Fame is one of those things people tend to want until they have it - or that people shy away from entirely because they understand how sideways it tends to go.
But what about people who end up famous after their deaths? Or who managed to get more famous from the afterlife?
Reddit user GCanuck asked:
"Which historically famous person do you think would be most surprised to learn they are famous?"
If your mind immediately went to that Vincent Van Gogh scene from Dr. Who then 1. you're a nerd (me too!) and 2. you're not alone.
Here's what Reddit had to say.
The Little Painter FellowVan Gogh Reaction GIF by GIF IT UPGiphy
"Vincent van Gogh."
"His paintings made billions of dollars for rich people, but couldn't trade a painting for a meal during his lifetime. Had to be supported by his brother."
"It’s amazing how many pieces he created in such a short time considering how unsuccessful he was in selling them while alive. He kept banging them out despite his 'failure'.”
"He was encouraged to paint as part of his therapy/rehabilitation. He was a pretty disturbed guy, and not in a romantic way."
"Have you ever seen the Doctor Who episode about him?"
"This is what actually prompted this question for me."
"Most of the world has read your diary."
"Wait...All of my diary?"
"Her Father censored some of it because she talks about her body and other things, I can't really blame him for that. Modern prints are uncensored."
"She’d have been thrilled, but I don’t think surprised is the right word. She dreamed of being a published author. She knew that she was creating something valuable and important with her diary, and she wanted it to be published."
"I wonder what she'd think of her diary being turned into a stage play including a Broadway run and thousands of young girls doing their best to recreate all the different facets both good and bad of how she acted during her time in the Annex."
Herman The Whalebart simpson episode 3 GIFGiphy
"He had a few early successes with seafaring books, but Moby-Dick was a total flop that got bad reviews, and he spent the final decades of his life working in the customs department."
"He would be shocked to hear he wrote the Great American Novel."
"My boyfriend is from New Bedford, MA. Apparently the local high schools there had big murals depicting scenes from Moby Dick." "
*That* would have amazed Melville."
"Dude, that's the best part. You never know what's coming next. It's like:"
"45 pages of unintentionally hilarious interactions between Ishmael and Queequeg."
"30 pages of incredible, brooding drama written in stage play format for some reason."
"100 page essay about some minor technical details about whaling and how some village built their chieftain's hall out of a whale's ribcage."
"Another 20 pages of Ahab chewing the scenery and embodying mankind's self-destructive obsessions"
"Then Queequeg speaking his last words but then deciding he doesn't want to die yet and miraculously springing back to life."
"Like the ocean itself, you have to accept that Moby Dick moves at its own pace lol"
We, In Fact, Did Not Forget
"Hegelochus, an actor who mispronounced a word in a play in the year 408 BC and was mocked so thoroughly for it, his mistake has made it into the collective ledger of things historians know about and generally agree upon having happened… and we're still aware of it over 2,400 years later."
"Imagine making a meme today with a word misspelled, and others found that misspelling so egregiously mockable that you are still known for it in the year 4422."
" 'Oh come on get over it. No one will remember about that by tomorrow' -Hehelochus’ mom probably"
"He must have went to sleep running the moment in his head over and over again, but he probably tried to comfort himself by thinking, 'well, at least it's not like some space-age hyper-futuristic society is going to be discussing this thousands of years from now on their magic boxes powered by lightning in some language that doesn't even exist yet'."
"This is the worst nightmare of everyone that has been told to stop worrying because no one will pay as much attention to what you're doing as you."
"Counter point: Hegelochus."
"Kafka. Rarely published in his lifetime, and when he did it was in obscure magazines which nobody read."
"Explicitly asked that his works be destroyed after his death. It's only because his executor disregarded his wishes and published his unfinished works (which comprise the majority of his oeuvre) that he is famous today."
"Kafka is a good example of how much can anxiety ruin a person's life"
"Kafka wrote his stories to be shared with a group of friends like story-telling at a campfire"
"Blind Willie Johnson."
"He passed away blind, poor and sick, lying in the ruins of his house after it was burnt down."
"And his song 'Dark was the Night, Cold was the Ground' left our solar system not too long ago aboard the Voyager to be listened to by life among the stars."
"I really like to think one day-thousands and thousands of years in the future, an alien race will find that golden disk and hear his voice."
"I think the fact he had such a poor life but could one day live eternally amongst the stars is so beautiful."
"Found out about him through a VSauce video."
"I listened to a couple songs and really liked them, he had a great voice and had a great talent for playing guitar despite being blind. Such a humbling and inspiring story he had"
"I remember learning about this in a Vsauce video and crying profusely afterwards, but not only from sadness, also from hope, and some other emotions I can’t possibly describe."
"The fact that he died at the lowest of lows, blind, sick, poor, and alone, yet he very well could be the man that teaches the stars about the very essence of humanity… there’s just something so intrinsically beautiful about that."
"Humanity, flawed as it is, is as intrinsically kind and beautiful as it is evil. The world forgets that sometimes."
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"Lisa Gherardini, the Mona Lisa model."
"She was just some unremarkable random wife. Fast forward a few hundred years and she ended up as one of the most recognizable faces in history."
"HER NAMES NOT EVEN MONA LISA?!"
" 'Monna' was a shortening of the Italian word 'madonna', which was the equivalent of the English 'Madam'."
Honor Well Pass Death
"This is the dead body they used in Operation Mincemeat."
"The man basically consumed rat poison to commit suicide."
"His corpse was then used for a British secret operation to carry fake documents for the Nazis to find in order to make them think they were invading Greece and not Sicily."
"This man died in a alleyway and went on the become a dedicated Major in the British military buried with full military rites - under his fake name, but still him in physical form."
"He was originally buried under his covert identity (in Spain where his body washed ashore after being deposited in the sea nearby by a Royal Navy submarine), Major William Martin of the Royal Marines."
"In 2009 or thereabouts his real name (Glyndwr Michael) was added to his gravestone."
"I thought he died of tuberculosis so it’d be more convincing he was a British serviceman who drowned? Or maybe that was the guy used to make the Nazis think the Allies were invading Calais instead of Normandy."
"It was rat poison but it's not clear if it was a suicide."
"The poison was in the form of a paste that would be smeared on pieces of bread; rodents eat the bread, rodents die. Or in this case; poor Welshman eats the bread, poor Welshman dies."
"It's not clear whether he knew the paste was poison, or whether he was just hungry and thought he genuinely found some bread lying around."
"Where the confusion comes in is that the guy in charge of Mincemeat claimed the body was that of a young man who died of pneumonia, and that the parents had given permission for his body to be used as it was."
A Real Hero
"A literal hero of humanity who in some ways is still alive."
"Her family deserved so much better though."
"Can I get a short version? I don't think I've heard of her before"
"Her contribution to science is and continues to be gigantic"
Laws Of Inheritance
"Gregor Mendel, the monk and scientist who experimented with pea plant traits to describe what we today literally call Mendelian inheritance."
"The significance of Mendel's findings, which he published in 1866, went almost completely unrecognized during his life and after his death. His work was only rediscovered in the early 1900s when modern ideas about inheritance and selection started taking hold."
"I can differ there. When he first stated his theory, he was sure it was correct (as it was) but was rejected. I can imagine him not being surprised at the fact that his work was re recognised as right later down the line"
"It's entirely possible you're correct and Mendel suspected that someday he'd be proved right. At the same time, however, he spent decades after his discovery trying and failing to elicit interest from the academic public or individual biologists, and retired from science to become a monastery administrator, which looks a lot like 'giving up'."
Okay, so we learned some interesting history today. How about you?
Why do bullies bully? More importantly... how do we get bullies to back off?
Can we just use words? Does it always have to resort to violence?
There is no reason in this world for anyone to be a bully. It's all about power and self worth.
The bully has none and it's all they want.
RedditorYaboi2tallwanted to hear about how bullies can be stopped.
"How did you get a high school bully to never mess with you again?"
I swung on my bully, with a pencil. Never had an issue again.
"Vomited all over him. After that he never messed with me again."
Linklee2Throw Up Season 2 GIF by Amazon Prime VideoGiphy
"A group of sociopaths from my school that always tormented us followed me and my friends to my house one day in a pick up truck. They stole my friends shoes, pushed one of them until she fell, and took my sketchpad and threw it in a puddle. My stepbrother came outside, beat one of them badly, stole his pants, and threw his keys into a sewer grave before hitting him with an empty vodka bottle. It was traumatizing for me on both ends, but that group of kids never even looked at us again."
"He tried to shove me down an embankment while on a field trip. Had I fallen, I would have broken my leg or worse, because the embankment ended about 25 feet down, then dropped off into some deep brush and trees. Anyhow, my best friend was next to me, and said 'Watch it!' as he came at me."
"I side-stepped him, and he tumbled down the embankment and over the edge into the brush. Fractured several ribs, dislocated his shoulder and broke his ankle. He never did anything to me again. F**k you Darren! You b**ch!"
"She told me, my face made her want to kill herself. So I told the school counselor that she had confided in me she wanted to kill herself. She had to explain to the everyone what she really said. She would call me fat, and ugly everyday. She also would tell me I was trash because I was adopted. 'Your own mother thought you were so ugly she didn't want you.'"
"Made friends in the football team. Bullies think twice when you are buddies with a 6'2 250 pound Samoan. Crazy how nice so many Samoans are."
Large-Statistician-3serie a football GIF by U.S. Sassuolo CalcioGiphy
I do like Football players. I knew they'd good for something.
"I was bullied for my wheelchair, so I ran their feet over."
"Fast and furious."
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"A bully was harassing my daughter on the bus. Instead of calling his folks, or jumping on him, I did this…"
"I pulled him aside at the bus stop one day and asked for his help. “Hey Danny. I was hoping you could help me out. I guess there’s a kid on the bus who is picking on my daughter. She’s a girl and small and I’d like for you to help protect her. If you see anything like that, could you stick up for her please and let me know about it.'" That was the end of the bullying."
"Pretty much the same. Stopped associating with our mutual friends when I realized they're not my friends if they're friends with a bully like this person and ever since we graduated, and I've been out of that social bubble, it's just was over."
"Not a bully per se, but a d**k." In my French class a guy who sat behind me would always kick my chair repeatedly, and I was at the point where I was visibly infuriated by this happening every lesson. The girl who sat next to me turned to him and said 'Hey, you should probably stop doing that, he looks like he's about to hit you.'"
"Guy laughed it off and said I wouldn't. I didn't, but I turned around and cocked my arm back. He was leaning back on the hind legs of his chair with his feet on mine, so when I did this, he flinched, fell backwards off his chair, and got a few laughs from the people behind us. He never kicked my chair after that."
"Challenged him to a fight at lunch, left during the period before lunch to move 800 miles away."
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Sometimes all it takes is one good punch. Not that I'm advocating violence. But most bullies are just cowards.
As much as we love to have eyes for others, those eyes are witness to some yuck.
We are easily turned on by many things and people.
We're humans, humans are easy.
But turning off and shutting down is also easy.
And once we see certain things, they can never be unseen.
And so... we move on.
Let's make a list so people stay vigilant.
Redditorfiginjosejospewanted to hear about what makes us yell a big NO for some things.
"What is your biggest turn off?"
I am easily turned off. It's my one flaw. Anything can do it. Alas...
"When people smell bad. Hygiene is important."
ccherry124Violet Reaction GIF by Murdoch MysteriesGiphy
"One-uppers. Whatever you have done/seen or place you have gone, they have done it better."
"I struggle with this SO BADLY. I hear someone’s story and think 'I can relate! I’ve done XYZ' and tell the story. As soon as I see their facial expressions change I know they’ve taken it as me one upping. It’s so hard for me to relate without telling the story WHY I relate."
"Deception. Say what you freaking mean, and your actions must match your words."
"I don't know if this counts as deception but I have the hardest time verbalizing my thoughts in the way that I think them. So I say something that doesn't match my thoughts but it's like theres a disconnect in my brain that doesn't let me say what I want to say. I've had multiple tbi's from a young age but I don't know if that has any to do with it."
"When they constantly cut you off during a conversation."
"I noticed my bad habit of interrupting when I started dating my partner. I worked on it because it bothered him so much. Now when I'm around my family who I don't see often, I'm keenly aware of how bad we all are at it. Dinners, drinks, video calls are a literal cacophony of people talking over each other and having to repeat yourself because no one listens."
"Having been on this earth almost six decades, I can say this has definitely gotten worse over time. Now, you can see it getting worse by the year."
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I hate entitled people. Nobody is owed anything.
"When a person is rude or just behaves poorly and everyone around them says, 'that's just how he/she is.' No. There is no excuse for piss poor behavior."
Sarahkm90No Way Do Not Want GIF by Schitt's CreekGiphy
"Over sharing at social media."
"I had an ex who would straight up get pissed if I didn’t post about us on instagram or facebook back when I had it. Even if we just hung out and did nothing Lol. She got even more upset if I did post something and not include her... or if I got more likes than her."
"Social media has completely ruined our brains… it’s so sad to realize the damage that’s been done in such a short amount of time."
"Littering. I absolutely hate it when people litter just because 'there is no trashcan close' or 'Yeah, but everything here is anyway already dirty.' That makes me so annoyed and just ugh. I can understand that it's annoying to keep on holding onto trash but like... It's not that difficult."
"Open mouth chewer. Or any kind of lip smacking while eating."
"At a family reunion, I got seated in front of a woman I hadn't met before. Food gets there and we started loading ourselves up. I still remember what we had: tostadas."
"They're a flat baked or fried tortilla topped with pretty much whichever ingredients you want. Usually meat, some veg, cheese, cream, and salsa. This is relevant because half of that food ended up smeared on her face. I have never seen a grown a** adult eat like that. Open mouth chewing, with food actually spilling out as she ate."
"Loud, boisterous talking and laughing, with more, half chewed food spilling out everywhere. And napkins seemed to not be a thing for her because she never used one, making all the cream and salsa get stuck to her lips and cheeks. I was freaking disgusted, as was everyone around her. That was not a pleasant meal."
"Using phones every time we hang out."
"My wife has a friend that if you aren’t talking to her about only her, she zones out and just stares at her phone."
mofoofinventionphone glow GIF by jjjjjohnGiphy
When the turn is off. It's off. And that's all.
When trying to eat healthy you have to do research.
We have to be vigilant and read the labels.
Just because it says "healthy"... that means nothing.
That was just years of gaslighting.
Also, just because it says "diet" you can't have 10 of them.
RedditorJoltyJobwanted to dissect what's on the menu.
"What food do most people think is healthy but is actually unhealthy?"
I love fruit. But... some fruits are just sugar. Now they tell us.
"Can confirm this. I used to work there and most of the smoothies on the menu are made with frozen juice concentrate which was just liquid processed sugar and multiple scoops of sherbet. Not sorbet. Sherbet."
Coconut_LessJoseph Sikora Drinking GIF by PowerGiphy
"Naked smoothies/juices and flavored yogurt."
"Looking through the various yogurt's nutritional information while trying to find a good High-protein Greek Yogurt recently was very eye-opening. The majority of them were pretty much just softer ice cream."
"Some people think 'Gluten Free' means 'healthy.' Not automatically, it doesn't. This is NOT about people who MUST follow a GF diet."
"As someone with celiac disease it’s astounding how often I have to explain this to people. Gluten free diets are no healthier than regular diets. Gluten is just a single protein being omitted from your diet. The difference is you’re probably eating way less bread, or you’re just generally more anxious about eating so you might lose weight as a result."
"I'm shocked how many moms think Nutella is better than peanut butter."
"When it first came out in Australia they advertised it 'less fat than peanut butter' and 'less sugar than jam' so that sounds great..."
"Until you think about it, peanut butter is high in fat but low in sugar and jam is high in sugar and low in fat. So of course Nutella has less fat than peanut butter, it's got to make room for all the added sugar. And of course it has less sugar than jam, it's gotta make room for all that palm oil."
Same for apples...
"Granola bars. They're chocolate, oats and sugar for the most part. Oats can be healthy by themselves. But a granola bar is unhealthy due to all the sugar, chocolate and stuff along with them. Same for apples. Apples are healthy, apple pie, not healthy."
SinisterMeatballSnacking Hey Girl GIF by Nature ValleyGiphy
The truth about granola bars has been out there forever. Beware...
"That's because when I was kid the food pyramid posters were printed by the American grain council. They said we needed a couple of servings of both meat and vegetables and like 9 servings of bread and various grain products."
"Juice. Most packaged juices you get are super high in sugar."
"Ha. One of the reasons why I switched providers last year for my prenatal care was because the first one told me, in all seriousness, I needed to drink three cups of milk and two cups of juice per day. I was like, say what now???"
"Same with ketchup 25% of it is sugar."
Check the Bag
"This is actually a pretty good response. A surprising number of people didn't check the back of those packages to find that they're just Pringles that included a little bit of vegetable dust in the potato chip mix. People actually think they're just eating salty crispy vegetables."
"Anything 'natural' doesn’t immediately mean healthy. At least in the EU when a product is natural, it doesn’t need to go through all the testing that is required for other products. This doesn’t mean that the product is safe, as many natural products can be harmful."
"Panera Bread...healthy 'clean' ingredients. It's full of salt, sugar and processed crap."
Carrann82312. Panera for the Win!Giphy
Just because it says healthy or diet doesn't mean it's true. Lesson learned.
It's hard not to look back on history and be disgusted by a number of things which were at one point deemed acceptable, even not so long ago in the grand scheme of things.
The endless list includes segregation and women not having the right to vote.
We'd certainly like to think that we've come a long way.
But when we look back on how much we, as a culture, have evolved for the better, it also makes us stop and wonder what current customs or practices accepted in society today people twenty years from now will look back on in disgust.
This piqued the curiosity of RedditorSalt-Campaign6402,leading them to take to Reddit to ask:
"What modern day practice/ belief is most likely to be considered barbaric and outdated in the future?"
A revaluation of medical practices
"The way that f*cking speculum is shaped."- PopK0rnAndMMs
"Gynaecology procedures being done with out sedation or some type of proper numbing agent."- baconbutt96
The end of stigma
"The entire system surrounding mental health."- crapgarbage
More respect for the environment
"Deforestation hopefully."- CrumbledTheCookies
More sustainable materials
"Single use plastics."- Lemilli000000n
Improvements in wages and working hours
"Working long hours to the point of sleep deprivation and exhaustion."
"Right now people brag about it."- HonestlyPizza
"It's a scam made up by the rich to make the poor feel good about being exploited."- whythatusername
More humane treatment of animals
"Breeding dogs that can’t breathe."- username-alrdy-takn
Possible life saving advancements in science?
"I feel like organ transplants from strangers will seem bizarre in the future."
"I imagine we will be able to grow genetically-identical organs and use those instead."- thunderbiird1
Twenty years from now, we'll likely find ourselves relieved that some things have finally changed.
Then too, we might look back in horror at many things we wouldn't even take a second thought about at the time.