Saturday, April 7

Generation Narcissism

We're in a horrible, repugnant place now where kids are told it's their right and due to be hugely famous. Not good at their job, not good at anything, just hugely famous. This is not sane. 
- James McAvoy

I'm currently reading a book called The Cult of Celebrity by Cooper Lawrence. I'm often enthralled with the idea of celebrity and how the whole fame machine works. Specifically how it effects us 'simpletons'. I've read quite a few books on the subject (my favorite definitely being A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas by Chuck Klosterman) but this one seems to focus on an entirely specific topic: how my generation is fixated with stardom. It's not even that we want to be specifically actors or musicians or anything that merits any talent. Our main goal is fame. Now, I'm using 'we' and 'us' loosely. I know we aren't all interested in this field or topic but statistically my generation has the highest percentage of kids turning away from college and vocational school and turning toward vocal lessons and Los Angeles. 
           An interesting point made in this book is that the number of people planning a career in Stardom does not match up with the amount of emerging talent. There are people who will work their entire lives for something that will never happen because they don't have the skills to do it. But they feel like they deserve it. We were raised by a generation that was catered to like no generation before. As a result, an alarming number of Gen Y have a completely unwarranted belief that they deserve everything. There is literally a little snippet in the book directed to parents of Gen Yers, telling them that supporting a child's dream in stardom when the child possess no talent or drive is no longer being supportive. Not at our age.
 I find this terrifying. I'm still under the delusion that I will have a career in the arts. Not necessarily stardom, but in a field that is quite difficult to 'break into'. I worry that I'm one of these narcissistic, talentless children hiding behind a pipe dream as an excuse to stay in the safety and comfort of my parent's home. I feel incredibly childish, but the thought of attempting a career in a different field - being a pilot, or a lawyer or something else terrifies me because not only is that school debt, but it's a set of skills I don't currently have. Also it means I would be a grownup. And thats terrifying. 

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