The Partially Examined Life Philosophy Podcast will be interviewing Lucy for their upcoming podcast (Number 64) on Fame and celebrity. The latest podcast is #62. The format is an informal roundtable discussion, with each episode loosely focused on a short reading that introduces at least one “big” philosophical question, concern or idea.
The official site states:
The jumping-off point for our discussion was a 2010 book, Fame: What the Classics Tell Us About Our Cult of Celebrity by Tom Payne, who’s a British classics dude who wrote book reviews for The Telegraph and now teaches classics at the Sherborne School in Dorset, England (here are some of his articles at Huffington Post, to get a flavor of his writing). The book combines anecdotes about Homeric heroes and Roman emperors with discussion of people like Britney Spears and Kate Winslet. His thesis is that celebrities fill a social need, an outlet for our collective aggression, that we can trace back to ancient times, where young maidens were lavishly bestowed with fineries and then sacrified. We idolize them, but set them up to disappoint our expectations, at which point we turn on them and raise up a fresher, younger replacement. The book is fun to flip through, and transmits and applies some interesting ideas, largely from anthropologist James Frazer’s The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion (1890). From wikipedia: “Its thesis is that old religions were fertility cults that revolved around the worship of, and periodic sacrifice of, a sacred king.” Another key source is Walter Berkert’s Homo Necans: The Anthropology of Ancient Greek Sacrificial Ritual and Myth (1972). Also from wikipedia:
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