In the distant future when the world has moved from its adolescent phase to a more adult one. It would serve us well to examine the way we revere ordinary people with huge amounts of talent. You can see why this talent could be a curse to the talented.
The King, Queen & Prince
To compare Michael Jackson the King of Pop, David Bowie the Queen, and the Purple Prince Nelson is a guessing game and likely to enrage those who take prodigious talent at face value. But still at the stem of the talent are (in the case) boys with parents and a childhood mostly ordinary. It is worth some examination to question the enormous pressure placed on the talented who we wish to live through.
In simple Freudian terms we are living out our unconscious wishes & needs of fame and adulation through megastars. This comes from a long tradition of children being raised in a parent centred fashion. The child is not the centre: their individual personalities left unrecognised, and unnoticed. Forced to play the part of children of parents rather than unique individuals. Does this explain our obsession with celebrity?
Recently the tide has turned recognising children for who they are and that they can achieve anything. Some might say creating a narcissistic generation intent on becoming celebrities themselves!
To start! The King, the Queen and the Prince are all men. One white from the UK, two black from the US. Difference, Race, Gender & Sexuality played a large part with all three. Reflecting themes of the times?
Prince and Bowie kept their childhoods secret creating mystery: while MJ had a very public childhood as a child performer. Was this an advantage for Prince and Bowie becoming stars as young adults with the possibility of a secure base? With Prince his childhood is vague, and he encouraged this to suit himself. Bowie was similar, but was recognised as having an ordinary side. From a childhood in the suburbs which he couldn’t wait to leave?
MJ’s childhood was more public with stories of bullying and control.
One thing they all did to extreme was to isolate. Prince and MJ in their private compounds and Bowie in New York City. Is this an innate trait or their reaction to fame? It must be a powerful experience to have a talent that provides for you and more. You have no need to rely on anyone else. You call the shots. Ordinary people have to work with others in a life of compromise. Are many of us forced to socialise rather than being social animals? If we didn’t need to commute, or work, would we be less social? Did MJ, Bowie and Prince feel the same need to connect that other people do?
Could you argue that Bowie was the only one at that had consistent long term relationships? He was certainly the only one to have children. Again he was also claimed to be ordinary. Is there a link between ordinariness and the possibility of an ordinary life of consistency and intimacy?
Prince made a point of not looking back: being in the moment. MJ seemed to be constantly looking back to his abusive childhood, or as he said he didn’t have a childhood. Bowie relocated to America leaving the UK and his past behind.
MJ’s life collapsed, while Bowie appeared to have his under control as did Prince. It seemed MJ was looking for something more. Perhaps exposed to fame early as a child he didn’t have a chance?
But it seems the life of a megastar is not a healthy one. Then why do we all revere it? Perhaps it is the ordinariness that should be revered?
Yet we cannot revere ordinariness as we live it. We want to escape ordinariness to get through the day.
One day we might be sophisticated enough to embrace ordinariness and megastar together in balance.
The King, Queen & Prince
Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2016
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Disclaimer:This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only.
This article is designed to provoke argument and critique