“Fanaticism consists of redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim.”~ George Santayana
I suppose that it is okay to write about this since giving the latest news of what has been going on has seemingly come to an end. I don’t know if I can confirm the latest news and it would be a shame if it were true, particularly the last parts of it.
I have been reading this blog for a while now about a man, who for safety’s sake, I am going to call him “Josef”.
Josef is a man who lives in Eastern Europe. Serbia or Croatia, I believe. But he has gained a little of a cult following because of his fanaticism and his choices which has led him to his own personal demise. Part of his passion seems to be the draw to his blog and for others to keep in touch with what he has been doing.
Josef is a big fan of Céline Dion and her music. And he is not afraid to tell that to anyone.
Much like any of us who has a certain passion for musicians or artists, Josef’s life seems to be encompassed by it. The only problem for Josef was that he’s never seen a concert in his area. For him to see a live show, he would have to travel to another country. And it was something that he found difficult to do.
But it didn’t stop him from being a fanatic. Instead, his own memorabilia collection has grown. And he’s not been shy about showing that off either.
So up to present day where Céline Dion (again) has a show in Las Vegas for the next few years. Josef wanted to go but knew that it would be terribly expensive. His options of seeing her live were dwindling.
And then Josef’s blog was totally shocking to his readers as he announced that he was planning on selling everything that he owned just so that he would have enough money to fly to the United States of America to see Céline Dion perform in Las Vegas. And that’s exactly what this twenty-something year old European fan did. He sold everything!
With the exception of a few essentials (clothes, etc.) he took everything that he had and sold it for some kind of profit. Although it is up to debate on what he truly kept and what he sold. His goal was to be able to stay in Las Vegas for as long as he could and see as many shows as possible. And a personal goal was that maybe he would get to meet Céline in person.
He sold his vehicles, his furniture, his belongings, and his house. He even quit his job so that he could travel. And as a bonus for cash, he would do smaller jobs, such as yard work for others. His last day of his employment was the day before he was planning on flying over to Las Vegas.
He was quite successful. As he began a large stash of money, he began to plan what he had called his “once in a lifetime opportunity”. The conversion rate actually had worked in his favor to have more in US dollars.
According to his blog, he went to Las Vegas either in June or July. Everything that he wrote about was always “after the fact”. It appeared that he had enough money to stay for close to a month. But Josef did not consider any of the consequences of his actions.
He chronicled each time he went to a show. Sometimes he was in the front row and other times he was not. But he had at least ten different entries on show appearances and reviews alone. Not to mention the posts of what he was doing in Las Vegas when there was no show to attend. He attempted to keep track of what he was spending, but ultimately had failed.
According to his blog, he did not gamble at all. And he was not spending big either. But his opportunity had come and he was totally elated.
He originally was staying at Caesar’s Palace. But for reasons that Josef did not disclose, he was removed and he had to find lodging somewhere else. He was able to find some place that was cheaper. And that allowed him to have more money.
I knew that it would be interesting to see how he adapted to life once he returned to his home country. He would be homeless & jobless. Going back to his blog posts that were written prior to his journey, he mentioned once that his family was not in his corner and begged him not to go through with the plan of selling everything. And from my perspective, it sounded as if his own family went through great lengths to warn him not to do this, to the point where they said that if he did follow through that they would not help him out when he returned home.
But when the money ran out, Josef took everything that he collected during his visit and came home. Or at least to the country from which he lived in.
Josef had to rely on the kindness of his friends or even strangers because he had no place to sleep. Or he would sleep in the parks or the forests. His family and some of his friends who threatened not to help, kept their word. The exception being that this family would from time to time give him something to eat so he didn’t starve to death.
And now there’s this wild story being spread that Josef has found it so difficult to survive without having a place to stay or a trying to find a job. His old job wouldn’t take him back. What is worse is now lately, there is a buzz about Josef having killed himself because he couldn’t handle it.
His blog has been silent for a few weeks now. There’s been nothing. The last submission was basically a cry for help. He was looking for a place to stay and was willing to do some kind of household work in order to stay wherever. He also was asking people locally to help him find a job. But he didn’t sound too positive about it.
Nobody can say for sure what has happened to Josef. I personally just sit and wait to see if there is to be any kind of update or blog post to confirm that he is still alive or if someone would write a post, announcing that his death is not a rumor.
There are several words that come to mind when considering Josef’s story: Insanity. Obsession. Stupid.
People often do things that are inexplicable. Especially when it comes to their fanaticism about something or someone. In this case, I found his story to be way over the top and perhaps unnecessary. But because of his hellbent attitude and his enthusiasm… he did get to do what he wanted in the end. But he did not consider what it would do to him.
A lot of people who either know about or have read about his story often argue that he should have kept everything and just saved his money a little bit at a time until he had enough. But for Josef, he found the quickest and easiest way to get what he wanted. For him to have saved the money instead, would have taken time. He obviously didn’t have the patience for it.
There are fans even within the United States that would love to go to Las Vegas, but cannot afford it. For some, they are able to. It simply is a case of how much desire a fan has in order to make that happen.
But I personally had a feeling that something like this was going to happen to Josef. Reading his blog and watching him descend into chaos was kind of similar to watching a train wreck. It was going to happen, but there was nothing that anybody could do to stop it.
Some fans have argued that he should have waited for the next world tour. And while he waited, he could have saved money to enter into another country to be able to attend the concert. But I get the sense that Josef felt like he was running out of time because there’s been no talk of a world tour. There’s only been talks about Céline Dion staying in Las Vegas for a while with her show.
Personally, I believe that Josef went way out of line. Mainly because he had no plans on what he was going to do with his life once he returned to his home country. He should have either saved his money slowly or drawn the line.
I know that for myself, with the things that I am ultimately passionate about that I am able to fulfill those desires of being there and participating, if things would change where it would become different, then I would draw the line.
As much as I love the music (and the people) of SIX MINUTE CENTURY for example– if I was told that from now on, their live shows would only be played in Paris, then I would draw the line. I would still support them because I do enjoy their music, but I would not do the same thing that Josef had done and sold everything just to go to Paris.
I honestly hope that the stories and rumors that I hear about Josef are false. And I will keep an eye out to see if by chance he surfaces again. Like I said, he always writes in his blog “after the fact”. But if it is true that he did kill himself because he couldn’t handle the fact that he had nothing, and his family refused to help him, then this is definitely a case of fanaticism gone VERY wrong. And hopefully each of us can learn something from his story and evaluate what we are doing as fanatics of the things that thrill us the most and figure out whether it is bringing us joy and enlightenment OR leading us down the path of disaster.