Fame, the first banana

Gutted I was today when I saw they released the dates of X Factor auditions in Sweden.  They are either on work days, or when I am back in the UK.


Now, I’m sure that I’m not in with any serious chance in a competition like this – but I wanted to have a go.  I see it here as a massive springboard to a platform to get me in Melodifestivalen for a start.  However, also, I think I want a lifestyle where I am a somebody, at least to someone, and at least to somebody who isn’t a 12 year old fanboy.  Also, and more to the point, I would love some professional opinion of my vocal talents again.

Now I still love Sweden.  I love it’s fairness and open-mind to ideas and lifestyles, linked with the tolerant social conservatism of the place (although man up a bit Swedes please).  I love the music, the transport, the beauty of the ladies and the landscape.  I hate the accommodation situation, but I’ll live with it.  I love my job even, and there are children I teach who inspire me not only to be a better teacher, but to be a better role model and a better leader.

And all of this is why I came, but it hides another side of the coin as well.  Sweden is for me a fresh land of opportunity to make myself somebody in some way.  Conquering Eurovision is one way (as I would actually get a chance to enter here, and although it’s driven by so many washed-up famous people to get the ratings up, it is a farce in how it does this.  I am so frustrated this week by the Melodifestivalen entries – I am sure that some of the other songs submitted would fair so much better at the Eurovision, and proves once more that Melodifestivalen is a curse of its own success.)  but I could equally be involved in life in other ways – although these all seem harder to happen.

This made me question though through this, why do I actually want this…fame?  Why do I want to be the big shot?

Well, throughout school myself, unsurprisingly I’ve always been on the outside of normal societal happenings, always not going to that many parties, if any through my teenage years, but always being incredibly well known.  There were numerous roles I had like this – I would like to say these were all positive, like winning school elections – but also for being known as the weird boy with weird obsessions about certain girls or for being the odd singing boy (which when my songwriting was that bad was definitely worthy of remembering for the wrong reasons!).  Things like Eurovision nowadays do not help that image – but it always makes me different and I like that.

And yes, there are those school pupils who do love some of the things I do and love the singing and – yes – they are fans of what I do in school.  It is nice.  But I know I care too much about this.

I need a purpose to this fame.

In thinking about this over the last few days, the conclusion I reached was that I want fame for a few small reasons.  Firstly, I think I prefer the lifestyle.  Hard work (like marking technology projects) sounds too much like hard work for the lifestyle I want, where the work of my life is to impart more influence through my ideas rather than hard graft.  I am patient, I can enjoy tedious tasks, but I feel that I want more purpose and direction from them already.  Being busy is great, but I want to have more control over the identity that takes.

Which links to the other point.  My proudest moments in life are where I have influence on the world around me.  That traffic crossing in my home town I got after years of negotiations and convincing of politicians is a huge success.  Durham Students’ Union’s election turnout in 2010 was exciting to be leading.  Our Eurovision events, our parties and debates and such, fill me with pride that they were possible, and I miss not having the chance to do these more.

I don’t feel that teaching inspires me that same way.  I can tell that the pupils are developing, and I do look forward to saying I have made a difference and I hope that happens and I’m good enough to warrant it.  But at the same time, it feels so far away, and it feels a little like I’m still training to teach and that I could and should be doing other things.  Not that I’m bad at my job, not that I’m not enjoying it, just that I want to take charge of purpose and direction in ways that a teacher can’t.

X Factor, was a wildcard attempt at a career change.  Going swimming, which I’m going to be doing now, as expected on a Swim and Football Manager and glass of whisky Friday, has made my voice a little stronger (I assume a stronger diaphragm) and Swedish Idol was so shit I wouldn’t have been surprised of minor success (and hopefully I could pull off the cute foreign boy image which would get it going).  But alas it’s not to be the easy way, so it’s back to the drawing board and I need desperately to get myself in a recording studio and get myself a killer piano ballad ready for Melodifestivalen 2013.

And then, maybe, the fame will impart a little of me on the world around me, just as I would like!  The purpose to take the visions into practice to making our civilization a better place.  I just hope I’m right!

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