Caught all but the last minute (drat!) of the Harold Lloyd film The Freshman ... it's a marvelous (silent) movie, about Harold going to college and trying to win popularity; he doesn't realize he's victim of upperclassmen pranks or a football coach who makes him waterboy while telling him he's a substitute. He spends a lot of time, energy, and money on winning popularity. Late in the movie the Decent Girlfriend tells Harold he should be himself, but we haven't seen anything but the guy trying to win popularity the whole film.
I was going to say I didn't understand wanting to be popular, but that's not true. I wouldn't read and write Usenet, mucks, Livejournals and such to the point I'm overextended if I weren't trying to be popular, and few things make my day more than finding someone new in my Friends list, shallow as that is. I do want to be popular. I just want it to come without effort, by doing whatever I was doing anyway. I suppose everybody wants to be undeservedly successful.
Trivia: Thomas Eakins' first sculpture commission was from Philadelphia merchant James P. Scott, the panels Spinning and Knitting. Source: Thomas Eakins, Edited by Darrel Sewell.
Currently Reading: Mutiny: A History of Naval Insurrection, Leonard F. Guttridge. It's amazing how many Admiralties recognize the rebellious attitudes of sailors are due to foreign subversion, seeing through the clever disguised of resentment of rancid meals, frozen (or boiling) bunks, cruel and arbitrary discipline, and indefinitely prolonged tours of duty.