No matter who you are, or who you claim to be, there lives in all of us a latent violence. Granted, its potential release, its final form, and its ferocity will differ wildly from person to person. Nevertheless, it’s there.
Anyone, if pushed hard enough, will snap. In the book The Four Tendencies (by Gretchen Rubin), she describes a group of people she calls the Obligors. Not as negative as it sounds, most of the world are obligors, they are the salt of the earth, and what keeps the system working. As per their namesake, they are eager to please or more accurately to do well. They are the least likely to be tiresome and think of themselves last, placing all others before themselves. But, push them hard enough and they will morph into what she calls obligor rebellion. Again, as per the namesake, they are no longer as eager to please.
What she is describing in her behavior observations, is the inborn tendency to abscond. The violence in us is like this. We strive to keep it at bay at all times because we want to do well. There is no space for the gunslinger in the modern world, nor do we lynch people on a whim anymore. There is no space for violence at all. The very definition of violence is being broadened daily.
If all of this is true where does that leave us? Especially those who harbor larger caches of violence. Those who have higher tendencies to abscond and those whose violence could become murderous. The answer is surely not a simple one. Locking them all away would be impossible let alone futile. Medicating them is proven useless and eradicating them would be unacceptable based on the very primary of non-violence. Who would get to decide who gets to stay and who must go?
No matter who you are, or who you claim to be, there lives in all of us a latent violence. Who decides?
So, what then is the supposed fascination with celebrities? Ask 10 people and you’ll get 10 answers, ranging from our ingrained fear of death (which is clearly ridiculous) to low self-esteem, and susceptibility due to childhood trauma. I submit this is all mostly nonsense and that the answer is something far simpler than this. It is both a hierarchy and political issue.
If you look up, in the sense of a hierarchy, you will learn from those above you. Learn from what they have achieved and how they did it. This is true too when you look up, in the sense of parenting, teaching, adulthood and anywhere there is a master-student dynamic. Observe others and you will learn from them. This is not revolutionary. It is widespread in nature and like it or not, we still form part of nature.
But if the answer lies in looking up why then celebrities? Why not uncle Bob from down the road? Two reasons: celebrities are successful (in many respects although seldom to the level of perception) and this places them front and centre. In other words, they are far more difficult to ignore than uncle Bob from down the road. Second, along with the ingrained need to learn we all harbour a deep-seated resentment for those who have more than us. This leads to looking up at them while secretly revelling in their mistakes and failures. It’s a double-edged sword.
The second reason we follow celebrities is closely related to learning, it is political, or societal. They occupy a space where they have the attention of others and are perceived to be successful in the social dynamic. We think people like them. To fit in and be valued you need to… fit in. Emulating people who are doing this well, will drastically improve your chances of success.
To understand why we are fascinated with celebrities we must be honest with ourselves. Honest about human-nature. As a society, many of the traits we harbour are deemed undesirable and so we work hard at concealing them, ignoring them, and denying we experience them. Unfortunately, in reality, they still exist and will continue to do so. Designed to give us maximum chance of survival, it is unlikely we will evolve to exclude them, no matter how distasteful we believe them to be.
If you are Gen X or Millennial-with-wear, you'll know what I'm talking about. Cartoons. No, not animations nor anime. I'm referring to cartoons. Cartoons we ate breakfast too. Tom and Jerry, Mickey Mouse, Road Runner, Bugs Bunny...
Accept possibly Mickey Mouse – who somehow still delivers the goods today – there seems to be but a few ingredients required to deliver a sure-fire winner. I know this to be true by watching what attracts my 3-year-old today. It might not be the old classics I’ve mentioned, but the modern versions who follow the same structure end up being victors.
There seems to be just the right combination of dramatic music and “action.” That’s it. There needn’t even be dialog. Music plus action and it attracts our fresh little ones now, the same way it attracted us back then.
Of course, a healthy dose of bad guy misfortune doesn’t hurt (think poor old Wile E). One other thing: it needs to be in the hand-drawn format. Why exactly this resonates better I have yet to figure out. Much like this post, it is pointless to ponder.
Athletes will tell you they envision themselves crossing the line in first position. Lifters picture themselves completing the lift and racing drivers run the corners through their mind tirelessly. This, is to a degree, the same concept as positive affirmation, and it works.
After reading a blog post Imagination https://write.as/excerpts/imagination it occurred to me, this technique would work equally well in negative conditions. Picture the problem and picture yourself overcoming the problem. If it works in one orientation, it will work in the opposite too.
Let us begin with power. Power is a perception, it is an abstract idea which must be agreed upon by more than one. Without the agreement and relinquishment of power (from one party to the other) power cannot have an effect or indeed exist at all.
Perception of power is the worst. This is when a group or individual, believes they yield a power over another, without the other being a party to the agreement. In other words, you think you are the shit when in reality you are just shit.
This is the driving force in many customer-supplier relationships. The customer somehow perceives power over the supplier, they are paying for a service and so, they own the supplier.
The last mile provider always endures this perception of power. An individual is frustrated with the delays, holdups, unforeseen costs. Instead of having the backbone to address the providers in the chain who matter, they vent on the last mile provider.
Use your head. Correct mistakes at the appropriate level. Venting on the last mile provider will serve no purpose.
Stop having conversations by email. It is rendering emails useless, in all respects.
The empty inbox is a thing of mystic fantasy, reserved for the old and infirm. No, correct that, even the infirm have a brimming mailbox because someone has to process all the paperwork.
Sadly, it is unlikely we will do away with email in my lifetime; email is fast becoming the bane of all our lives. It is ridiculously over utilised, mostly incorrectly at that. There is but one way to reverse this. We need to use it as originally intended. Use it to send what was previously sent by post or courier: documents and information.
Enough with the one-liner discussions, I beg you! If you need to discuss anything, use the phone. Or, if this is too scary a proposition, send all your damned requests and questions on one email. That way, the recipient can call you and get the misery done and dusted once and for all.
Courtesy is a good thing any time of the year, with one exception: email. You are wasting yet more time with the how-do-you-do-thank-you email. These must be processed by the receiving end, just like any other. What you think is a good idea is nothing more than a drain on resources. Stop it! Convey the documents and or information and get off.