One Hit Wonders

Why are one hit wonders so maligned? Because they lack the stamina or talent to do more? Well, you who are of zero hit wonders, who are you to judge those who have created something that brings joy, sadness, and wonder to the world for one brief moment in their lives?

Why are we so greedy as zero hit wonders to want our one hit wonders to devote their lives to honing their talents and producing great works for our own selfish amusement? Yet, not a single one of us lifts our finger to a guitar or piano or pen or paintbrush to create our own one hit wonder for others to enjoy. How can we be so demanding of others, but not of ourselves?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if each person created their own one hit wonder in whatever field they were best suited to expressing themselves? Each person had that one novel, that one movie, that one painting, that one song that they shared with the world and lasted forever? So what if this one hit was the high water mark of all of the culmination of the years of a person’s lifetime? What is the alternative? To never mark and commemorate such an occasion with a song or painting or book or movie that will last throughout humanity for the rest of time? Or the other alternative is for the zero hit wonders of the world to cling desperately to the hope that the creator of the one hit can recapture and echo whatever special talent into a second similar, but not entirely original hit that strummed and resonated with the inherent emptiness of never having created or hit a high water mark of their own? That we should drain the one hit genius of all of his life in search of something to fill the emptiness that is the lack of our own high water marks in creativity? Is it not work to create even one wonder, much less many? And yet, who among us are willing to devote the time to even a single wonder, much less a lifetime’s worth?

Let us not judge the one hit wonder, but celebrate it instead. Let us be that one hit wonder, whose moment of passion intersecting with talent and experience creates something original which resonates with other people, if not forever, then at least for a moment. For that moment, let each of us bask in the echo of one person’s peak of expression and let us all resonate with it until the next person dares to stand up and offer her voice to refresh the diminishing echo with a booming new thunder.

I want to live in a world where we are all each one hit wonders for a time. Needless to say, such a world would be wonderful.


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