We the Devils?

5 Sep

The other day, on Facebook, I praised a highly accomplished filmmaker and his new film.  Within a few hours, someone left a nasty comment criticizing the filmmaker and his films.  (Note: I had tagged said filmmaker in my original comment, so he personally was aware of the conversation.)

No doubt, if I had praised an unknown filmmaker, a mean comment would never have been posted.  This makes me wonder: what is it about celebrity that dehumanizes people?  

Think about all those humiliating “fat” photos of stars or headlines about their personal misfortunes.  And what about scathing reviews of someone’s film, book or art?  Now imagine if the same treatment was given to an ordinary, average Joe: who would stand for that?  There would be a public outcry.  So why is it okay toward celebrities?

Does one become public property, mere chattel when they become famous?  By spending our dollars to consume their appearance, performance, or any other form of personal expression, do we purchase a piece of their soul?  And as they become more famous, as they sell more of their personal expression, do we possess more and more of them.  And, ultimately, does this transaction empower us to exploit and deconstruct their person, like we are able to exploit and deconstruct a vacuum or shoe?

So if celebrity is a form of selling ones soul to the devil, then, I suspect, we the consumers are the devils.  Thus, it might behoove us to reconsider how we treat those whose souls we purchase.


6 Responses to “We the Devils?”

  1. RAE September 5, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

    Wow… I will prob think of this for the rest of my life. Thanks for ur insight on this.

  2. Nan September 5, 2011 at 8:59 am #

    Chris, Thanks for your thoughts. It is a strange thing. A dear friend of ours who works on a very popular television show always says to us, “I wish you fortune, not fame.” I think I know what he means.

    • Christopher September 5, 2011 at 10:17 am #

      I love that quote, Nan. It’s incredibly telling. Thank you for sharing…

  3. Serafina September 5, 2011 at 2:59 am #

    I once did mean things thinking nobody could
    see me. It took me years to realize how
    foolsh I am. People hate on others in a
    large scale and small scale. We need to
    take this hate and use it as fuel to push
    us forward. Misery loves company but
    loves attention even more.

    • Christopher September 5, 2011 at 10:15 am #

      So, so true, Serafina. Thank you for the awesome insight…

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