) has a kind of global recognition unknown in previous generations. Yet the struggle, finding that balance between veneer and core, is both a delicate maneuver and a common denominator.

And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything.

As You Like It, William Shakespeare

Let’s discuss…

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  1. George Kaplan
    July 19, 2017

    I think it is more than possible that Harry’s father Charles *does* want to be monarch. He’s has been preparing for it for much of his adult life and as he is unsurprisingly of the generation beneath his son he will have a different attitude, not to mention Harry speaks for himself – as much as he might believe otherwise – so it’s not beyond the limits of the possible that he might be wrong. There’s just been one small obstacle in Charles’s way… *cough*

    There are people in this modern digitally-maddened “connected” world who cannot conceive of keeping anything to themselves or refraining from broadcasting every triumph and each bowel movement to all, you know, the kinds of narcissistic idiots who distribute portraits of themselves with newborn babies to the interweb to be fawned over by nincomboobs (worse than nincompoops, no?); millionaires, billionaires, politicians, and paupers united by egoism and idiocy, there are a lot of them sloshing around the globe, how I wish they would slosh off. The trouble with attempting to use the internet for *everything*, particularly for self-promotion or to carry out asinine feuds (often even when *they* are in the – very – wrong) is that they can’t turn it off or complain when bad publicity heads their way or they want privacy. Vewy intewesting. If people don’t recognize any boundaries between personal and private (and millions can’t) or companies think they should have some say on how employees occupy themselves in their free time – which should be illegal as should most “non-compete” clauses then there is no good end. To paraphrase Aimee Mann, they better wise up!

    • July 19, 2017

      It does seem like commerce is insidious — net neutrality is under attack again. It can get discouraging. However, I might remind you, sir, that there are wonders of connection afforded by this digital era, we just have to learn to manage them with a mind to dignity, soul, and care. No? It flies in the face of the bots and politicians and moneyed interests, but the Internet is a pluralistic medium and I think the good will out.

      As for Charles, there is a new biography that I’m jonesing to read: Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life by Sally Bedell Smith, I will report back when I do…I hope to find it momentarily in the library!

      • George Kaplan
        July 20, 2017

        Oh, yes, I don’t deny the interweb and digital technology has brought some great things and a plurality of voices can be heard but I think it also fosters a conservatism, consider that if you are young and even older the notion of *not* being hooked up to social media constantly is being closed to you; much of humanity has never needed encouragement to march in lockstep and bully those who are different or to exploit technology for criminal ends, just look at what’s been happening in the past year with the criminal use of technology. Chilling!

  2. July 19, 2017

    At last, I know where I’ve been going wrong – I should have been publicising my bowel movements. Shucks. I hope you’re right about the internet and the good will out. Sometimes I wonder. I can’t pretend it hasn’t made a huge difference in my life for various reasons but there is such a lot of crap and danger out there. As for whether Charles really does want to be king, I suspect you’re right, George. The BBC recently showed the televised version of the successful play by – can’t remember his name – ‘King Charles’, which was shown soon after the lead, Tim Pigott-Smith, died. As well as being very good, it makes one think about the Royal Family and what the future brings and what each of them really wants. Worth catching if they show it in your neck of the woods. x

    • July 19, 2017

      I have to see “King Charles III”.
      I hear you on the crap and danger aspect, I gave it (social media) up for a while after what I suspect were bots started telling me how “unpatriotik” (sic) Kirk Douglas was, and other useless, ungrammatical, whacko tidbits (that I will not repeat here) about Hollywood legends and President Obama.
      Having said that, I am delighted to be back and hearing from old friends. You ARE the silver lining…wait…make that platinum. xox, V

    • George Kaplan
      July 20, 2017

      Dear FND,
      I’m glad to give you inspiration – just call me Mnemosyne… 😉
      Wasn’t King Charles by Mike Bartlett, also scripter of Dr Foster (yawn) and an episode of Doctor Who guest starring David Suchet (or David Sachet as he *loves* to be known…!)? Or am I talking out of my titfer?
      Tim Piggot-Smith was very good in that play, oddly I was thinking of him yesterday, he turned up in the audience of the hilarious Audience With Billy Connelly (sp.?) from the Eighties and later in an installment of the – dreary – Inspector Lynley Mysteries alongside Cherie Lunghi.

      • July 20, 2017

        Mike Bartlett, that’s right. I don’t believe you are talking out of your titfer. I spotted Piggot-Smith too in the Connolly repeat and realised from him and all the others in the audience just how ancient we’ve all become! My but those Lynley Mysteries were dull as ditchwater. I know this from watching part of one episode and never letting it darken my hearth again.

      • George Kaplan
        July 20, 2017

        Ms FND, Yes, *Connolly* not “Connelly”. Agh! I wrote *Connolly* originally but spellchecker offered up “Connelly” which I had considered using so I opted for that instead… Drat and double drat!
        Ah, yes, I watched part of “An Audience With…” for the …nth time and noted rather depressing how several of those attending are now gone (dead that is, not that they have left the country…tho’ some have), Bob Hoskins and Tim among them. Saddening and I am sad enough as it is. Others have been thoroughly savaged as well as ravaged by time. Angela Rippon looks much the same though…!
        Those Lynleys… *yawn* Sadly some good actors and appealing actors were stranded in that as in Dalziel and Pascoe (not a patch on the books! Poor Warren, it’s a pity he couldn’t play Fat Andy as grotesque as in the novels. More of a pity that the likes of Dervla Kirwan and Isla Blair were wasted in guest shots). FEH. But don’t get me on to how there are too few genuinely interesting and quirky or just solid actors now (too much mulch, too many Sarah Lancashires! Dullll!) you will not agree!

      • George Kaplan
        July 21, 2017

        We are prophets without honour in our own land, darling!

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