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Lindsey Kuper

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careful [Sep. 11th, 2008|01:01 pm]
Lindsey Kuper

Oof. I have to remember that it's okay to like a person, but it's probably not okay to like a personality cult.

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[User Picture]From: sonetka
2008-09-11 07:56 pm (UTC)
Is this about the election? It makes me tired, as well - every four years there's this horrendous three month spell where I want to just hide under the covers until it's all over. I try to think of it as a test of fortitude :).
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2008-09-11 08:22 pm (UTC)
Actually, I was thinking more about the field of computer science.

It's funny -- I was looking at the "cult of personality" Wikipedia article earlier and was actually surprised that Stalin and Mao were considered definitive examples. I would have thought first of rock stars and pop culture icons. My sheltered life!
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[User Picture]From: sonetka
2008-09-11 08:27 pm (UTC)
Oops - yeah, you can tell what I'm trying to avoid these days :) - I feel like that old joke about how to get into a certain club you have to stand in a corner for five minutes and NOT think about a white elephant.

Kim Jong-Il would probably be another good example. In situations with dictators like those, the cult of personality seems to me like a sort of ongoing Stockholm Syndrome - these people can make or break you with a word, so you *have* to believe they're good or you'll be spending your entire life in terror. ("Go go go ... humankind cannot bear very much reality")
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2008-09-12 01:41 pm (UTC)
Yeah. And what's more, I think that, even with people who can't really make or break us with a word, it can be thrilling to fantasize that they could.
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[User Picture]From: oniugnip
2008-09-12 03:14 am (UTC)
It's sort of a framing-the-debate problem. If it's a Cult Of Personality, then it's a bad thing, but what about "giving off a lot of energy" or just "being charismatic"?
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2008-09-12 01:39 pm (UTC)
Also: as a person becomes famous for whatever reason, do they have a moral obligation to actually put forth some effort to keep the focus off of themselves (maybe on their work, but off themselves) so as to avoid becoming a cult?
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