This is a mismatched dining room table chair. This is a chair that most of us have owned at one time, most likely in the early days of our first apartment. This is an ugly, lonely, wooden chair with a 1970s mustard-yellow, stiff cushion.
So what makes this chair so special?
It once held J.K. Rowling's ass while she penned the first two installments of the Harry Potter Series.
Before the auction, Rowling painted Harry Potter quotes and lightening bolts across its bland facade and the phrase:
find me pretty
but don't judge
on what you see.
on this chair"
Just last week, the quite ordinary chair was sold off at yet another auction, although, not for charity. At a New York rare books auction, the chair was auctioned off for a whopping $394,000! For obvious reasons, most likely because it is INSANE, the purchaser has insisted on staying anonymous.
Let's take a moment to put this into perspective. I have an almost-3,000-square-foot, 6 bedroom, 2-story home that sits on 11 acres, fully fenced, with an operating 2,000 square foot barn. I recently sold it (it will be closing in May - so excited!!), animals and all, and was not able to snag this price.
What does this mean? Society is saying that this chair - this ordinary, ugly chair - which once held an author's ass, is somehow worth more than my house; more than my livelihood. This chair does not have magical powers. It's not as if the owner will be able to absorb an iota of Rowling's talent simply by affixing their own ass to the chair she once employed to write in. This chair is just a chair. An old, ugly chair.
It is ridiculous.
We need to stop treating these celebrities as if they're priceless. They're just people. J.K. Rowling is an idol for many writers and an encouragement to many children to become writers, but she's still just a single mother who happened to have a good idea and a little luck. She's not the greatest author in the world (no, I am not saying she's not an amazing writer, because she absolutely is). She's not the greatest author to have ever lived. She's just an author who happened to get a little more attention than the rest of us. I've seen better writers in the indie pile, and I've seen worse. It's all in how many people see your book as to whether or not you become famous. Look at EL James, for example. She's absolute shite, but still very much famous.
We need to start acknowledging talent without making a mockery of the rest of the pool. The remaining very-much-talented authors, actors, musicians, et cetera. We need to stop building up a few, and build up the industry. Writing is hard, acting is hard, music is hard. I've done it all and I have a huge soft spot for anyone who can continue to do it, day in and day out, without becoming as idolized as Rowling. Let's support all, not some.
On a side note, if anyone wants to purchase the chair I write in, please let me know.
(And if you want to read the full news article regarding the chair, click here.)
Don't forget to let me know what you think about this insanely costly chair in the comments! Is it worth it?