Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Celebrity culture

Greetings all. I am here to entertain you once again, with a little question to get you thinking.

Why the hell are human beings, as a whole, at all interested in celebrity culture? Why do we care whom our favourite actress sleeps with but not the hobo in the street? Or even just any given person? I have a long list of friends that are constantly getting in and out of relationships, do you care about any of them? Surely only the ones you know, you couldn't be bothered by the ones you don't know?

Perhaps you feel you know the celebrities since you choose to follow their progress. But I disagree. I don't think you know them at all. All you know about them is what the media choose to report. Which, if you have one iota of intelligence, you should know is geared towards their (media companies') own profit. They will never tell you anything you don't want to hear - that would just cause you to buy another magazine, listen to another radio station or surf another website. No, what you need to claim you know someone is interaction. You talk to them, and they talk to you. Simple. 

But there is another level of consciousness going on here. I reckon the reason that these celebrities are of interest is because they are portrayed, quite simply, as gods.

In Western individualist culture, we are taught to look up to the rich, as they are assumed to be successful people (or else why would they be rich? No mention, naturally, of the capitalist system supporting the already rich. That would be too honest). And we see the riches of these celebrities on television. We are taught that they are beautiful and these are the standards of beauty we must aspire to. As soon as one of these people fails at something, the media are then uncharacteristically harsh to them. For failure is not tolerable to someone whose business is to thrust images of success, success, success at you. Celebrity culture is a religion unto its own right, a polytheistic religion if you will. Politicians are included in this game. Barack Obama did not buy that suit with a few one-dollar contributions, and remember that no matter how much change he promises you, he doesn't need any change himself.  The reason I mention him at all is that in a celebrity culture of gods, his image is their leader, their Zeus or Jupiter. 

You must remember their names. They certainly don't know yours. But you must remember theirs.  The many names they won't remember are the opposite of the single names you must. And that is why they are rich and you are (probably) not.

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