Heroes and Celebrities

In: Social Issues

Submitted By princessaynoor
Words 625
Pages 3
Back in the twentieth century there was a British punk rock song that repeated over and over again the claim that there were "no more heroes anymore." Calmer critics and social commentators have agreed that the age of the hero is over. In the past, people had heroes. They were the most prominent figures in the public consciousness - people who had achieved great things; people who had done great deeds - proud, noble leaders and bold pioneers.
The myth of the hero, though, could not survive when public life came to be dominated by the mass media. The mass media killed off the heroes and replaced them with celebrities. To become a celebrity what matters is not so much the greatness of what you have done but the exposure you are given in the media.
The mass media is not solely responsible for the death of the hero. A democratic culture also undermines the idea that certain individuals carry a divine spark and are therefore in a category superior to that of the rest of us. No one deserves to be worshipped and there is revulsion at the idea of bending the knee and kissing the hand of another individual.
The critical gaze of the psychologist and sociologist has also entered public consciousness, adding to the forces tearing down the statues of the past. The drives of a great individual are seen to have their roots in an unhappy youth, an obsession with his mother or being spurned by a lover; and his great ambition is said to stem from an early inability to simply hang out with the boys and have a good time. The achievements remain but the man himself emerges from the analysis without a shred of nobility.
Having killed the hero we have replaced him with a distinctively modern public figure: the celebrity. As one commentator put it: the celebrity is a person who is known for being well-known. Any exposure in the media helps to increase someone's status as a celebrity.…...

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