The mindset of a person who doesn’t need Friedrich Nietzsche | 739
Investigating the success. Part 1 | 738

A star is born

[ 5 min read ]

We decide that someone is worth our attention, that he or she could be a big deal, we start to promote heavily that person, nominate him or her to this award or that award, eventually give that person some kind of award, then make interviews with that person, we write articles and books about that person, we make TV shows about that person, and he or she becomes the celebrity (we create that celebrity — more or less a random thing how it happens) and that person occupies that special space in our heads. We devote our attention to that person, we tell people that they should pay attention to that person, we make it so obvious that this person deserves it (to the exclusion of somebody else) that few people will dare to have their own opinion about that person. The opinion has been imposed on us by some self-proclaimed jury (by some group of people who either control the access to a certain place (some media outlet for example), or who has some vested interest in promoting a certain individual, or who follows somebody’s lead in promoting a certain individual (because they realized it sells well and money can be made).

Then whatever that person produces has preference. Each new project gets the attention of those media outlets because it’s his or hers. No matter what it is. Whether it’s very good, good, or average ceases to matter. Nobody knows whether it’s very good, good, or average because nobody can know in advance. But it gets our attention anyway. It is promoted as something worth following whereas other people’s projects (which by the way could be 100 times better) get overlooked. Why? Because the space is already occupied by someone else. Because we need to learn about the new project of X. Besides, it’s better to promote a name which already exists in the minds of the majority, than someone who is unknown. It’s way riskier to bet on a new player. It doesn’t mean that you bet on the best player. It only means that you bet on the teamplayer — your partner and at the same time a household name, to minimize the risk of a loss, or of an embarrassment. You need to know that the person who will be promoted, with whom you will take a risk, is OK. That person needs to cooperate (usually that’s expected, it’s the requirement). Someone who has not been tested, about whom we know nothing or very little is a risk. We don’t know if we can count on that person’s cooperation.

And it often happens that people believe that what this person did was actually good — because such was the expectation. Such was the promise. So it’s natural that we will try to find reasons to think that it actually is good. It has to really suck, really disappoint someone, for him or her to tell people that it’s crap, and for them to consider it a crappy production. It’s the same thing when we read on some banner that something is delicious (Try our delicious coffee! for example). We will look for reasons to say that it actually was delicious. It has to be below average (taste awfully) for us to conclude that it wasn’t delicious.

Don’t other people make good things too (or even better things)? Of course they do. But they’re not stars, so more often than not it gets overlooked. Sorry friend, that spot is taken! We already have a star (enough stars). Even if we wanted, we could not take you right now.

And because the star already occupies a spot in the minds of the majority, they expect to learn something new about the star. What’s cooking? What kind of problems or struggles does the star have in his or her private life? What’s the love life of that star? They want to know as much as possible. They will then gossip about it with their friends and family. They don’t want a new star each week.

Then it so happens that this or that team player and household name vanishes from the firmament and someone is needed to fill that void. So new faces appear on the scene. And the same scenario plays itself out.

We can’t promote everybody. And when we promote someone it has to make sense, financially (the promotion isn’t free). By ‘we’ I mean any organization or person who decides to help promote a certain person. Certain individual needs to exist in the minds of the majority (or in the minds of a certain group) long enough to bring profit. Certain deals need to happen. Our partners would also like to make a buck. So we count them in. New deals need to happen.

Eventually certain individuals (stars) get pissed that they have been turned into a moneymaking machine, and that they need to play by the rules which are set by those who make the money off them and who also let them make money, and so they decide to leave the stage. They relocate to a place where nobody will be able to find them, or tell everybody to fuck off and are perceived as mentally ill, or they shoot themselves in the head, slit their wrists, hung themselves, or overdose. New ones who hope to become famous and rich appear.

I’m not saying it’s exactly how it happens. But I suppose it’s close to how it actually happens. If the person is really talented and has passion for what he or she does, then at least it made sense (beyond financial). But if it’s some star which was created out of nothing (or almost nothing), some celebrity manufactured in order to fill the void and feed people bullshit about his or her life, so that gossip columns can be filled with something, then it’s pathetic. But it happens a lot (this creation of BS stars — each media outlet has its BS stars), so I guess my (or anyone’s) opinion or bitching about it won’t change that. It’s part of how the game is played in some places. And if there are enough human beings who want to buy that shit, why the hell shouldn’t they be offered it?

But one thing can’t be denied — most stars (doesn’t matter if it’s this BS star or some legit star) need to work their asses off in order to keep that position. I guess there are very few lazybones among them (if any). Lazybones are quickly out. It’s hard to make money off a lazybones.