Sunday, March 1, 2015

Monstre Sacré

A monstre sacré is the French term for "sacred monster"; a celebrity whose fame, talent, charisma, or earning power gives him or her a cushion from the consequences of his misconduct.  Therefore, this person can get away with acting abusive, insufferable, and jerk-like.  She or he may offer unqualified pronouncements and engage in bizarre behavior.

The entertainment magazines and the paparazzi feed this tendency, as do the "posses" (camp followers) that these luminaries have around them.

Do you really think that show-biz temperament displays are anything more than power displays?  Or the "train wreck" actresses who flash more than they should?  Do you think their displays were entirely accidental?

There's the Hollywood conception that any publicity is better than no publicity at all.  This principle, fortunately, does not extend to politicians.  After all, they have to be re-elected, and cannot alienate too critical a mass of potential voters.

[Memo: To The Donald
If you want to dabble in politics, you need to commit fully to playing the game! Stop acting like a jerk.]

The fact is, outrageousness is permitted by default in people with special talents, position, or connections because those people can get away with it.  There's both the absence of the moorings of custom for them together with their acquiring a sense of entitlement.  And the result is that they become nuisances. This applies to assistant principals too.

Ultimately, monstre sacrés are people who advertise their importance and power by he prodigious expenditure of social capital in terms of other peoples' patience and good will.  These are people who want to make it absolutely evident to others that they can get away with it, or the social costs for misbehavior are trivial for them, who see themselves as above the common herd.  Does this help to understand wacky or rude attention-grabbing at the Grammys or the Academy Awards, or the errant douchery of people in the media?

A comparably well-behaved monster.


John Hill said...

Unfortunately, I know a few of these monstre sacre types.

TexWisGirl said...

kim k. for president!

Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer said...

TexWisGirl got it 100% right!

Big Sky Heidi said...

Mariah, SEan, take note.

Mike said...

I don't think The Donald could ever learn to keep his mouth shut.

Bilbo said...

It's a shame that some people are celebrities just by virtue of the fact that they're celebrities (Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton, for example), and that because they're "famous," many impressionable people tend to believe that whatever they say is or whatever positions they take on issues are worth listening to. And Mike is 100% on target.