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Although we know better intellectually, we treats celebrities as if they exist in a different realm. Is there an element of misplaced religion at work? Wu’s latest book is “The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads” (https://goo.gl/aGLq9T).
Read more at BigThink.com: http://bigthink.com/videos/tim-wu-on-celebrities-as-greek-gods-of-the-modern-day
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Transcript – You know celebrity is a really mysterious thing that I don’t think anyone fully understands. Why are we so interested in these people who are just people but somehow have come to embody some greater idea. It’s not even that they’re great. I mean you don’t worship them necessarily because they’re more virtuous than we are or lofty or something. If they’re like gods they’re more like the Greek gods, you know. They’re prone to embarrassing drunken incidents. The say outlandish things but somehow people just can’t seem to look away from celebrities and it’s not something new. Although what is new is the effort to commercialize that fact to an extent never seen before. New I mean since the 1970’s or so. The effort to build entire platforms, magazines on nothing but celebrity by itself is a development of the twentieth and twenty-first century. We’ve gotten to a point it’s sort of unusual where if you want to get attention to almost anything you need to start with the celebrity. If you’re interested in the problems of Africa you don’t really get people interested.
You have Madonna adopt an orphan. Now we’re talking, you know. It just has become the sign for getting attention as having some kind of celebrity associated with it. When I was running for office for instance, you know, we’d have an important proposal about corruption or something. But when we brought out Mark Ruffalo to endorse our candidacy oh now we’re talking. Suddenly everybody was there. And it is strange that this has become the way we organize this incredible important part of our lives, the products, whatever it is. But it’s kind of the way it is. Read Full Transcript Here: https://goo.gl/sjmbxa.