Sunday, July 7

Immortal Fame

Entertainment is a funny culture to me - and not at all the arts and crafts of movies, the genius and coordination that goes into filming a story or putting on a great concert - the culture I'm writing about is all the fan-dom pandemonium that surrounds movies, their actors, musicians and their music. There's true appreciation and then there is freak-me-out crazy obsession. It's a very strange range of human behavior to witness in action. I've been physically present watching someone totally flip out because someone "famous" was in their sight. And for as much as I love observing, decoding, and understanding human behavior, this part of the reaction to someone "famous" is one that still leaves me to scratch my head. Like what is that person seeing in that moment? How are they perceiving this person and translating it in their minds eye?

Because in those moments, and there have been enough for me to repeatedly study this, what I see and what that person freaking out sees are two completely different realities. I see another human, who eats and shits like everyone else, but who also happens to have either an incredible voice I love or a talent to bring some character to life and make me believe in it. But I've still seen them as a human being. I've yet to meet someone that I've looked at and gone screaming crazy jumping up and down, and better yet, completely losing all consciousness over. It's not that I want to have that experience really, I doubt I ever will, but more so I want to understand what's behind that reaction - what stories, definitions, concepts, reactions are being internally cycled for someone to look at another human being, a complete stranger most of the time, and lose their shit? Sometimes to the point of over-accelerating their heart rate and cutting off the oxygen flow to their system and passing out? It intrigues me. Completely. Like, why would you put your nervous system through that and then lose out on an actual connection or conversation with your idol in the process? A reaction is never a reaction. A reaction is always a self-imposed state of being you throw your nervous system into.

So it's really one of those patterns that makes me wonder: who was the first famous person on our planet? Who was the first paparazzi? Who was the first person, caveman, cave woman, village person, to even care about what that famous person was doing with his lunch? When did that first star struck dumb-founded out-of-the-skin-freaking-out reaction take place on this planet of ours? In what century and under what circumstances? Did the play writers and performers from centuries ago evoke the same reactions in their audience? Did the first man or woman to ever hum like an angel have followers that went to his or her show in every village he or she traveled to on the back of a donkey or a caravan of camels? Who coined the term celebrity?

When did we get like this? When did we collectively accept that it was normal and an every day occurrence to go bat shit insane screaming crazy over another human being?

This whole culture of celebrity and billions of dollars made on the coming and going's of screen and stage gods and goddesses is one that absolutely fascinates me. That we have erected an entire industry of "news" and magazines, that we have mass consumerism around it, that we have rituals and practices in response to gaining the attention of some celebrity - all of these things and the wide-spread nature of them, scratches my curiosity. The concepts of fame and celebrity and the way so many human beings relate to them...its something I totally love looking at under a microscope.


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