i dol


how much can you love someone?

enough to kill them?

apparently so, as some individuals have shown. When their obsession for a star turns sour the adoring fan is overcome with rage that will only be soothed by the blood of their idol.

What is happening in this person's mind?

It would seem that obsessionate fans do really love their idols, in the same way as a loving couple. Those who fall under the spells of idols form a narcissistic attachment to their 'star' - a light that can be seen, but never reached.

In a personal relationship, one where both people actually know each other, feelings of love can also flip over, revealing anger and spite. If both people are aware of each other's feelings then empathy usually douses the fire of rejection, since the attachment between the is mutual, and so they moderate and balance each other's needs and drives. Where two lovers interact in dialogue by talking, gesticulating, and touching each other, a fan's relationship with their idol is one sided, analogous to that with a character from a TV soap opera.

Choosing an idol to worship is reminiscent of playing with action figures and dolls in childhood (and after!). For a budding fan the new light in their life embodies their own frustrated wishes, an avatar in sync with their super-ego. Once that powerful association is made between the unspoken inner world and an object or person in external space, the fan begins to open themselves to a curious relationship...

Touching lyrics and passionate performances entrance and seduce a mind in need of a love object. Listening to songs and looking at pictures rarely challenges the fan's trust, it is only a matter of time until they discard their defences and embrace their idol.

But worship can flip over to hatred if expectations are not met. Sitting at home alone, listening and watching from afar creates few challenges to the fan's idealised perceptions. However those fans that are more extroverted and truely consumed by their passion are the ones in store for a shock. At a live concert no artist, however dedicated, could amuse all their fans individually, yet that is what many desire. When confronted with the brutal reality of their idol, the deep love that has been accumilated is suddenly under deadly threat. Two classical responses can ensue: that of cataclysmic sadness, which is usually a healthy process of detatchment; and then there is the rage and fury response...

Given a certain temprement, the anguish of having one's idol brough crashing down onto their head uncovers an primitive defense mechanism - that of raw rage. Under certain circumstances that primal energy will be channeled violently, and where else but at the love object that has betrayed the deep trust and love they have been given? Herein lies the bitter switch from affection to aggression.


Some things to consider:

why are some fans able to accept anything their idol does, and others are more sensitive?

does a group mind of fans affect their behaviour?

what are the star's perceptions of the relationship that they have to their multitude of fans?

how does gossip about stars interest so many people, especially as much of it is comdening?



here's an rather appropriate mutilation of freud's original terms ego and id:

the 'Ido'




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