Did you hear about the new spin off: Dancing with the Authors?


We have all seen stories about celebrities who have taken the wrong road.  You know, the Tiger Woods of the world. The men and women who make millions of dollars because they can throw, hit, or catch a ball of some sort, or because they are beautiful, or because they were smart enough to choose rich, high-profile parents.

We see their canned apologies, their contrition because they got caught.  We see their feigned tears, hear their promises that they have reformed, nod our heads at their apologies to their victims and their fans.

If you can fake sincerity, you have it made in American culture.

My heart does not bleed for these faux heroes.

Celebrity worship creates the impression that success is easily achieved, a birthright that one needs only claim, an entitlement that carries with it no responsibility, no dedication.  “It doesn’t matter what I do, adore me anyway,” it proclaims.

It obscures the true fact of the matter:  There is no substitute for plain old hard work.

The strange corollary to this truism is that hard work may create the best opportunity for success, but it doesn’t guarantee it.

And therein lies the rub.

Most of us who fancy ourselves writers will never make the big time.  No one will ask us to read a chapter from our latest work in progress as part of the half-time show at the Super Bowl.

No major network is planning a spin off called “Dancing with the Authors” (I think that would be a hoot).

So give me some good news, Steve, you say.

Okay.  Here it is.  The chain gang has plenty of spots available. All you need is time, ideas, a thick skin, a second or third job, friends who love you anyway, sleepless nights, desperation and low self-esteem sprinkled with pomposity.

Being able to hum, “I’ve been working on the railroad all the livelong day” doesn’t hurt either.

But don’t expect anyone to break dance to it.

Do people still break dance?

(Stephen Woodfin is an attorney and author of legal thrillers.  He never break danced even when break dancing existed.)

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