I have inherent within my being a fear bordering on the manic of iconography. Stemming undoubted from a puritan distrust of idolatry in all its forms, try as I might the suspicion of the idealized, the figurehead, any inordinately excellent example remains and is inclined to exacerbate.
This aversion you must understand does not adhere to the paragon themself, rather to the cult that doth through human proclivity adhere to their person and aura. Most heroes and heroines are by nature of goodly disposition, considerate, acutely brave, the very ideal we should be inclined to emulate, to learn from, to take as examples for future improvement of personal, physical, and ethical conduct. All positive and noble hopes, wishes, attributes, why then this continued. unadulterated and escalating unease of seeming perfection?
Humanity is by inclination indolent, languorous, fainéant, lackadaisical, without integral drive or ambition, more likely to follow than to lead, to allow the shepherd to forge the path whilst sheepishly trailing behind. Such timid beasts are uninclined to suddenly develop unnatural capacity for leadership, their flock mentality wholly saturating both body and soul indelibly. Crook followers are ever consistent, banded together behind a god or demigod of their fortuitous and saving invention. For what is an icon, daemon, exemplar, if not a divine being for veneration, and adulation.
Worship is a stagnant activity, detached, carried out remotely, distanced from any idols perceived location. Interconnectivity is managed through intermediary, individual or sourced, reportage given credence, weight, believability, simply through the inherent construct of the structure, disproportionately hieratical.
We do not know our gods, our idols, our exemplars intimately, rather we know about them by reputation, discussion, word of mouth, rumor, fable, an impassioned belief in their sympathetic position. Alive, they are treasured, cherished, in death irreplaceable, incomparable. In life, beyond equivalence, deceased, an eternally yawning chasm of unattainability and hopelessness.
In this age, dominated as it is by the media, commercialism, and politics, all similarly leaky vessels tarred with the same under tufted shipwrights brush, the cult of the individual whether fictional, actual, or some unholy amalgam of all three has become commonplace. Expectations of privacy, sequestration, seclusion, have become minimal, public, and private faces and spaces somehow conjoined into an inescapable fully functional twenty-four hour a day, three hundred and sixty-five day a year two ringed circus.
Some professions, occupations, passions are inclined to attract if not demand public interest or interaction. Any theatrical bent, film, theater, performance art, the adoption of an openly public position, political, social, journalistic, any connection to commercial ventures, retail, advertising, demonstration, the pursuit of artistic or artisan interests, to include painting, sculpture, pottery, literature, all these happenstances demand, attract, employ publicity as a means to enhance personal or financial success. All of these careers, vocations, spheres, life choices, are inclined, indeed perhaps simply indulged to feed the ego, enhance self-esteem, empower, perhaps even foster some degree of entitlement.
There is another entirely different facet of employment often bracketed perhaps rather knowingly as service orientated, not ‘servile industries’ which must be treated and understood in a wholly different light. These functions would include all invisible, hidden, anonymous, and faceless undertakings, the military, security and safety industries, the medical profession, the legal system, administrators public and private, the teaching profession, white- and blue-collar workers, both industrial and general and specific office workers. These employments would be considered to exist beneath the surface, outside the glare of public scrutiny or interest.
Whilst the two groupings I have suggested and collated might seem quite logically, distinctly, and neatly separated, they are inclined to rub shoulders rather perplexingly in the overt freneticism of modern society, particularly in the utterly dissolute medium of social media and the equally unsavory ever-increasing stare of the third estates all noticing eyes.
Certain professions, callings to use a dated but perhaps more appropriate denotation are by necessity best practiced in a quiet and dignified realm of academic critical consideration, dependent as they are upon clarion and precise evidentiary analysis. Quite clearly the taking of cloth might be considered a calling but is more dependent of matters spiritual and conceptual than academic, although by extension might include or require some immersion in literary or oral dynamics. Healing, the practice of medicine, the laying on of hands, manipulation, naturally excluding those practices historically denoted as barber surgery might once have been considered a calling but have now largely been removed to sit separately amidst the many other scientific pursuits that have sprung from the reformation and enlightenment movements.
The only true calling remaining in this twenty-first century is the taking of wig and gown, the last truly ruminatively based study, a preparation for the exhaustive, well considered, review and interpretation of right with the additional component of conscience, for the dispensing of judicial argument and resolution without righteousness becomes but an arm of an autocratic mechanism for control, retribution, revenge, and punishment. Yet even such a seeming altruistic pursuit can be accompanied by, altered, twisted, or poisoned through the taint and trapping of mammon. Hence the shyster lawyer, the ambulance chaser, the politically or criminally motivated and corrupted judge, all resultant from the systematic crushing of ethical integrity by overriding personal considerations, need, greed, empowerment, status, unnatural influence.
Once entirely the province of the male of the species the law has seen such a thankful degree of gender equalization that we now see feminine barristers, magistrates, judges, high court judges, supreme court judges of equal if not greater celebrated standing than their male colleagues.
Whilst a degree of flamboyance has become de rigour for the lower echelons of the legal hierarchy, the higher rarefied atmospheres can only be inhabited by the more intellectual, contemplative, retiring advocates. This elite, jurists beyond equivalence, no matter individual opinions or biases be irreplaceable, displaying as they must degrees of humility in their purposefulness and interaction beyond understanding.
Reality dictates that in all things there will be change, some faces dissipating ,others appearing new, unknown and untried. Optimism eternal prays that amongst a thousand followers there is one proven worthy to step into the sudden yawning breach, shoulder the heavy cloak of sacrifice and joyously take up the blazing torch proclaiming the continuance of faith, hope and charity, so recently proffered by a passing but undefeated warrior.