a priori/a posteriori

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Response - Question for Lucas


I just read an article about "Tween Stars" and how their private life antics often take them from role model to zero. In a country so bereft of heroes, it is frustrating to learn thrusting a youngster into the spotlight isn't the best way to create paragons of virtuous living for other young, fickle consumers. Amirite!?

Generally, what happens is these child stars grow up and, like Skynet, become self-aware. Upon learning they have freewill, they begin to rage against the oppressive, shallow life which has been thrust upon them by businessmen. The problem with this is the battlefield for their rebellion is the pointless world they inhabit. At best, their rebellion is reaction to their existence as a commodity, and what better way to rebel than by ruining the "brand" that filled the pockets of those corporate child molesters?

So when the child star falls from grace, they are derided, mocked, and their ethics are questioned. Do young girls and boys, the ones who buy the Disney merchandise, actually care about these behaviors? Sure they do. Peer pressure is a rough thing, and so having the latest child celebrity on your back pack is what separates the "wheat from the chaff." When a child celebrity falls from grace, their stock in the child world falls and children helicopter their way out of that unpopular Saigon.

And here's what I'm getting to: people don't need role-models. Hero worship is great if you want to live vicariously through someone else. Gossip is great if you want to judge those who don't conform to some inept understanding of what is valuable in this world. The sooner you let go of heroes, the sooner you begin to hash out what it is that you genuinely value. Once this happens, you're on your way to becoming a complete person. You don't need someone else to succeed, or to break records to give your "on hold" existence some sort of value. The value of your life's currency shouldn't be backed someone else's achievements. The best thing your heroes in life can do is fail you. 

I'm not above it all. I collected baseball cards. I knew statistics of men who swung for fences. I got Mark McGuire's autograph, which was a nice pick-me-up after Jose Canseco's refused to even look me in the eyes while I yelled at him to sign my card. I've been there; we all have. But I grew up and moved on. By the time the steroid scandals hit, I didn't care. Why should I care about someone else is doing in their private life if it's not affecting my own. Do children care about off stage antics of celebrities? Maybe, but I don't think they understand their loyalty on any deep level. If someone insults a band I enjoy, I take it as a personal attack. I don't know why.

Being relevant and rewarding onstage is the goal. Perhaps through commiseration, we can find laughter and comfort, but I am uninterested in living an existence that excuses someone else of confronting themselves. I hope to cross paths with people who are struggling to find their identity, and I feel that as long as I struggle to find my own, I will find such people. Hopefully, my daily life will only fail to live up to my standards.


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