The problem with false celebrity – Jordan Peterson
Alright. So, here we are at the big event,
and Pinocchio is off to be a celebrity. And uh… the Cricket is watching. And uh, Pinocchio basically… Well, he’s got some natural talent! Because he’s a puppet, and he doesn’t have strings.
And he goes on stage with strings, and then he drops his strings,
and the whole crowd is amazed. And – the crowd should be amazed when that happens, right? You can imagine, when a kid goes to school,
and shows some independence – that’s actually gonna… People are gonna notice that. His his peers are gonna notice that,
the teachers are gonna notice that. Maybe it’s too much independence, even. Right? But it’s still- it is a remarkable thing, too, like.. It’s so interesting, you know. You can see marked signs of independence in children… Well, right from the time they’re born, basically. Because, that’s one of the things,
that’s really funny about infants, is that, you know, when they’re crying,
you always think: “Oh, the baby’s…” Well, you’re crying, it’s: “baby sad”. It’s like, no. Heh, a lot of the time that baby is angry. And the way that we know that, is because you could do facial expression coding on infants, just like on adults, and you can tell,
what emotion they’re expressing. And very frequently, like, when the kid starts to recognize his mom… Explicitly, because he or she knows the smell right away, pretty much, and the sound of the voice – but visually; um… if someone, who comes in,
and it isn’t who the baby wants, (so generally, it isn’t mom), the baby will start to cry. But it’s not because the baby’s sad,
generally, it’s because it’s angry! That mom didn’t show up,
and that’s an early sign of will. It’s like, this kid has-
this kid wants things, like… And it’s perfectly willing to tell you about that! And of course a two-year-old, who’s having a temper tantrum, is in some sense doing the same thing. It’s poorly integrated will and independence, obviously,
but it certainly runs contrary to what you want. You don’t want your two-year-old having a temper tantrum, in the middle of the toy store. It’s extraordinarily embarrassing for you, and… well for you. But it’s also embarrassing for the two-year-old. This is one of the reasons, I think, that that sort of thing should be… carefully socialized rapidly. Because it’s actually humiliating for the kid,
because other people don’t like that. And they’re very judgmental about… Like, they won’t
say anything, usually – but sometimes they will. But, they’re not happy about the fact, that that’s happening. And they will judge the child negatively. And so, you don’t want your child to be behaving in a way in public, that makes other people think badly of them.
It’s, it’s really… it’s really not good! And so, part of your job as a parent, is to not expose your child to that sort of experience. Especially not repeatedly.
It’s really hard on them! Or, they get narcissistic,
which is also really hard on them. It’s just- it takes a lot longer to manifest itself. So anyways, he’s off on stage,
and Stromboli introduces him, and talks, about how wonderful this is going to be, and Pinocchio comes out on stage,
with his strings on, and drops them, and then, he falls down the steps and puts his nose in the hole, makes a fool out of himself. And that’s, when Stromboli-
First time Stromboli shows his true character. Cause he just, really, yells and screams at him. And he has his back to the audience,
Stromboli, while he’s doing this, so he’s not noticing, how the audience is reacting. Typical tyrannical parent, right? Who’s not noticing,
that society is reacting a different way, than him. And he’s NOT happy about it. And Pinocchio of course, is dazed, and feels like a fool. And he is a fool, so that’s appropriate. But then, Stromboli… hears the crowd laughing; and as soon as he turns around, he’s like all smiles again. And so, that’s the first time you get insight,
into what sort of puppet master he is. He’s there to please the crowd, and that’s all. And he’s there to look good in public.
But fundamentally, he’s a tyrant. And so… and I guess, that’s the problem with false celebrity. Is that the negative spirit of the crowd,
becomes your master, right? Because to be a celebrity, you have to be a crowd pleaser. And, if you’re pleasing the kind of crowd,
who likes a celebrity like you, which is… And there’s not much reason for that, then, it’s not exactly like you’re appealing
to the proper side of the crowd. And you’ve become its puppet, one way or another. And maybe it’s rewarding you with
wealth, perhaps, and with attention. But, fundamentally… it’s not something
I would recommend, if you wanna stay reasonably psychologically healthy,
for any reasonable amount of time. You’re gonna sell yourself out.
And I don’t mean that in any casual way, you know. Alright, so anyways. Stromboli changes from the tyrant to the good father, in half a second. He gives Pinocchio pat on the head,
despite the fact, that he’s made a mistake; looks all kind, and the show continues. Now, the Cricket is not very happy about this.
He’s sitting in the stage watching. He’s very angry and, let’s say, disgusted by what’s happening. Partly because Pinocchio is making a fool of himself. Now, that’s an interesting thing, you know: human beings blush. In fact, if I remember correctly, the name “Adam”, you know, like Adam and Eve, is related to the capacity to blush. Now, that comes from something I read
a long time ago, and that might be wrong. But Adam does manifest shame in the sight of God,
so there is a relationship there. But anyways, um… People do make fools of themselves for public display. And you can tell you’ve done that,
in some sense – not always – if you blush. Because you’ve either said something you shouldn’t have, and you know, you realize that. Which is more like: you’ve tried to be funny, and gone a little bit too far. And sometimes that can be really funny. Or, you said something that you know to be false. Manipulative, deceitful, beneath you,
um… any of those things. And you’ll have an automatic response to it.
You’d be ashamed and blush. And one theory about that, is that you can trust people who blush. And so… because you know, that their conscience will betray them. And so, that even if they are lying, they tell you. And so… it’s an interesting theory, you know? Because blush is definitely… like, it’s a facial display! You know, it’s right out there where people can see it. So… You know, maybe that’s true, maybe it isn’t,
but it’s kind of an interesting idea. Anyways, the Cricket is not happy with what’s going on. He’s not happy about Stromboli, and he’s not happy about the willingness of Pinocchio, to make a fool of himself, to support this false celebrity. And so… I actually think, that’s why the celebrity types like that, often get narcissistic and arrogant. You know, it’s because they-
they aren’t paying attention… They’re not paying attention, really,
to what’s happening inside of them. They drown it out, because the glory and the money,
and all that, is so attractive and enticing, they don’t notice- they refuse to notice,
what price they’re paying for it. And they magnify up their grandiosity and their arrogance, to keep that stuff all under control. And then of course, they get surrounded by sycophants, which is a really bad thing, right? They get surrounded by people, who will tell them exactly, what they wanna hear. And that’s really bad, if what you wanna hear from other people, is not good for you. To surround yourself with people,
who won’t offer you genuine criticism, or even genuine reward, it’s the same thing. Like you want for me, that I differentially reward and punish you, in approximately the way,
that the good part of the crowd will. That’s what you want from all your friends. Because then, your interactions with them can generalize out to the broader community, in a productive way. And so, a good friend… you know, I mean,
your friends tend to be on the supportive side. And perhaps that’s appropriate,
assuming there’s reciprocity. But a good friend will also tell you when, one way or another, when your behavior is starting to tilt in a direction,
that’s going to make you unpopular with them, and likely, unpopular with other people. And of course, that’s what a parent is supposed-
That’s the prime job of a parent, in my estimation. It’s like, “Don’t do that.
Other people will hurt you, if you do that.” “By exclusion, by threat, by failure to offer you an opportunity.” “Bad things will happen to you – so you can’t do that.” And then, you’re a representative of the social situation. Which is exactly what you should be. Not a friend. So… [closes door] Or at least, not precisely a friend. That doesn’t make you an enemy,
it makes you better than a friend.