Sunday, March 4, 2007

Flattery or mental stalking?

We all have that ‘special’ someone who we think of as a mentor and have an ardent desire to be like; it could be their style, audacious attitude, or just the demeanor in entirety, which impresses you. Honestly, how many men out there have not imitated ‘The Godfather’ - the ‘scratching of the beard,’ ‘the huskiness and gruffness in the voice’, and the ‘calmer than a starless night attitude even when there is a storm brewing up inside’. They all try to imitate the nonchalant attitude of Marlon Brando. Was it not Charles Coleb Colten who said that ‘Imitation is the best form of flattery’?

I think imitation can transcend generations and geographies. Thanks to Tom Cruise in Top Gun, the sales of RayBan glasses shot up. What about Carrie Bradshaw in ‘Sex and the City’? Other than being a fashionista, remember how she and her posse got the cocktail, ‘cosmopolitan,’ the much deserved fame.

Forget celebrities, most people knowingly or unknowingly imitate their peers. There are those who do not limit themselves to imitation; their affliction takes another form, which I like to define as ‘emulation’. They assiduously morph into a shadow, which never leaves you.

The difference between imitation and emulation is more in the concept and level of creepiness. The way I see it, ‘imitation’ means when you aspire to be ‘like’ that someone; emulation is when you want to be ‘that person’. A friend of mine commented on this ‘emulator’ we both know; to quote her ‘how sad is the existence of an emulator as they have nothing they can call their own; not even their aspirations.’

When does flattery change to mental stalking? How else would you define a person who turns out to be your perpetual shadow – striving to coexist in a space, which is not theirs? Maybe I am being harsh, but I think of emulators as bête noire.

Copyright © 03.04.2007

"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation" - Oscar Wilde


Anonymous said...

OMG!!!! you said it right. my emulator gives me a creepy feeling.

VS said...

Great write-up!

Anonymous said...

i love it!!!

M said...

Great conversational piece!

ed said...

Great for coffee discussion!!!

opinionated said...

You know, some people would take pride in having someone copy them so much. I don't know about Charles Colten, but I do agree with what you said he said. I don't think I have anyone trying to emulate what I do.. and if some one does, I'd be thrilled!!

It is amazing how what you don't have always sounds so good!!!