For much of history, it seems, humans have paid particular attention to people who they feel they can look up to in one way or another. We’ve paid attention to the Culture of courageous adventurers, skillful generals, great artists and musicians, brilliant thinkers, and ground-breaking scientists.
This made much sense because these were all people we could learn from. These were people with admirable qualities we could try to emulate. By paying attention to such people, we could improve ourselves.
But then, it seems, people started becoming more concerned about the downside to admiring such people. The trouble with respecting brave, resourceful, and intelligent people, is that it brings on feelings of personal inadequacy because such people make ordinary people look bad in comparison.
These feelings of inadequacy used to be in consideration of a good thing because they spurred people into working hard and becoming better people themselves. But then, it seems, people become too lazy to be bothered with all that self-improvement stuff.
The Final Point
Finally, the answer became apparent. Instead of finding famous people we could look up to, we would be able to feel better about ourselves if we could discover famous people we could look down upon. And thus was born the modern concept of ‘celebrity.’
Unlike the traditional concept of a celebrity being someone with outstanding talents, skills, and admirable personality traits, the modern obsession with celebrity increasingly also revolves around people who are famous for being famous. And who do we pick for our new-style stars? People who it is straightforward to look down upon in one way or another – people who are so vain and stupid, that ordinarily arrogant and ignorant people can feel good about themselves in comparison.
People Adoring Celebrity Culture More Than Intellectual Cultures
Each society creates its celebrities. Albert Einstein, a scientist, was such a great celebrity in the Western world in his time that he was in treatment like a demi-god by the people in the West. Researchers, writers, and University professors enjoy considerable influence and social status in the West even today. However, scientists and researchers are not in value in India for several reasons.
1: Lack of Scientific temper
Most Indians lack scientific temper. We still believe in mythologies, religions, astrologers, saints, quacks, and politicians rather than scientists. Such people can hardly value scientists.
2: Lack of Knowledge
Every person, including an illiterate person, can enjoy watching a movie or listening to music. However, you are required to be literate to read a book. In the same way, only if you have acquired a certain level of scientific knowledge, you can appreciate science and research.
3: Lack of Excellence
It is a fact that Indian scientists and researchers are not world-class. They are mediocre at best. They have not been able to win even a single Nobel Prize in more than 70 years of Indian independence. Hence, they are not to respect people.
4: Corruption of Mind
It would be best if you had the honesty to appreciate honesty. A corrupt person understands only evil. It is also a fact that scientists and professors often get more salary than civil servants or government officers. However, they lack the opportunity for corruption and make illegal money. The politicians and government officers top the list of crime, and hence they are idolized by the society which is full of corrupt people.