Written as a satire of racial discrimination, Dr. Seuss’ The Sneetches could just as easily be read as a critique of the quest for fame. For those who don’t know the tale, well, it goes like this…
Those with stars upon thars would sniff and they’d snort, “We’ll have nothing to do with the Plain-Belly sort!” Enter Sylvester McMonkey McBean, with his wondrous three dollar Sneech star-on machine. From bellies without to bellies with stars, suddenly the starless have stars upon thars. Who promptly appears? Why it’s our old friend McBean, complete with a solution: his star-off machine. Stars come off and then on, ‘til nobody knew “which one was what one… or what one was who”.
How different really is the game we call fame, stardom traded and pushed by McBeans with no shame? Today we’re unable to properly glean (you can thank the ubiquitous media machine), if our ‘greats’ have stars on or stars off, stars big or stars small, or if being a star really matters at all.
Perhaps, just perhaps, we’ll “get smart” like the Sneetches, and forget about fame for fifteen minutes eaches: “That day, all the Sneetches forgot about stars. And whether they had one, or not, upon thars.”