Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More


The Red Grape, Sonoma, California, USA

January 22, 2016

"Too much is never enough." ... David Bowie

This essay, Stars, is the companion piece to It is also the sixth in the septology Rosebud: It was written at the same time as

This essay proposes what it may be about stars (the human variety) which attracts us so much. It's also an inquiry into what it may be which drives those (of us) who pursue becoming stars.

The people we designate as stars typically come from the world of film and popular music. Then there are also other arenas ie other genres  in which we designate stars: the world of fashion, the world of literature, the world of sport, the world of technology, even the world of haute cuisine  ... and others including (although not as obvious) religion  (Pope Francis is a star, yes?) and science  (Stephen Hawking is a star, yes?) to name but two. And in each of these genres, there are people who aspire to become  stars. The allure of stardom works both on us who admire stars (and we can't get enough of them), as well as on those of us who aspire to become stars (and they won't rest until they've become one).

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What exactly is it about our attraction to stardom? What is it about stars and about becoming a star and about being a star which attracts us? The fact that we're attracted to stars is almost indisputable, given the evidence which is everywhere in our now global, international culture. It's one of the very few, rare contemporary things about we human beings in which all societies are similar. Regarding being attracted to stars, stars themselves, and stardom, what are the origins? (which is to say what provokes, allows for, and sustains the space in which stardom is possible?). And as for the sacrifices required to become a star, what drives the process?

Here's something to consider - which means it's something to try on for size  (I'm being very careful not to insinuate it's "The Truth"  ... and it may indeed contain elements of truth): stars and what they do and provide, compensate for what's missing  in our lives. Similarly it may be true (or not) that those of us who are driven to become stars ie those of us who aspire to become stars, are driven to do so because we assume it'll provide what's missing in our lives - which sometimes works and sometimes famously doesn't work, for example in the case of Charles Foster "Citizen"  Kane alias William Randolph Hearst who at the end of a long, rich life of star-studded success and croesan  wealth, would have forsworn it all ie would have happily traded all of his amassed fortune for his childhood toy, his sled Rosebud.

To be clear about this, there's nothing wrong  with aspiring to discover (with the intention of replenishing) what's missing, which in actuality (it would seem) is what almost all we human beings are doing almost all the time anyway - at least those of us who are willing to unflinchingly  tell the truth about it. That said, I assert if you ask yourself why we're so attracted to stars, and what attracts us to want to be stars, it's because we have it (in the background) that stars and being a star compensate for what's missing. And if that isn't the entire basis right there of our love affair with stars and with stardom, then I suggest it's at least a big part of it.
Werner's work lays bare the access to completion and to being complete so nothing's  missing. Soon after it first became available, Werner's work attracted such a tsunami  of interest from the Hollywood elite that for a while Warner Brothers, one of the big Hollywood studios, was referred to affectionately as Werner  Brothers. It was eminently clear what Werner's work could provide (indeed, what it would  provide and what it does provide) in the realm of recontextualizing  (I love  that word) what's missing. Given what this frees up for the art of acting, it's clear that what it provides stars in the realm of what's possible  are opportunities for both personal and professional breakthroughs. And given who we are as human beings ie given our nature  as human beings, stars or not, that's always an attractive proposition.

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