Saturday, September 15, 2018

The errors of 'celebrity worship' and adulation (draft)

One's doing something desirable is no reason to COPY someone's ENTIRE SET of behaviors.

This practice of idolizing one individual or set of individuals based upon a behavioral characteristic occurs frequently among human beings, including among vegan and vegetarian advocates.

One could focus rationally, instead, on the reasons for becoming and remaining vegan for a lifetime (rather than upon wrongly adoring one likable individual or anyone else).

There's a psychological ERROR or FOLLY in getting caught up with fallible (and sometimes bad) examples of good things.
  • Remember Michael Jackson as a vegetarian role model?
  • Remember Alex Baldwin as a vegetarian role model? 
  • And there are more than a share of industrialists and wealth builders who are vegetarian (but who didn't implement humanitarian principles - heads of Disney and Eastern Airlines, Gould who ran for US President on the Vegetarian Party, et al.)  Which characteristics lead one to 'emulability' status AS practicing vegetarians or practicing vegans?  Moby is a practicing vegan, but Dennis Kucinish seldom mentioned his veganism when he ran for US President.  Should ONLY ONE political party (of several) attract all the vegetarians?
The curiosities go on and one - in the external world as in our respective minds. 
These public persons SELDOM discuss or present to the general public (when interviewed impromptu or more formally as a talk show guest) the many well-refined reasons for the universal desirability of being vegan.

Instead, they tend to fall for the short-term adoration, accepting their short term celebrity status, the popularity of themselves as a celebrity, thereby short-circuiting that broader and more public mental focus energy one what could be useful and morally desirable values - the moral efficiency of WFPB diets; the ecological system in which we inherently live, where everyone impacts all the others in the ongoing cloth of material; etc.

And how would WE KNOW in advance that any (or many) of these fallible human are not going to do something really bad? And how can we be reasonable if we uncritically trust their judgment about a range of other matters? Isn't that a 'non sequitur'?  It merely 'doesn't follow' logically that doing one good, right, proper, morally preferable thing or adopting one wise, evidence-based practice puts one at the head of the parade for moral leadership.
  • We think of the models (who need to 'look good' all the time, though they are seldom looking good 24/7)
  • We think of the bassists (and that's a tedious discipline that requires self mastery)
  • We think of the other musicians, and that's a serious discipline that requires long-term, ongoing commitment
  • We think of the dancers, and health benefits should accrue for them, but do they discuss the role of diet and health disciplines in their developing and maintaining discipline.
  • We think of actors, and surely not everyone can do that work; how it transforms them as individuals, but what does that imply for the rest of us 7-2/3 billion humans on earth?
Remember this kind of thing: ?
My studied opinion is that 'notable vegetarians' (i) informs us but (ii) easily distracts us and others from the real contributors to the knowledge relevant about human diet and practices, and risks substituting celebrity 'fluff' for worthwhile sharing in our conversations.  Further, such lists MAY have errors, so one risks reputation by publicly reading off the list and asserting some entry as a historical fact (when it may be oddly, curiously mistaken).  And surely we don't want to say that a fallible practitioner is reason for not doing something good and innocent, like breathing, brushing one's teeth, exercising, and treating other humans and animals graciously and with kindness.

Why does it happen?  And should one celebrate celebrities, however and why-ever it happens in the communication space that generates thoughts in our minds?  Surely there may be motives, even hidden, ulterior motives for investing so much art and other effort into celebrating celebrities, but IMO it's wrong - AND it distracts real human beings and the processes of social communication involving those real human beings from more productively studying and discussing ethics and relevant science and personal life organization - and from developing more constructive reasoning AND sustainable values (like those involved with migrating toward totally plant-based vegan diets).

But if we WERE to select ANY vegetarian as a model for emulating ALL of her or his values, who would that ONE vegetarian (or vegan) individual be?

Is it the veganism that ought to be emulated?  If so, maybe invest the arts and other energy in understanding and communicating that (rather than in distracting the public's mental energy with 'celebrity worship'

I know that your blog/mailing is a form of 'commodification' found in capitalist systems, but IMO it's 'way off topic' for the worthwhile discussion of how and why to become a transformed human individual for a better future, rather than for the one to which we are otherwise defaulting.

It's good to be liked, but that's not the end of the discussion about evidence-based whole foods plant-based diets.  I'm glad that there's a Fire Station Diet (Rip Esselstyn), but so much goes into sorting out issues.

Still, we nearly 8 billion human individuals living on the Earth's surface are left to sorting through the complex array of stimuli and seeking for more solid ground with which to more rationally and sustainably organize our lives.  Celebrity worship, I advise, is NOT the better, more productive path for doing that inevitable sorting amidst the booming, buzzing complexity of the rapidly unfolding world that includes us (and does not merely surround us).
Maynard S. Clark, MS (Management: Research Administration)
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