Why We Need Our Celebrities to Be ‘Mad’

Why We Need Our Celebrities to Be ‘Mad’

Why do we love Beyonce but can never give Gwyneth a break? Why do we mock Kanye but adore Pharrell? What’s at the root of our love/hate relationship with celebrity? We want our stars to be fabulous and strange and live out our fantasies. But when they refuse to stick to a script and demand to be seen as flawed individuals, as artists, we call them ‘mad’. Perhaps however there is method to their ‘madness’.

Perhaps the confrontational philosophy of Kanye or Gaga is a better response to the confusion and complexity of modern life than the optimism of Pharrell or the blandness of Beyonce. Should we admire most the stars who are least easy to like?

Join Observer columnist Miranda Sawyer and writer and broadcaster Ekow Eshun as they debate the meaning of modern celebrity.
This talk took place on Thursday 8th May 2014 in the beautiful chapel at The House of St Barnabas, a charity that helps those affected by homelessness back into lasting employment. Participants are given work placements throughout the club, enabling them to gain valuable work experience and City & Guilds awards in Hospitality and Employability. All proceeds from ticket sales go towards this valuable work.

It was the 6th event in the ongoing series, 37 Things You Need To Know About Modern Britain, which is a partnership between BUG and The House of St Barnabas, forged from a mutual desire to affect positive social change by asking provocative, open-ended questions about life as we live it today.




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