National Commentary

Johnny’s World: Climbin’


One will be born. One will live. One will die. These three basic certainties bind us all in the same race to the finish line. There are other certainties we learn over time. In general, one must work hard to achieve something great. One must avoid jail by murdering another. One must accept, for the most part, that there will always be someone more attractive, wealthy, popular or stylish than you. An unfortunate and ever-increasing certainty is that you will be climbed on, and not in the good way.

Several recent events pushed me to write about this phenomenon. Someone hitting on both my husband and myself in a forceful manner in less than 30 minutes wanted a reality show. As I’m not the head of a TV network or a producer, this is something I cannot offer. Someone dressed up as a crazy at a very important fashion show tried to forge a friendship in five minutes to have her photo made with me and to exchange her third-row place card for a front-row exclusive seat. “Can I sit with you?” “I don’t think so, there’s already a major fashion stylist sitting in the seat you want, and I don’t even know you.”

The brazenness of people, trying to get something of out basically anyone, is awe-inspiring. It seems that people not only have forgotten their manners, but also have lost their shame. It doesn’t matter if you’re an Olympic ice skater, a bouncer at a club, or a school teacher. Someone always wants something from you and they will stop at nothing to get it.

In these times of social networking, internet dating and a bad economy, people are desperate to make a connection that will make their lives easier. If you go to a bar, it is filled with people meeting and making nice just for a chance at bettering their own existence. While I understand that as humans our abilities to be social and to help one another are paramount for a healthy world, it all seems just a little gross at times.

In this world, it is very easy to become jealous of people in the public eye – or even just people down the block with a better car than you – and it has become increasingly easy to use that jealousy to talk yourself up to a ridiculous height in hopes of becoming “an elite member of society.”

Keeping up with the Joneses or Keeping up with the Kardashians is all people seem to care about anymore in social situations. At a recent fashion show, the show wasn’t so much about seeing the artwork unfolding as it seemed to be about who you can have your photograph next to, behind or in the side view of. Carmen Electra, Marc Jacobs, the girl who wears an eccentric hat and looks important, the photographer himself doing a selfie: Nobody was off limits. Fashion Week, a week that displays artists and their works, has turned into Skinny People Chasing Cameras Week.

It isn’t just in the celebrity world that this happens. If you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. In high school the dweeb helps the cool kid on a test and in return gets one day at the cool table at lunch or one Friday night at the movies with the elite group.

Is there a way around this, letting the world be a more honest and civilized place? At the moment I’d say no. The risk of making yourself look like an idiot pales in importance of the risk of possibly running in an elite crowd and making a few more dollars a year. I suggest, finding your self-respect and making your way honestly. The person you’re climbing on today knows what you’re doing and will pull the rug out tomorrow.




  1. Pingback: Johnny Weir

  2. Wow… hitting the nail on the head, again, Johnny! Thank you for saying it. You’re so right… it happens in all walks of life and with some, it can be downright scary!

  3. I see it happen everyday in the office! I’ve been on conference calls where you would think that the “Masters of the Universe” were conversing with each other….vying for the highest ranking participant’s attention via volume and word count! Insightful post—keep writing…!

  4. I think I can relate to this on a level that few think, much less know that, I can understand. In my humble opinion, the crazy who asked to sit next to you should respect her assigned seat and those of other attendants, and be grateful she’s in the same room. Or at least, that’s how I would act given the same opportunity. I’ve noticed that about Fashion Week, too. It’s sadly becoming less and less about enjoying the art of fashion and design and more about “you must know so-and-so”, “let’s do lunch” (right), and if one can’t get a photo taken with an actual celebrity….I loathe how quickly the wanna-be’s “create” a situation because they “just gotta make the photo happen” or worse use photoshop and then throw it out there as “proof”; when if fact they have none, or at least not on their own terms. It sickens my stomach how low some people will go; for example: Posing their son or daughter or themselves as “media-public relations with professional credentials” when in fact they have/had little to no REAL experience before they meet/met you or they are/were in the development phases, at best. In deed, there are things even NYC lab rats won’t do. So glad I’m not that way. So glad I’m able to make my own way. Thank you xo.

  5. Insightful.

  6. Johnny, those people you mentioned are like some chocolate Easter bunnies, all pretty foil on the outside but inside they are hollow.
    Your real fans just love you, I wish I could GIVE TO YOU. Sometimes when I am cooking I wish I could send some over to you just to say thanks for making me happy with your skating.

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