In case anyone is not having the best of days, remember that this performance of “Halo” exists.
She blows me away every time, omg.
Why couldn’t I have been her
My goddess, my queen.
I don’t understand why we build these people into super stars. It is so much more touching and inspiring to see them as people.
Having had some (very small amount of) experience with people believing I am more than a person, I can also guarantee you that it is also better for the creator to be treated like (and appreciated like) a person. No sane person who is treated like a superstar believes the myth of their own superstardom. So when people confront them with that myth and attempt to engage with it, they feel like they are being forced to act a part in a play…to engage with the lie that defines their lives.
So the question comes back…if it’s worse for the creator and worse for the people who enjoy the creation, why do we go to such lengths to cultivate super stardom? Are we attempting to fill a gap left by the secularization of society? Is there some deep human need to stratify and worship? Are we designed for devotion?
I think we are. It seems likely that, as cultural animals, we are set up to place ourselves in a societal structure, and to identify and idolize personal and cultural leaders. And as we live in what has to be described as an unnaturally populous culture, that many /many/ people would choose some of the same people, and want to see the stature of those people elevated with stages and costumes and fireworks and auto-tune…I guess that’s not surprising.
Or maybe it’s just hard to believe that Beyonce /isn’t/ a demigod. She is pretty freaking spectacular.
I recently read that the human mind is set up to have and keep track of about 150 personal connections. That’s roughly the size that the US Army settled on after a lot of trial and error for an Army unit, and roughly the size of a neolithic farming village. We have more “facebook friends” than that, of course, but we can only really keep track of and care about roughly 150 people.
Nowadays a lot of those select 150 are not people that you actually know. They’re President Obama, and Beyonce, and KevJumba, etc.
So I would be interested in is how people stratify those 150. If that number is relatively constant, maybe so are smaller subsets of it. I’d like to see if people’s 150 breaks down roughly equally into people they idolize, people they deal with, people they’re loyal to, people they look up to, people they provide support to, people who provide support to them, etc.
From what I’ve seen…no one ever sees themselves as at “the top” of their society. They’re always in the middle, always looking up, always looking down, with reward in every direction. It seems likely to me that this social stratification is not a product of reality, but of our brains. And, if that’s the case, that would explain why we never seem to be able to stop creating gods.
OK…this went somewhere I didn’t expect it to go. Sorry.