Thursday, March 22, 2007

Fandom and Peduto and More

From china - sculp...

Wise words to ponder today:
Fandom often involves collective hostility towards stars, rather than unalloyed worship and approval. Pianist Glenn Gould, who gave up concertizing, described the audience as a hostile force whose "primal instinct was for gladiatorial combat."

Presidents, athletes, movie stars, singers, and members of the British royal family are criticized by millions every day. Joey West published an *I Hate Madonna Joke Book*. *The Washington Post* ran a contest which encouraged readers to come up with humorous and elegant insults of celebrities. The Internet has led to a proliferation of celebrity "death pools," such as the Ghoul Pool, where people bet which famous individuals will die next. Fred and Judy Vermoral, in their study of fandom, noted: "we were astonished by the degree of hostility and aggression, spoken and unspoken, shown by fans towards stars. Later we realized this was one necessary consequence of such unconsummated, unconsumable passion."

Fans take pleasure in judging presidents, leaders, and famous entertainers by especially harsh and oversimplified stand­ards. Stars provide a realm in which prejudice is given free reign to rule opinion. Fans can let off critical steam, or vicarious love, without fear of repercussions, and without having to confront the complexity of the moral issues involved...
Source: Tyler Cowen's Personal Web Page. What Price Fame. The first chapter of his book, prior to copy editing and footnotes. The book was published by Harvard University Press.

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