(Was Aristippus an insatiable media whore?)
Thanks Stefano. The juxtaposed Elon photos are pretty funny, but they are also a perfect illustration for your thoughts.
Maybe the real underlying reason that celebrity vacation photos are so appealing is that we get some schadenfreude-like pleasure from how unglamorous and ordinary they can look. (Best and Worst Celebrity Beach Bodies is the original clickbait, no?).
Mostly though, we are unduly respectful of fame and we attribute success to some magical or extreme difference from the rest of humanity.
Actors have it best/worst in that a not-yet-successful actor is the waiter you just ignored, whereas next year they may be understood as an oracle and visionary of the human soul.
One could argue, not earnestly, that African-Americans have it worst/worst in that an unknown African American ‘looks like a bad dude’, and a celebrated African-American is evidence that people aren’t racist.
My nominated heroes when last I thought about it were Aristippus, Neal Cassady and Bob Dylan. It’s not a coincidence that each in their way have spent more time out of the limelight than in it. It sounds contradictory — to be famously shy. And sure, people can argue that Aristippus was an insatiable media whore, but I believe it’s possible and good.
It is a great contradiction of our social lives, that we are always performing and never simply being. The person whom we really are is elusive or just plain illusory. Even the balding version.
My analysis? — Fake it till you make it. And then if you really should happen to make it, get the hell out of there while you still can!