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Idol Worship and Meeting Gods in the Flesh


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16 replies to this topic

#1
Rainbow Jamz

Rainbow Jamz

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I went to see a concert last weekend that I thoroughly enjoyed, and one of my favourite parts of the night was getting to meet the headlining band after the show. They invited us to stop by their merch table even if we didn't want to buy anything and to just say hello if we wanted.

 

Well I took that opportunity in stride and I haven't stopped thinking about it since. This is a band I discovered only two years ago and have greatly enjoyed and appreciated the hard work they put into their craft. 

 

I was initially nervous, but thankfully without that queasy feeling I used to get in my gut when it came to meeting a woman on a date or an employer for an interview. I didn't feel nervous, but thought nervously standing in the very short line to the band.

 

Then I had a very humbling experience when I went to shake hands with the drummer and say "nice to meet you." She was actually pretty shy and said it was nice to meet me too with a bit of a quiver in her voice.

 

It threw me off guard, whether it was true shyness or just the way I perceived it, it kinda shook my shit up a little bit. Then I just went on to say how thankful I am for them being such a generous band as to actually perform an encore, since the last few shows I've been to, neither bands until this one actually gave what the audience asked for.

 

I was afraid I was babbling until her twin sister joined our conversation to tell me how they always have an encore set in mind just in case the audience expects an encore, and my love for them grows even more. The fact that they have the confidence to do what they do and to be grateful to their fans for keeping their music alive. I'm just like totally fawning and fanboying over them for their ambitious attitude (and hotness)!

 

Despite of how comfortable I was in the moment of speaking to them, a part of me still reverted to too much of a consumed consumer rushing to ask for a picture afterwards, telling them to get the attention of their bassist who I didn't even talk to, JUST for my picture. Which I felt kinda bad for him because he's in a band with two girls and probably doesn't get as much attention.

 

All things considered, I still wish I spoke with them longer since the line up wasn't too big and went to hug them instead of scuttling away as I said "nice to meet you guys," without so much of the eye contact and confidence I had when I first approached them.

 

But anyways...

 

Yeah this whole interaction just got me thinking about the idea of idol worship and meeting famous people. This band is popular, but not famous, hence they were able to hang around after the show and personally meet their fans.

 

The common fear of meeting someone whose work you admire is that they might not turn out to be as cool as you would expect, and that would tarnish the quality of enjoying their work sometimes, especially knowing if they were douches. I met a band 2 years ago, a band I wasn't that into, but they were a bit douchey so I decided to never even try to get into their music any further.

 

I have this theory that this fear stems from childhood (surprise surprise). We grow up thinking our parents are infallible perfect gods of resources and nurture, but then eventually find out that they don't know what's going on as you thought they did, so it's disheartening. I might be wrong, but the way I see it, the bigger the disappointment, the bigger the fear of meeting a public figure.

 

Like for me, finding out that religion was bs and that my parents really had no idea how to define morality and goodness, rationality and logic, it was a huge blow to my perception. Also of course from examining my childhood instead of pushing the experience away, I figured out that they weren't as smart or influencial in a positive way--enough to make me really care all that much about them.

 

I equate that as a template for how we might perceive celebrities. For the most part, they are human beings I get that, but they are also human beings with a bit of an influence over people with their art. Their type of music speaks to a variety of people in different ways, so in a way they are like spiritual/intellectual parents to their fans.

 

This band for instance, to me, up until that night, had only existed as recorded images on the internet as photos, videos of their interviews and performances, and of course sound waves on my iPod. Almost as if as they are these ethereal gods whose physical manifestations I enjoy consuming for the means of entertainment.

 

So when it came to meeting them, I guess a part of me didn't want to be disappointed if they turned out to be douchey like the other band I didn't like as much. Even though I've seen their interviews and they seem like a nice and humble bunch, I still felt this doubt in me. They themselves even admitted that they are just as nervous meeting their fans as we are with them, because they as artists are aware of the possibility of disappointing their fans, therefore they take some precaution with how they present themselves in person.

 

That puts things into perspective for me. It reminds me a bit of how in the free market you do have to enact some reciprocity in order to make the exchange mutual. I'm a fan who would like to have a picture and a short interaction, they're a band who wants to see the kind of people their music has reached. This is just the way it works.

 

"Let us entertain you with a live performance because we need your $15 (and possible merchandise purchases) more than you do. You need a good time more than you need that money in your pocket so that's what you came here to pay for. And meeting us is to show mutual loyalty to our fans to build some accountability. By basking in the presence of the consumer, we get to see where our music reaches and how you feel about it, and us. If we provide you good vibes beyond the performance and the music, perhaps it will make you feel even more inclined to enjoy our work further."

 

What are your thoughts on this subject? Is my theory even valid or verifiable? It just seems like a good place to start for me. I could be wrong of course. I don't know. Either way I still feel a torrent of thoughts around this interaction with them that was enlivening for me, as well as a bit frustrating because I knew I didn't let my self feel as comfortable or as lovable as I wanted to. And I suspect that some of you might point out that my frustration with my lack of openness with people I admire...really has nothing to do with them at all lol. 


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#2
vze57564

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I felt the same way the first time I called in to FDR some time ago.  I think you just need some more familiarity with them.  When a person idolizes someone, it is only natural to feel a sense of awe when you finally get to meet them, however, familiarity tends to bring a sense of mundanity to things.  If this was your first time meeting them, especially after the experience you had, it's understandable to have these reservations and to want to leave a good impression on them and so forth.


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#3
Kevin Beal

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I think your theory makes total sense :)

 

I've never met any celebrities or anybody like that in person before so it's got me wondering what would it be like if I had, and it's a weird feeling, lol.

 

This isn't Tegan and Sara by chance is it?


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"There is no law, no compulsion, no law of physics or man that is preventing you from living the life that you want" - Stef (The Greatest Gift in the Entire Universe)


#4
Josh F

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And whenever you cross over to the other side and become the type of person you once revere, it is suddenly not such a big deal.  Like remember senors in high school?  By the time you've become one, the idea of them contains zero reverence.  I imagine becoming a parent, or millionaire, or celebrity is the same... suddenly you're there and you're realizing its occupied by the same type of humans as everything else. 


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#5
Rainbow Jamz

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I think your theory makes total sense :)

 

I've never met any celebrities or anybody like that in person before so it's got me wondering what would it be like if I had, and it's a weird feeling, lol.

 

This isn't Tegan and Sara by chance is it?

 

Lol it sounds like it could be, right? No, it's Courage My Love, a band that was inspired by Tegan and Sara to some degree.


vze: that was basically the gist of it. We both wanted to leave a good impression on each other to keep the market interaction going. I enjoy their music even more now that I've met them and got to guage what kind of people they are. I actually held off from listening to them for a month or so until the show to make my re-introduction to them even more valuable lol.

 

TT: So only when I become a rockstar will I feel comfortable around other rockstars eh? I think I know what you mean though. Now I'm a guy who finally met a rockstar so that's a pair of shoes I can easily step into, or at least easier than the last. I didn't have any nervousness about the male band I met 2 years ago because I wasn't really into their stuff. I just went to the concert because my "best friends" at the time wanted to go. But because this band mattered to me a lot, there was much to wonder about my expectations of them as people.


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#6
Nathan Diehl

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Everybody takes a stinky gooey shit everyday.
No way around being just human, no matter what you do.
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#7
Rainbow Jamz

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I get that Nathan, but you have to take in account about the associations built in the mind. My brother passed by the band members in the washroom hall without even knowing it was them. He enjoys their music but doesn't even know what they look like. If that was me to pass them in the washroom hall, hey maybe I could've had a chance to see that just about everybody takes a stinky gooey shit everyday...and get that shit framed and signed! :D


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#8
Nathan Diehl

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I get that Nathan, but you have to take in account about the associations built in the mind. My brother passed by the band members in the washroom hall without even knowing it was them. He enjoys their music but doesn't even know what they look like. If that was me to pass them in the washroom hall, hey maybe I could've had a chance to see that just about everybody takes a stinky gooey shit everyday...and get that shit framed and signed! :D

 

I've never been obsessed with a group or individual before, even during the Ron Paul stuff back in 2008. I met him, got his signature, and that was it. Never felt the urge to fanboy. Never fanboy'd on a band, actor, or other famous person. So i really don't understand the urge to idolize.

 

What's it feel like? What thoughts do you experience?


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#9
Rainbow Jamz

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I felt a bit of reluctance and shyness. I didn't have any specific thoughts other than picturing when would be an opportune moment to introduce my self until I actually did. And like I said, the drummer's shyness calmed me down a bit.

 

I've just been more concerned about what more I could've done or said, and how I didn't go in for hugs and why it didn't cross my mind to do so. Instead I just rushed out of the venue once I got what fanboy needed, but true self me wanted to bask in some more mutual appreciation or something.


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#10
Nathan Diehl

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I felt a bit of reluctance and shyness. I didn't have any specific thoughts other than picturing when would be an opportune moment to introduce my self until I actually did. And like I said, the drummer's shyness calmed me down a bit.

 

I've just been more concerned about what more I could've done or said, and how I didn't go in for hugs and why it didn't cross my mind to do so. Instead I just rushed out of the venue once I got what fanboy needed, but true self me wanted to bask in some more mutual appreciation or something.

 

No,what I meant was what's it feel like to idolize someone. What do you experience when you hold someone up that high?


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#11
Rainbow Jamz

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I feel hopeful. I aspire to have a similar level of ambition and work ethic. I aspire to draw out my own creativity and create an impact as well. I put them in a high regard because they put the 10, 000 hours into their craft and had the courage to expose themselves to the world and trudge through any criticism to make a name for themselves.

 

When I'm reluctant to work on any of my creations, I think fondly of those who have "made it" into the world and what it had to take for them to get to where they are now. That in turn reminds me that I should put the same amount of time, passion, and committment to my own work.

 

When I do do that, I feel like I'm just a massive geek for writing or film/novel critiquing, and that just opens me up to the idea to who these successful people really are. They're just a bunch of people who allowed themselves to geek out about what they love, invest hours into it, and put it out there.


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#12
Nathan Diehl

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I feel hopeful. I aspire to have a similar level of ambition and work ethic. I aspire to draw out my own creativity and create an impact as well. I put them in a high regard because they put the 10, 000 hours into their craft and had the courage to expose themselves to the world and trudge through any criticism to make a name for themselves.

 

When I'm reluctant to work on any of my creations, I think fondly of those who have "made it" into the world and what it had to take for them to get to where they are now. That in turn reminds me that I should put the same amount of time, passion, and committment to my own work.

 

When I do do that, I feel like I'm just a massive geek for writing or film/novel critiquing, and that just opens me up to the idea to who these successful people really are. They're just a bunch of people who allowed themselves to geek out about what they love, invest hours into it, and put it out there.

 

What you just described is admiration, not idolization. However, what you experienced when meeting that band was the result of idolization.

 

In other words, i'm not buying it, Morse!  :P

 

Tell me what you experience when you think about that band. What makes them stick in your brain. What makes them so special for you. Do you fantasize (not sexually, not what i'm talking about) about them? 

 

If you admired these people as you just described, then meeting them would not make you nervous, it would make you excited and inquisitive. If you had one chance to talk to members of a band, and when that chance came there wasn't a line, wouldn't you stay and pick their brain as long as you could? What's with the photo-op and then bolting? That's not admiration. 

 

Do you see what I'm getting at? There is a gap between what you are describing and what's actually happening. 


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#13
Rainbow Jamz

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Ah but you see, to me that admiration becomes idolization when I don't feel too highly of my self. I should have been more clear in my description when I said that "when I think of them, therefore I get inspired to do the same," that's just lip service to the motivated and confident part of my self I haven't gotten in touch with all too often yet. Meaning, I'm rarely ever that positive about life, as it takes a lot of self talk to get me there, and part of it includes reminding my self of people whose work inspires me.

 

I think if I met them a  second time I would feel confident enough to stick around and pick their brains a bit, however briefly. Especially if there wasn't a line up and I saw that clearly, I would at least like to think I'd make my self stick around and continue fighting my shyness by being around them long enough. Long enough to recognize they ARE just human after all. I know that intellectually, but to experience that first hand takes some time for me.

 

I feel the same way around my brother's friends, who some of them I consider big shots because they're successful entrepeneurs. But when I spend enough time with them, I feel comfortable knowing that the difference between what we do for a living is irrelevant and all that matters is the personal interaction.

 

With the photo-op and bolting, I felt unworthy of taking anymore of their time or something. I understood the mutual exchange of them soaking in my admiration and me snapping a memory into a photo, but at some level, I still felt like I didn't deserve their full attention or affections. It's like they put all this hard work into their stuff, I barely touch mine, so I feel like I'm not at their level enough to really be there with them. Another part of me felt really giddy and I gave up on suppressing that once I "got a piece of them" so to speak.

 

I think that fanboy isn't too far off from that disappointed child in me in finding out how imperfect my parents were. I consider them, like all my favourite bands, my musical parents, so he probably wanted to maintain that illusion as long as possible.

 

It feels like a self worth issue for me, but I won't rule out if there's some kind of underlying sexual conflict going on as well. So thank you for bringing that up even in brackets. I don't fantasize about them sexually, but I do consider them highly attractive. If I do fantasize about them, it's having a unique interview with them over Skype in which I could immortalize on Youtube, akin to an interview conducted by Stef and the variety of people he's talked to over the years. 

 

I would like to be a podcasting author, mainly giving writing tips, but on occasion interviewing other authors; upcoming or established. And since music is a big part of my life that drives me to write (I could write in silence too but music makes the time fly by more), I would also like to branch out into interviewing musicians, this band being my #1 choice if I were ever to do that.

 

As for what I experience when I think about them and what makes them stick out in my brain to make them so special...

 

When I hear a song from their first EP, I think about 2011 winter where I had a bunch of things going on in my life...stuff that I won't get too nostalgic about here since that might require its own thread. Basically, I feel growth because a lot has happened in 2 years for me, and when I hear their newer EP that came out this summer, my growth up to this point feels connected to their growth as a band. What makes them so special is walking the fine line between heavy and melodic. They're a pop punk band with just enough metal influence to keep them less frilly and bubbly like any other typical female fronted pop punk band. 

 

They're special to me because of the mutual growth, I find their public personalities endearing (who knows who they are privately right?), and I find their dynamic writing style bringing better life to an otherwise generic genre of music. 


Wow thanks a lot Nathan, for continuing this thread and giving me a lot to think about.


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#14
Nathan Diehl

Nathan Diehl

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Thaaaat's the stuff we wanted :)

 

Excellent post, Morse! And great insight into yourself!

 

Idolization is more about putting yourself down, than it is lifting someone else up. It may continue to take time for you to realize that you are not below others, but keep trying every single day. The more you do something, the easier it gets. (quick note: don't put yourself above them either. Just see things as they truly are.)

 

Let's say you could go back and "redo" your interaction with those band members. But this time, RTR it. How would it go? What would you say?

 

edit: Wanted to add that idolization is the passive aggressive form of self-chastisement for not being good enough. When I said I've never idolized before, that doesn't mean I never chastised myself. I was always direct with the self-punishment. Like a hammer to the cortex :-/. The results are the same, though. 

 

2nd Edit: I'm going to go out on a flimsy limb and suggest that maybe the reason you're passive aggressively chastising yourself by idolizing a female band has something to do with the way your mom "corrected" your behavior? Is there a blind spot for you there?


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#15
Rainbow Jamz

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THANK YOU VERY MUCH! Had to do some mental gymnastics last night before I could even type a response. It was very challenging for me to answer.
 
That's an interesting way of looking at it. Wow really sorry for whatever made you want to chastise yourself. Direct or indirect, it's still a disservice to your self esteem. I've had a life long battle with superiority and inferiority, an unwavering dichotomy of pride and humility. It's something I've been working on and this whole thread plays a huge part in it.
 
If I could go back to that moment, after expressing my gratitude for their generosity, instead of going straight for the picture, I would've also mentioned to the drummer, "hey I saw you in the crowd earlier, but didn't want to be a douche and interrupt the conversation you were having with your friend."
 
I would've also took the time to acknowledge the bassist instead of telling the lead singer/guitarist to just get his attention for the picture. I would get it my self and say, "you were an animal on stage. Now I see why you put tape on your mic stand with a bunch of bass picks, because you lose a lot of them from rocking out too hard. Also great to have you in the band, your basslines are much more noteworthy than the last guy's."
 
I would go on to say "I feel a bit nervous right now talking to you guys and I don't know why. I was very excited to see you guys out in the hall before the show, that I couldn't even make simple eye contact. And then I got even more excited, of course, when you guys hit the stage. I also felt anxious when you announced that you would be welcoming us to meet you at the merch table after the show. I actually wanted to skip on on home, but I am very glad now that I took the chance to meet you and that you guys turned out to be really nice people. I feel relieved that your welcoming spirit on stage is consistent with who you are off of stage, leaving me eternally grateful for the hardwork you guys do. It inspires me."
 
Then I would leave getting some hugs (and coppin' some feels hiyooo! :P) being much more sastisfied with the interaction than I was when I made this thread. Being able to talk about has helped me put it all into a better perspective though so thanks again to all of you and anyone else who decides to continue the discussion.
 
Don't know if that's completely RTR, but that's about it.
 
Then I'd take the picture and tell them that I feel shy about asking for hugs, hoping of course they allowed them. After all, some people who didn't even make conversation with them went for hugs. Just sign this and that, bam! Hug. 

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#16
Nathan Diehl

Nathan Diehl

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I think you might be surprised with the type of response you'd get from an interaction like that. They may even ask you to hang around for a while. (unless you let your grubby hands do some unwanted roaming! lol)
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#17
Rainbow Jamz

Rainbow Jamz

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That would be nice, so here's to next time I see them! Thanks once again Nathan, for facilitating the insights I discovered in this thread.


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