Seriously though, “Game of Thrones” actor Jack Gleeson’s rapid rise to fame gave him a unique perspective on how vapid and abysmal the concept of celebrity is.
Before you go thinking that this is another celebrity whining about having too much attention and how hard it is to be famous, you’ll want to click play. Because he’s not just concerned about how unhealthy it is for celebrities to be on the receiving end of that kind of worship and attention. He also makes some really great points about what that kind of celebrity worship does to those of us on the outside looking in.
It’s really profound stuff, and totally worth hearing:
Here’s how he wraps it up at the end, in case you don’t have time to watch it all (emphasis mine):
“In conclusion thankfully it seems that celebrities have become vessels of either, as I say, an economic, revolutionary, or sociological instinct to consume and imitate certain extraordinary members of society. We’ve seen how this reverence can have profound effects on both parties, oftentimes more negative than positive.
I believe that communal admiration of individuals is healthy for society. It facilitates, in one way, the base of our universal standard, morals, but also publicly espouses the virtue of certain practices that are kind of like ‘inherently good’ in some kind of ideas of what the good is.
However, this kind of celebritization is only a positive one if the individual represents values that should be imitated by, say, a reasonable, moral person. We need to be choosier with our celebrities, or else we may find ourselves again in that situation where we just find ourselves acting out the role of the town drunk constantly.
And we also need to temper the concentration with which we love to celebritize; primarily for the sake of the celebrities themselves and their self-evaluation, but also for ourselves. Just as the object of our attention can become rendered hollow and externally directed with too much worship, so too, I feel, can the worshipers sacrifice their own individual self or autonomy in favor of giving it up to a higher power.
We need to fight against our human instinct to deify our role models, but also fight against our instinct to subjugate our own individuality in the process. Star gazing is one of the most profoundly human things one can do. But perhaps we must more frequently tear ourselves away from the mystery and beauty of the starry heavens above, and rather inspect, admire, and foster the moral law within.“