Publicity starts with the inner soul of an artist and works its way from there. It involves schooling the artist in an ability to comprehend the emotional self that has spoken through his music, but often has never been expressed overtly in his daily thoughts. Music and celebrity arise from revelation and from the validation of previously unspoken passions in an audience. By voicing his or her inner self, the artist gives voice to a multitude and for a minute sets them free.or offers them something far more permanent--identity.
My neuropsychological theories about passion points–imprinting moments in childhood, adolescence, and in early adulthood–come from my work with rock stars. Musical artists easily fall into the one-hit wonder pattern. They put out a song that soars on the charts, release, perhaps, one more hit, then they disappear forever from the public eye, never to be seen–or heard–again.
My goal as a career strategist was to give rock and R&B artists an enduring career. The first task was to do a four-hour session–or several–in which we went through the artist’s life story from the very beginning on up to the present, searching for what I thought of in those days as the artist’s soul–the source of personal passion, of the unseen self–that roared and danced in her music, her lyrics, and her stage performance. The performing and creating personality is often one the self of daily life doesn’t know.
The everyday self is the one that goes through the automatic rituals of, “Hello, how are you?” “Fine, thank you, and how are you?” It has a full arsenal of clichés with which to deal with most situations that involve what TS Eliot called preparing “a face to meet the faces that we meet.” (Erving Goffman.
The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. New York: Anchor Books, 1959, covers this aspect of self pretty thoroughly.)
But another self reveals its existence in lyrics, music, and performance. It is often a separate personality, an interior god of sorts, a self that reveals its form only in ecstatic moments–when a piece of music “writes itself” or when in the throes of a stage performance the singer “loses himself” and is caught up in a transcendent experience.
I went through the story of an artist’s life with him hunting for the moments in childhood, adolescence, or early adulthood that had sealed themselves into the web of emotion, the moments that had woven permanent knots of passion– the hidden gods of creativity and of ecstasy. If I could find these passion points, I could find the hidden selves, I then introduced those selves of ecstasy to the everyday self, the self of hellos and how are yous. From the moment of discovery on, I did everything in my power to keep that artist in touch with these hidden selves. I also told him or her that he owed his audience not just his songs and his performances, but his life. By revealing his life and by articulating his passions, he could reveal others to themselves, he could validate them in their moments of madness or confusion, and he could bring order out of the chaos of his listeners’ emotions.
Give your audience just a glimpse of your emotional self, and you become a one hit wonder. Come to know that self and reveal it to your audience year after year-through its changes and its growth–and you become an icon, a figure who helps interpret others to themselves, who takes others out of themselves, and who validates feelings that multitudes have had but have been afraid are too insane to confess.
What is insane? Feelings that have no social acceptance, no words to describe them, no validation from an other, no mirror of recognition in others’ eyes or words. If an artist gives this validation and transcendence to others, he saves their souls. He makes what seemed lunatic sane. He yanks others out of their moments of trouble and gives them instants of joy.
Give a mere flick of your most passionate self to your audience and they will stop for a moment, look and listen, then will pass you by. Give the fullness of your passionate self to others and they will hold you in their heart for a lifetime.
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About the Author
Howard Bloom has been called “next in a lineage of seminal thinkers that includes Newton, Darwin, Einstein,[and] Freud,” by Britain’s Channel4 TV , “the next Stephen Hawking” by Gear Magazine, and “The Buckminster Fuller and Arthur C. Clarke of the new millennium” by Buckminster Fuller’s archivist. Bloom is the author of The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition Into the Forces of History (“mesmerizing”—The Washington Post), Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century (“reassuring and sobering”—The New Yorker), The Genius of the Beast: A Radical Re-Vision of Capitalism (“Impressive, stimulating, and tremendously enjoyable.” James Fallows, National Correspondent, The Atlantic), and The God Problem: How A Godless Cosmos Creates (“Bloom’s argument will rock your world.” Barbara Ehrenreich).
Bloom has been published in arxiv.org, the leading pre-print site in advanced theoretical physics and math. He was invited to tell an international conference of quantum physicists in Moscow in 2005 why everything they know about quantum physics is wrong. And his book Global Brain was the subject of an Office of the Secretary of Defense symposium in 2010, with participants from the State Department, the Energy Department, DARPA, IBM, and MIT.
Bloom has founded three international scientific groups: the Group Selection Squad (1995), which fought to gain acceptance for the concept of group selection in evolutionary biology; The International Paleopsychology Project (1997), which worked to create a new multi-disciplinary synthesis between cosmology, paleontology, evolutionary biology, and history; and The Space Development Steering Committee (2007), an organization that includes astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Edgar Mitchell and members from NASA, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Defense.
Bloom explains that his focus is “mass behavior, from the mass behavior of quarks to the mass behavior of human beings.” In 1968 Bloom turned down four fellowships in psychology and neurobiology and set off on a science project in a field he knew nothing about: popular culture. He was determined to tunnel into the forces of history by entering “the belly of the beast where new myths, new mass passions, and new mass movements are made.” Bloom used simple correlational techniques plus what he calls “tuned empathy” and “saturated intuition” to help build or sustain the careers of figures like Prince, Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, Bette Midler, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Billy Idol, Peter Gabriel, David Byrne, John Mellencamp, Queen, Kiss, Aerosmith, AC/DC, Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, Run DMC, and roughly 100 others. In the process, he generated $28 billion in revenues (more than the gross domestic product of Oman or Luxembourg) for companies like Sony, Disney, Pepsi Cola, Coca Cola, and Warner Brothers.
Bloom also helped launch Farm Aid and Amnesty International’s American presence. He worked with the United Negro College Fund,the National Black United Fund, and the NAACP, and he put together the first public service radio campaign for solar power (1981).
Bloom’s focus on group behavior extends to geopolitics. He has debated one-one-one with senior officials from Egypt’s Moslem Brotherhood and Gaza’s Hamas on Iran’s Arab-language international Alalam TV News Network. He has dissected headline issues on Saudi Arabia’s KSA1-TV and on Iran’s global English language Press-TV. And he has appeared fifty two times for up to five hours on 500 radio stations in North America.
Bloom is a former visiting scholar in the Graduate School of Psychology at NYU and a former core faculty member at the Graduate Institute in Meriden, Connecticut. In addition to arXiv.org, his scientific articles have appeared in PhysicaPlus, New Ideas in Psychology, and Across Species Comparisons and Psychopathology. Bloom has also written for The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, Knight-Ridder Financial News Service, the Village Voice, and Cosmopolitan. Bloom’s 90-minute per episode YouTube series, Howard the Humongous, pulls in a minimum of 45,000 hits and a maximum of 161,000 per installment.
Topping it all off, Bloom’s computer houses a not-so-secret and not-at-all humble project, his 7,100-chapter-long Grand Unified Theory of Everything in the Universe Including the Human Soul. Pavel Kurakin of the Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics of the Russian Academy of Sciences says that “Bloom has created a new Scientific Paradigm. He explains in vast and compelling terms why we should forget all we know in complicated modern math and should start from the very beginning. …Bloom’s Grand Unified Theory… opens a window into entire systems we don’t yet know and/or see, new…collectivities that live, love, battle, win and lose each day of our gray lives. I never imagined that a new system of thought could produce so much light.”
Concludes Joseph Chilton Pearce, author of Evolution’s End and The Crack in the Cosmic Egg, “I have finished Howard Bloom’s books, The Lucifer Principle and Global Brain, in that order, and am seriously awed, near overwhelmed by the magnitude of what he has done. I never expected to see, in any form, from any sector, such an accomplishment. I doubt there is a stronger intellect than Bloom’s on the planet.”