Friday, January 7, 2011

age of self-conscious living-- part 3 or 4?

My fascination with the blurring of boundaries between the real and  the unreal goes hand in hand with my fascination for the age of self-conscious living. This is the third or fourth time I am writing about it. trying to articulate the ideas in my head. Recently I read an article in Time, about Oprah. Now, I admire Oprah, and the writer of this article does too, as he writes about not Oprah in particular, but her new cable channel, OWN -- Oprah Winfrey Network. I do not know where to start! The ideas that ran in my mind as I was reading this article! virtual wild horses waiting to be caught! and tamed! familiar ideas that sounded almost crazy suddenly turned probable and real!
Oprah embodies the spirit and substance of "celebrity". As I said before, we all want to be 'celebrities" in our own ways. The writer of the above article concludes his article thus, "your best self, it turns out, is a self with a show on Oprah's network." What is your "best self'?" We have read and heard a million answers for that. A host of religions attempt to teach you that. But in the present world of democratized media, what constitutes "best self"? To me, that would be a self whose existence has been validated, is being validated. Who validates it? Myself, I could say, like a million self-help books tell me, but i would say it is others. My existence is validated by other selves, the world. And what better way than being in the media? No wonder these reality-tv shows are not going away anytime soon.
And you cannot say that celebrities are just twinkling stars that do just that -- twinkle. it takes a George Clooney to bring Sudan to your attention. It is his idea about the satellite in the sky over that troubled spot that is being put to work right now. His voice is heard, his movements are followed, and there is his power to make things happen. Like Oprah. So the age of self-conscious living , the age of TV living is here as a natural evolutionary force in our existence. I do not know the "real" Oprah. I just know the "virtual" Oprah. And this virtual Oprah changes lives. Inspires others to be life-changing celebrities.yes, your best self is your virtual self!
Now, in this age of self-conscious living, we are all characters in a virtual world. We are heroes -- tragic at times, with one great flaw, comic at other times laughing at ourselves. Movies are made of our thoughts, ideas and what we see. Great or funny music accompanies us, those same thoughts and ideas. We are significant beings whose existences are valid. Valid enough to be seen and heard on a global platform by other valid beings.We are all walking movies, at the same time, we are all moviemakers. We are the "best selves" living in a "self-conscious" world of which we are very aware, a world which has to notice us in turn.