It's a sad fact that most people won't be recognized for the good that they do. Most of us will not be patted on the back or praised for our accomplishments, we will not be told 'good job' or have our talents appreciated. We will, however, be criticized and nit-picked about every flaw concievable, and when a critic can't find a flaw, they will make one up. When criticism stops being constructive, it is meant to be destructive.
So, why would anyone want to be destructive to another person? We, as humans, wish to destroy our enemies, and our enemies are those that threaten us. This is a natural and helpful emotion, when based on physical grounds. It's a sad fact that most 'threatening' is merely a threat to the ego, and when the ego is threatened, people will lash out in 'revenge'.
How can you tell if you are being criticized justly or unjustly? If the ctitique helps or adds insight, it is just. If the comments are rude and unhelpful, they are unjust. If someone in your field tells you: 'Your work is really slipping these days.' that is a helpful note. If some random person posts on your facebook wall 'U Suk!!!!' that is obviously not helpful. The first comment deserves your attention, the second does not.
Even though we know what is helpful and what is not, and therefore know what critiques to take to heart, it can still be difficult when being barraged with unhelpful slander. It is in these instances it becomes important to remember that fine line between famous and infamous. If enough people take the time to slander you, you will become a point of interest. You will be remembered because those people who make it their goal to hurt you will make sure they tell everyone how terrible you are. From there you become the hot topic of much conversation and, before you know it, people are googling your name and learning as much about you as they can so the next time they meet with their hostile friends they have some new or unique facts with which to flame you. Eventually this growing fire will catch and you just might achieve some level of notoriety, if you can fan the flames just a bit.
Remember the quote from the beginning of this entry? It is at this point that it becomes relevant. Fame rarely grants benefits to the famous, it merely entertains the spectators. Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe sell billions of dollars worth of merchandise every year. Photographs considered throwaways during Monroe's living years sell for more than a used car today. Her fame didn't help her career, her career helped make her famous. Sure, some sensationalism helped bring her to the top, the same with Mr. Presley, because infamy can bring fame, but fame rarely brings monetary gain, and who wants to be a broke, unsuccessful famous person?
Even more tragic is that fame is so fleeting. The hottest star this week is just that, to be replaced by someone else in the next issue of this or that magazine. Not only does fame not generate money, it comes and goes in the blink of an eye.
We should all hope to be the scapegoat at some point, it will help push our names into the minds of more people, but we should be prepared to continue on our path once the tide has turned.