China’s Selfie Obsession

I can’t stop thinking about this piece by Jiayang Fan for the New Yorker all about obsession and celebrity worship and Chinese social networks:

In China, he felt, it is still possible for celebrity worship to capture the entire culture. “Some of my students regard it as the defining feature of their existence, the thing that gives their life meaning when everything else seems out of their control,” he said. “To participate in this culture is to verify your existence.” He recalled a student who spent vast amounts of time pining for a particular celebrity. One day, in a lottery, she won a ticket to see him in person. After agonizing for some time, she decided not to go. “I knew she wouldn’t go,” Wu said. “For her, this celebrity might as well have been a deity. You don’t want to come face-to-face with your god, because it’s frightening to think that you might see a pimple on his chin.