There has always been a cult of celebrity but now there is also a cult “of possibility”.
The cult of celebrity is not new, but it is increasing in its scope and effect. At one time, people would simply gawk at the famous, and possibly dress like them. Now, many take their moral and political opinions from them. Fame confers authority, and the principal way of acquiring great fame is via the entertainment industry. Entertainers are the gods of our age, with de facto powers to influence our opinions. Why is it that our minds enjoy and often crave engaging with this? Is it a form of escapism, are celebrities helpful role models, or do they create an inferiority complex for all of us touched by their influence. Are those entrusted with this accolade different, or better than those existing without it? Will there ever be a “possibility” we will wake up from this intoxication and see that there’re simply human.
Fame, is accessible to anyone and those who want it, are fixated by those who are already in possession of it. Within the social media platforms, is another professional and sometimes raw phenomenon, of the “cult of possibility” Where ordinary motivated people in the media, connect with thousands of others who may not be quite so motivated. In doing this, they present themselves to the world, as authentic to the things they are doing. The difference between them and “celebrity proper” is we can imagine ourselves, being capable of attempting everything they do. This is the “cult of possibility”, where sometimes, with a small amount of effort financially, we can attempt exactly the same thing.
The “cult of possibility” gives us a more personal connection.
One of my favorite shows on television is Grand designs, a show that is based in England and sometimes in Europe, it follows and interacts with people who are building their Grand design to live in. The show is about design, but the ratings for each episode are very different. When people have an abundance of money to throw at a project, it doesn’t resonate as well with the public, as a couple who struggle building a home with their own hands, while maxing out their credit cards in the process. One of the publics favorite episodes, also the presenters, was the “Woodsman” who built his home from the trees in the forest he tended by hand, with some of his friends to help him. It showed how he struggled to create a home, and the surrounding gardens of natural beauty.
He was a smart hard working man, who resonated well with the camera. But it wasn’t the lack of money that prevented him achieving his goal. So we were are able to see the “possibility” that we may be able to achieve exactly the same thing. Also the older couple who met later in life and purchased an absolute wreck of a chateau in France, when most people would be putting their feet up, took on the challenge of their lives. If they can do it with so little money and mostly using sweat equity, there’s no reason why we can’t do this, or the “possibility” that we can. The average person loves to dream, but the dream is always more pleasant when there is a “possibility” that one day, it will come true.
The “cult of possibility” is alive and well.
Life for many people has lost it’s sense of optimism for the future. We are wondering what’s going on, we feel uncertain as we look for inspiration where ever we can find it. Nothing has changed though, there is no quick fix or miracle cure. The Alternative lifestyle movement is as popular as it has ever been. Selling possessions and downsizing is not about money, the usual excuse we use. Now it’s the social conditioning we have to contend with, the what if’s and possible maybe’s, that we have to get past. There are a proliferation of channels on U-TUBE where “normal” people are attempting to live an alternative life. Traveling in buses, vans and RV’S some of these people, have thousands of subscribers on their lists.
The two favorites that appeal to my slow pace of life, are based on the canals in England. “Cruising the cut” and “Journey with Jono” both very well produced, great sound and picture quality. The narrow boats travel at walking pace, something I’m used to. The surrounding countryside and the hypnotic sound of the engine almost send me to sleep. I certainly know I’m relaxed anyway. These men aren’t rich, they sold their homes to follow a different lifestyle. This allows us the “possibility” that we may do this, but possibly never will. This resonates with us, we bond with them because we see ourselves doing these things through their eyes. This resonates with me, because they are “nice guys” someone you would love as your next door neighbor. They appeal to a very wide audience both young and older.
The “possibility” of owning a narrow boat.
Both of these channels have thousands of subscribers. Jono is on his narrow boat with his dog Molly, as everyone seems fascinated with dogs, Molly has a cult following of her own. My realization that this was a “cult of possibility” came when l looked at the comments left by the subscribers. They were from all around the world, watching this narrow boat on the canals in England. Many of them voicing the “possibility” that one day they would do this for themselves. Jono and David aren’t showing us a dream, but showing us a possibility. There’s a twist to their story though, for their shows to last longer and with more personal disclosures. They are being forced by their audience to expand their horizons.
They have to look for different features to keep up with demand. This is time consuming for them and I’m sure, a fine line that they are walking, between the life they want for themselves and the life that is being demanded from them. So even though they are ordinary men presenting a simple life story on a narrow boat. They are being forced by the “culture of possibility” to put more effort into living a different story than they would possibly have thought of in the beginning. Inadvertently, this could be a good thing for them, as they expand their stories to satisfy their audience and hopefully themselves.