These are the hushed tones of people celebrity watching. Someone in my office was recently talking about an experience a friend had seeing a celebrity in “real life” Having lived in LA for a bit, I can tell you that few are immune to the odd other-world feeling of seeing someone famous in the flesh. But why do we get those feelings, these are people with jobs and in some cases apparently serious personal issues.
It’s because TV and Movie stars are the gods and the story tellers our tribe no longer has. If Jesus and Al Pachino both walked into a restaurant, your brain would seize up trying to decide where to stare first. When I was in middle school, (for reasons I don’t remember) we started reading about Greek myths. As I got started experiencing my own brief sighting of our contemporary gods walking the earth, I could see the connection of Greek mythology and contemporary entertainment.
The thing about Greek Gods is their stories were often brought about by their failings, but those failing were human failing’s writ large: on a Gods scale. They were subject to lust, envy, pride and the related wounded egos, and as far as human maidens were concerned, Greek Gods were the original stalkers from hell. Zeus help you if you happen to be the male suitor deemed to be in the way. The stories did not hold up the Gods as the paragons of virtue, they were object lessons, sometimes showing what happens if you are childish and greedy and hat happens when you are heroic and noble.
I think that’s why we love our flawed heroes. Indiana Jones was terrified of snakes, (and by anthropology standards, little more than a grave-robber), made rotten choices that got him in trouble and made the story more interesting. But like the Greek Gods, these failings make them more accessible, allowing us to take the stories into our lives.
Blog Disclaimer. I will often go back to entries to make edits or clarify points. If I am changing my point of view, that will be a new entry.