Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Fallen idols and lost innocence

We must stop investing so much in celebrities. A person who comes to prominence through some endeavor, be it artistic, sporting or some other regarded action is not endowed ipso facto with other qualities we like to project onto them - kindness, charity, forgiveness, love, goodness. This is true even where the celebrity does 'wonderfully good' charitable acts. These are all part of the 'being' for a celebrity.

It is a media circus - the building up of celebrity status. The subsequent fall from grace where it might occur is also part of the media circus. The once idolized become demonized - gone the smiling, kind photographs substituted now for those that show the 'evil' person. These are media choices. For one fallen idol recently a news program thought it important to show a photograph of them taken when charged - he looked like a criminal was the message.

So many in the media now suggest the 'knew' there was something 'wrong' about Jimmy Saville. But here is the classic example of someone elevated to 'goodness' personified status by the very media that now demonizes him. Jim 'fixed' it for so many people. Now we know he fixed it in more ways than we would have liked he is now the personification of 'evil'. One by one former idols are tested -  some probably unjustly, some to meet justice head on. One by one they come to stand in front of the cameras and address the media.

It is painful to watch. It gives little pleasure to see these idols fallen from grace. Innocence is a victim - our innocent assumptions about the goodness of those we 'like'. It would be better if we did not invest so much naivete in the status of celebrity.

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