Thursday, February 6, 2014

Fame and Privacy; A Meditation on Life by Payman Akhlaghi (2014)

Meditations on Life: Fame and Privacy
By: Payman Akhlaghi (2014, Draft 1)

(*) First published on on February 6th, 2014, under Meditations on Life: Fame and Privacy.

I once wrote, "Just because I've appeared in the public doesn't mean that I'm in the Public Domain." Imagine the strange experience of cameras and mobile phones being trained on you, everywhere you go, especially on one of your sick and battered days, or when you are holding the hand of your beloved walking down on an otherwise quiet street. Imagine a photo or a video clip of yourself, nothing more than a snap out of the context of your life, going viral without your consent. Do you feel comfortable?

Many of us may confuse for a moment the human being whom we run into on the street with what we've heard of him, his persona from afar at the podium, or his image on the screen. But to think that just because you've known Of a person would give you automatically the right to trespass their sphere of privacy, and to tarnish their reasonable trust in the environment, that's a mistake with serious consequences. A fortiori, to organize multitudes to chase and catch a glimpse of the famous or a scoop, it's been a demonstrably dangerous practice.

Neither the self-alienated crowd who objectifies a human being, nor the individual in the spotlight, deprived of many common layers of privacy, may have come equipped by default to handle fame. Years ago, an erudite person noted to me how child actors tended to grow depressed as they got older and missed the attention they once received. On the other hand, adult actors are known to have come in grips with some aggressive trespassers. Given the tragically dwindling health and habits of many talented young and adult individuals before the public eye, even because of it, it's about time to reinforce a serious discourse toward a more reasonable culture of fame. From the outset, we should aim to to help the individuals and the public see the human in themselves and in another, and that reasonable expectations of privacy in the public arena are respected and protected.

© 2014, Payman Akhlaghi. All rights reserved.

(*) Payman Akhlaghi is a composer, pianist and piano teacher based in Los Angeles. His repertoire covers Classical music, as well as Persian (Iranian) Music, Pop Music, and Film Music. For information on the lessons in the Greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Encino, Brentwood, etc. please call: 310-208-2927. Thank you.

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