Hollywood, image making, and buying into it

 

It’s the Oscars soon, which reminds me of a recent visit to Los Angeles and Hollywood, the Hollywood hills, and a (quite good) exhibit of movie costumes.

That visit reminded me of how the Hollywood movie industry is all about image-making, and people buying into it. They are very good at creating a certain image through storytelling, pictures, music, and more. People buy into it. (And it has been very profitable to many.)

There is nothing wrong with this. It’s how culture is created and maintained. It’s what’s happening in just about all areas of life, from entertainment to politics to religion to our most basic stories about ourselves and life.

It’s good to notice. Someone makes up stories, and people buy into it or not.

And that goes even for basic stories, such as:

I am unlovable. Life is good. Life is terrible. Life is fair. Life is unfair. Death is terrible. I need more money. I need your love.

What stories do I buy into? What happens when I recognize that someone initially made it up? What happens when I question it, and find what’s more true for me?

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Initial draft…..

It’s the Oscars soon, which reminded me of a recent visit to Los Angeles and Hollywood, the Hollywood hills, and a (quite good) exhibit of movie costumes.

That visit reminded me of how the Hollywood movie industry has been – and is – very skillful in creating it’s own image….. through pictures, music, storytelling, and whatever other tools they have at their disposal. They create their own image, and people buy into it. It’s very clear in the case of Hollywood. (In this case, the storytelling and image making is very profitable.)

The same happens in many or all areas of life. In religion and politics, norms and habits, every aspect of culture, and even our most basic stories about life and ourselves. Someone made up stories, and people buy into it – or not. There would be no culture if it wasn’t that way.

There is nothing inherently wrong with it. In a way, it’s an entertaining game we are playing. And it’s good to be aware of. It’s good to notice.

For instance, whatever is found within any religion is made up by someone, and then continued, modified, and added to by others. And people buy into it or not. Some may buy into it relatively consciously, quite aware of what’s going on, and take the stories with a grain of salt. Others may buy into it more unconsciously, perhaps even telling themselves the religion reflects an absolute and final truth, and is the only right one. Some may reject the stories, and buy into competing stories instead.

The same is the case with politics. Politics is not only created, but can be very intentional image making. A certain story and image is created, and people buy into it or not.

Any story is like this. Someone created it. And people buy into it or not.

That’s the case even for the most basic stories we have about life or ourselves, such as:

I am unlovable. Nobody likes me. I am a failure. Life is good. Life is fair. Life should be fair. There is a God. We have (or am) a soul. Death is terrible. Loss is terrible.

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Initial notes….. 

– was in hollywood + hollywood costume exhibition (reminded bc of oscars this weekend)
– clear how they create their own image, through music, images, etc.
– also, how some/many buy into it (and make it profitable)
– the same happens in many other areas of life
– someone makes something up, and others buy into it
– religion, politics, norms, habits, every aspect of culture
– it’s all made up (initial creator/s, then others adding to it, modifying it), and people buy into it – in different ways (either for convenience, or through creating a charge around it for themselves)
– it’s really the same with any belief….. it was first created by someone, people bought into it, passed it on, and I bought into it…..

 

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