The cult of individuality

Perhaps the easiest thing we can understand in this world is that we spend a huge amount of time promoting our own sense of individuality.The only concession we seem to do for the other these days is to give them a quick acknowledgement at the end of our rants about self , mainly as footnotes to the words that gambol around our own sense of stroking.To even begin to understand how this has come about we must toddle back to the enlightenment, where the almost fanatical fetishism of the individual began.

Thus it was with all the arts – the rise of the performer from the ensemble became associated with the wise development of a Greek tradition in tragedy. Soon enough there were the Romantic poets with all their stifled half-lives to assert this common knowledge.These were the first superstars of the media, exploiting their own looks and ideas of superficiality as the basis for an ideology of tragedy, personal regret and self worship. It was the start of the media star,uncritically analysed, loved to a point of obsession and intellectually stunted by their own lack of growth as strong emotional personalities.

Artists, painters, authors and today media stars. The blank slate they write on is hopelessly scored by their emotional crises, their brushes with fame and their relentless pursuit of the almighty dollar and all the trappings of stardom, of one kind or another.

I spent 29 years with these people and the following is a critical blog that will look back on these years and, hopefully, reveal some home truths as I have seen, with my perspective, both as a psychologist and a sociologist on these “salad days”


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