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Cult of celebrity is warping minds

Published 07/04/2015

THE concept of celebrity tends to subvert our basic sense of proportion. Unwittingly, we assign almost godlike stature to those who acquire celebrity status.

In so doing, we demean ourselves and distort the notion of what is really worthwhile achieving in life, giving our young people false hopes and dreams, and distracting them from what counts for most in a human life - namely, to love and be loved.

I accept we all need to be a somebody. The desire to have an impact on the world is at the heart of all our endeavours.

In the case of Jeremy Clarkson, however, the need for applause, recognition and celebrity became the over-riding, driving force of his work. Being outrageous amplified his notoriety.

The music world is the most effective breeding ground for celebrity and shattered dreams. A tiny proportion that set out on the path to fame, fortune and notoriety soon find themselves in a world where a few moguls exercise their power to adopt or ditch them at will.

They become a commodity that can be bought or sold with the same sensitivity we exercise in the cattle market.

It has been said that it is not what you are that counts, but what people think you are. However, there is often a tension between what people think you are and what you see in yourself.

A sense of self-worth can only come from the approval of those you value.

PHILIP O'NEILL

By email

Belfast Telegraph

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