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Now and then I encounter or hear of a writer and their works where the person seems desperate for agreement with their worldview. They don’t want to share an experience, you must agree, or you must be some kind of heretic. It can be bloody nihilism of some bad horror film or airy utopia bull, but the person wants, craves that agreement.
There’s something peculiarly weird and needy about these kinds of authors and auteurs. Much like religious evangelists, it seems they need others to feel the same as they do to know they’re real. It’s like they’d die like Tinkerbell if not clapped for enough, they’re that empty.
I think this is why you find so many failed artists among politicians and even religious leaders, both of whom love big productions and producing media, even if ghostwritten. Denied the ability to be famous from books or films or comedy, they seek other ways to inflict themselves on the world. They may have changed fields, but they’re still telling tales and wanting someone to clap.
The thing about these people who need validation is how un-independent they seem to me – be they artists or politicians. Craving validation so much, they adapt to the market and ride trends and say what works, even when it’s not them. The author famous for ten pandering books that are famous is no different than the politician who jumps on every trend for votes and makes destructive policies.
So often a quest for validation means there’s no one left to validate – all the person has become is a series of marketing calculations and a bank balance wrapped in human skin. The thing is the artist may write on war to get attention, the politician may start one. I’ve often said people should get experience in at least one art, so they can communicate and be aware when people are trying to manipulate them. Perhaps I should also add that becoming familiar with the pathology of art – and art-related professions like politics and religion.