That aspiration started to lose its appeal around the time Nixon walked out of the Oval Office on his feet of clay and climbed aboard the chopper.
Hopes of finding show biz fame were big in the day, too. Dreams of becoming a movie or, at the very least, TV, star very nicely filled in the other forty six weeks, give or take, that weren't reserved for visions of sugar plums dancing.
Making it in show biz still ranks pretty high, but with the advent of Idol, America's Got Talent, So You Think You Can Dance and all of their offspring, fame and/or noteriety are more easily acquired.
Fact is, You Tube technically makes a "star" out of anybody and everybody who's even remotely interested.
So, since the once lofty dream has now become a more down to earth possibility, the bar has naturally been raised on what's required to achieve genuine immortality.
Frankly, it's simply become too easy to clock in for fifteen minutes of fame.
You want forever, you gotta become an eponym.
(n); the name of a person, whether real or fictitious, after which a particular place, tribe, era, discovery, or other item is named or thought to be named.
Becoming part of the culture is fleeting. Becoming part of the language is eternal.
A hundred years from now, a lot of people will either forget Kardashians ever mattered or, at the very least, will confuse them with the Kardassians that gave Picard and Riker such a hassle.
But do something inappropriate a hundred years from now and chances are your name will still be mud.
As in Dr. Samuel Mudd who, without knowing who he was treating, set the broken leg of John Wilkes Booth on the night of Lincoln's assassination and was tried, and later posthumously pardoned, for conspiracy in the killing.
Examples are many and memorable.
When somebody offers up a solution, how often do we say "way to go, Sherlock"?"
A person who is disloyal is still called a "Benedict Arnold".
Some well known epppies have lesser known origins.
You've likely never heard of Ernst Grafenberg. But ladies appreciate him even if men are vexxed by his claim to fame.
The G spot.
And let's not forget the veritable plethora of "-esques".
As in, "Capra-esque", "Reagan-esque", "Beatle-esque" and, the king (or more precisely, the queen) of all left handed compliments, "Ruben-esque".
Here's a more recent arrival that pops up with increasing frequency.
"the next Susan Boyle".
Unless you've been living just west of Andromeda for the past few years, you know the Susan saga. (If not, Google/You Tube away, it's a very touching story...in fact, it is, I daresay, Shakespeare-esque..)
Individual perceived to be average or less in ability blows the audience away with a totally unexpected world class performance, creating a buzz heard round the world.
Here's the latest buzzee.
His name is Carlos Aponte.
Okay. Credit where due.
The guy has game. And it's undeniably poignant and inspiring when we witness somebody not only exceed our expectations but churn up a little guilt in us for having been so snide in the first place.
But here's a little trap door in the whole eponym concept.
You either have to be completely unique.
Or you have to be first.
That same hundred years from now, only sports scholars and/or baseball geeks are going to instantly recognize either the names Mark McGwire or Barry Bonds.
But Babe Ruth will remain iconic.
And while I join you in what I know is a heartfelt cheer for this young Puerto Rican who knocked the naysayers on their asses, I also know how this eponymy thing works.
The next talent who meekly takes the stage and proceeds to bring the house down won't be the "next Carlos Aponte".
They'll be "the next Susan Boyle".
No matter how "Wagnerian" they are.