Symbols are signals to guide us and gain a navigational understanding of the world. It can be as simple and automatic as seeing a tree and knowing there is life there, or as complicated as reading a biological diagram that must be disseminated with how each chemical interacts with the other, step by step. Cultural fables have been assigned their own fairytales and leave room for more interpretation. What began as a cast portrayed in myths of gods and goddesses now plays out in media stories starring an ever rotating cast of celebrities. They are disposable and changeable, a feature of the illusory world we live in today. Kim Kardashian was Paris Hilton was (insert comparable God). How we respond to the cult of celebrity begins the first time we make a statement on ourselves.
There seems to be two major groupings.
1. Those who dismiss this culture as trash immediately, as individuals thriving on hierarchy they choose to make a refusal or any judgement except as a judge itself. Often it’s the attributes of the culture of capitalism that they refuse, the consumerism, the superficiality, yet since it’s impossible to deny the system as long as you’re still on the spectrum of waste creating physical forms, denying discussion on it altogether, is just being in denial of one’s own darker side.
2. The freely engaging contributors who are always happy to voice their opinion on the latest celebrity death, meltdown, or controversy. They fall for socialization bait of every major news article and it’s purpose, unwitting to how much it reveals about themselves. They select, partake, make statements publicly on the event, post it for all friends and family to see and create the easiest Rorschach test results to read. They engage according to how they want to appear, who they want to be, who they feel that they are or should be at their highest and lowest.
Social media is the indirect forum in which we can discuss ourselves through our opinions. We individually place our opinion amongst a group of co creators, and we use news, politics, art, media to give a general idea of what the state of our network is while having a collective subject to speak upon.
We criticize Stephen Harper’s intelligence, or Amanda Bynes sanity as a testament to our own superior ability, yet as criticizers we are just a level on the spectrum of insecurity. We try to mask our fragility with the firm voice of reason by attesting how what they are doing is ‘not okay’ making, through our superiority, discreet comparison on how firm the ground is under our feet now. It’s a lot less about playing a supportive role rather than a game of who is ‘doing it wrong’, as we present our opinions as an unskilled volunteer, the roadside moral authority that directs the trending topics into different categories as they pass by.
We concentrate on other people as a deterrent away from ourselves, but we also only concentrate on ourselves as a false isolation technique to deter us from relating to other people.
The universe is a holographic network of important lessons which we need reflected back to us en masse in order to become more conscious of the state of reality.
As we criticize Kim Kardashian for cropping her own baby out a selfie on Instagram we give our friends a hard time when they are to crop us out of a captured moment so they could use it as a profile photo on Facebook. We allow ourselves to take position as empathic authority in the circumstance, as in our mind we know last week we similarly struggled with the desire to crop our bodies out of a family photo so we could use photo that photo on Tinder. The want to be portrayed exclusively, in the best possible angle, light, is universal, as is also the want to hide the corresponding factors that have made it so. Whole, yet manifested as an individual entity. A phenomenon. Would Kim have looked so good in that photo if she were not holding what she may privately hold as the greatest achievement of her life? Would our smile have been so genuine if we had not been with our favourite company?
Our reaction to the subject allows us to point to the discrepancies of human behaviour by giving us a common dialogue in which we can debate and compare ourselves in secret. While our feed is flooded with criticism about the latest celebrity mistake, we are (hopefully) more prone to understand that weakness in ourselves. When our filter bubble within our social network is focused on this aspect of our collective shadow we become more conscious of it in our own behaviour, and the multitude of opinions and reactions have now been aired publicly. It allows us to see how our actions affect others as the terrible celebrity as perpetrator gets attacked, giving focus to the own darker parts of our humanity without feeling like we are being personally targeted. It isn’t about us, it’s about them.
We want to feel like the symbols of their success are not indicators of a happiness that we do not hold, so by focusing on the failings portrayed in their narratives, it makes us secretly strive to prove a different type of worth in ours. It makes us want to seem like better people, and eventually become better people. These stories, our opinions that we remarked on the subject, gives us accountability to do that. You are not like the terrible things they do, are you?