Hero Worship

I came across this article on the Witches’ Voice awhile back and finally decided it was worth a brief comment:

These “celebrities” can’t fill their own emotional needs, let alone the needs of millions of admirers. So what do they do? They binge and booze. They set examples of immoral and crude behavior our youth buy. They sell themselves and their souls to make a buck. They take on the public responsibility to set a positive example, off our hard earned dollars that put them there, and then they turn their backs on us. What’s worse? We all feed into it. Whether or not we ourselves actually idolize these individuals our children do.

It’s really scary that we put these people on pedestals, give them thousands of dollars of our money and complain that health care and education are lacking. It’s no different than the story of Martin Luther and the church door, except no one is crying “foul”. We are happily sedated as long as no one treads on our “personal” freedoms, which are really a myth if you think about it. Every day I’m become more and more frustrated at the current state of our world and the people in it. And when I hear that Paris Hilton, who has never had to worry where her next meal is coming from in her entire life, has been caught with cocaine it makes me sick to my stomach and disgusted that I even know who she is!

True enough. We have a bad habit of glorifying people just because they’re famous, and often that glorification is irrational, annoying, and not very justified. Really, what has Paris Hilton done to deserve worship? Been born rich and had a leaked porn tape? Call me unimpressed.

I’m in a bit of disagreement as to the author’s conclusion regarding this behavior:

I truly have come to believe it’s because a strong foundation of religion, any religion, is missing. There is no higher consciousness or connection with a divine. There is no self-esteem. Only the lust to fulfill whatever need you feel is void in your existence. This hollow existence where crap is king and spirituality has become a myth can be sold in a brand-name endorsed by a no talent idiot peddling his or her wares on the helpless and weak.

Point 1: If anything, or society is invested with an overabundance of self-esteem, and that is part of the problem. Does anyone really think that Paris Hilton or charlie Sheen have low self-esteem?

Point 2: Most people are “shallow.” Most people are not concerned with higher-order consciousness raising and such. Most people are not seeking enlightenment. Most people want to take care of their material needs and do so for their kids. And if there’s time left over for a bit of fun, so be it. It is pretension in the highest order to believe that because you seek some kind of magic-filled path to True Enlightenment and Divine Fulfillment that everyone else does (or should).

Point 3: This degraded hero worship is not a recent phenomenon.

And that last one is what I really want to get at. We have a bizarre need to assume that the problems humans have now are new and brought on by the complexities of modern society. They aren’t. We have always worshiped rich, well-known, and famous people, and they haven’t always been just, competent, or otherwise worthy. Ever heard of Hercules? Oh, he was a great hero, who completed great feats of strength! As a means of atonement for slaughtering his family. Oops. Paris Hilton don’t seem so bad anymore.

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