Today I come to you not to bury James Gunn nor to praise him. Plenty of ink has been spilled over the past few days relating to whether Disney was right or wrong to kick him off “Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 3” for jokes made in poor taste made years ago, which he already apologized for, and which Disney was aware of when they hired him in the first place. I think we can all agree that Gunn’s real sin was not making racist tweets, because that might have gotten him a sitcom on ABC. The situation is what it is, and the only thing I have to add at this point is that the rollout for the next “Avengers” movie is going to be fascinating.
If you’re the famous type and you’ve happened to come across this post by happenstance, I’m glad you’re here, but I’m going to kindly ask you to move on with your day. I have nothing to offer you in terms of advice, but I do thank you for click. I promise I’ll support your next project. For everyone else, I’m going to share a very important lifehack that you should keep in the back of your mind.
Don’t get attached to your social media profiles. I know it’s hard: You’ve spent countless hours alternating between spilling your guts and shitposting, building a brand that’s easily identifiable to the less than 1,000 people who follow you. It’s part of your identity, even though it’s never once got your a free drink at the bar or a free pretzel at the mall. As good as that one really solid tweet that got 700 retweets felt, you really should always be ready to set them on fire if need be,
Here’s the thing: One day you might stumble into fame. Maybe you’re on the grind, trying to make it in the world of entertainment. Maybe you just happen to be at the right place at the right time, Ken Bone-ing your way into memehood. Maybe you hit the lottery. Whatever the case may be, if you’re ever on the precipice of morning news shows ringing you up, you have to be ready to throw your entire social media history out the window, lest you end up like James Gunn or Ken Bone, having your dirty past dug up for the whole world to see.
Now, perhaps you’re a nice person who never went through a phase where you were more interested in being edgy than interesting, but odds are if you have more than 10,000 tweets, odds are good that a deep dive into your past is going to reveal that at one point you were awful out loud. And no matter how far back you think that was, the horde will find it, screenshot it, and spread it around. The horde cares not about right and wrong; the horde cares about chaos and lolz. And the horde needs content. The horde needs you and the slice of fame you’ve carved out for yourself.
So for now, live your life. Tweet your truths. Enjoy the quiet that comes with a mundane existence. But be prepared to sacrifice all of it when the time comes. There’s a price to fame, the other side of the coin to the ability to reinvent yourself in the spotlight. You don’t want to be defined by one television appearance and the fact you were curious about Jennifer Lawrence’s butthole, right?