Wednesday, March 2, 2022



Aesop's Fables, or the Aesopica, is a collection of fables credited to Aesop, a slave and storyteller believed to have lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 564 BCE. Of diverse origins, the stories associated with his name have descended to modern times through a number of sources and continue to be reinterpreted in different verbal registers and in popular as well as artistic media. The fables originally belonged to the oral tradition and were not collected for some three centuries after Aesop's death. By that time a variety of other stories, jokes and proverbs were being ascribed to him.


The following story is particularly apt in these days of social media, reality television and instagrammers / influencers.

In 1967 British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge wrote in his book Muggeridge Through The Microphone:
In the past if someone was famous or notorious, it was for something—as a writer or an actor or a criminal; for some talent or distinction or abomination. Today one is famous for being famous. People who come up to one in the street or in public places to claim recognition nearly always say: "I've seen you on the telly!"
Muggeridge may have been the first to use the description of being famous simply for being famous.

This is not to be confused with the concept of 15 minutes of fame, the short-lived media publicity or celebrity of an individual or phenomenon. The expression was inspired by a quotation incorrectly attributed to Andy Warhol: "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes."


Aesop’s Fable:

The Mischievous Dog

A dog snuck up on everyone he met and nipped at their heels. His master tired of the complaints and tied a bell around the dog’s neck so he could no longer sneak up on people. Thinking this a mark of distinction, the dog proudly marched through the market ringing his bell. One day an older hound remarked: “Why do you exhibit yourself so? The bell you ring is a mark of disgrace, not merit; it is a notice to all to avoid you.”


Notoriety should not be mistaken for fame.

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