The truth about popularity or manufacturing popularity.(unfinished)
Popular things and persons are popular not because the fact that they are born popular. More often than not, popularity of popular things are manufactured. This may seem too simple but it is not. Sentiments of the public can be so manipulated so as to make something popular. It is not the case that anything and everything can be made popular by manipulation. But anything and everything that is popular, had in the fact been manipulated in the past on the way to its popularity.
Throughtout history it has been the practice of the powers that be to create something popular in order to divert the attention of the public from what is real or substantial. The concept of ‘entertainment’ is designed to suit the existing power structure. Anything not suitable for the powers that be becomes ‘boring, serious and uninteresting’. Common people fall victims to this easily. Once some people are convinced, a chain reaction or wave effect is sought to be created so as to make others also become victims of this.
Let us take most popular phenomenon in this society, Films. Films are entertainment. The innocuous term of entertainment ignores the fact that entertainment also makes impact on the society. It may impact the ways of dressing, the most obvious. Other impacts are on ways of behaviour, thinking etc. These effects are most likely on the superficial things. But with all the superficial things, there is also a baggage of intrinsic values that are sought to be conveyed. But on all occasions only the only the superficial and things that are not substantial have succeeded in grabbing the attention of the masses.
Even among the people who are involved in Films, those who are more popular are those who are more visible and the more they are visible the more popular they become. This is a vicious cycle. This visibility is manipulated so that some people are always visible and others are not. This is done by the media. Even in the age of internet that is wide open and that which appears uncontrollable, there are ways by which you can manipulate visibility of a website or page to the detriment of others. Some tamil aggregators are doing this successfully but discreetly. The point is that visibility can be controlled.
Secondly, opinions genuine and non-genuine that are floated on the things or persons that are visible. Selected genuine and others mostly gossips are circulated in the media so that some thing or other is always on the news. Newspapers and mostly tamil magazines carry a lot of trivia. Since people spend their time reading this and they are stated to be interested in such things, more erudite opinions or reasonable things or information that seek dispersal are sidelined and ignored.
Writing or talking about a thing or a person in superlatives is a common disease among Indians particularly Tamils. While there are real achievements that deserve international acclaim, there are others projected as excellent that are mediocre or simply worst. The Chief Minister while in office, becomes the best tamil poet, actors while popular become the best actors in the world. This is repeated so often, it becomes a widespread hype not supported by any body of evidence. Simply it is not necessary.
It has been recorded that a certain actor of yesteryears had organized gangs of goon to enact spectacles that ordinary people may take it that it is a genuine expression of admiration. Posters of his films were garlanded by fans, posters of films of his rivals were torn or smeared with cowdung as a way of degrading his position. All his past sins were washed when he became a politician and his popularity increased further.