The Python and TikTok

Long before TikTok, Ancient Greece, and specifically the Temple of Apollo, became the center of the world where the Oracle of Delphi held court. She received seekers in search of the answer to the question that most vexed them about life. But gaining an audience with the Oracle wasn’t as easy as filling out an application, or hitting send on a DM. Visitors requesting an audience with the seer, were carefully vetted. Each attendant had to undergo intense scrutiny, almost an initiation, which became a crucible to measure one’s sincerity and intention.

The “Pythia” singlehandedly attracted enormous attention to the city with her predictions. As patronage for her wise counsel grew, the Temple’s wealth mushroomed. Delphi became a sanctuary in a chaotic world. She became increasingly popular, her prediction for the Temple becoming the Seat of Power for the world became self-fulfilling prophecy. Demand for her work expanded. Word spread to the far reaches of ancient civilization, and people took long and treacherous journeys just to see her. She was trending. The Oracle of Delphi went “viral.”

The seekers who came to the Oracle were called “consultants.” An odd twist to the modern concept of a client “seeking” advice. Today we think of consultants as the ones giving advice, not the ones seeking it. Sessions with the oracle were available only 9 times a year. On the 7th day of the month, during the 9 warmest months of the year, and people from all social classes sought her advice. From peasants to kings, and the knowledge the people sought ranged from the highly personal to matters of state and war.

Because people are not hardwired to focus on their weaknesses, and the world is good at selling to their weaknesses.

Gary Vaynerchuk

Vaynerchuk doesn’t hold laurel reeds or a dish of spring water in his hands during his interviews. He often doesn’t even hold his own phone, and he is “on” 24/7 not just 9 times a year. What he does do is project a folksy, practical, and in many ways a sincere expression that makes it easy to like the guy. At least not dislike him, to not abhor the public persona he projects. If you are one of those people whose hair stands on end every time you hear a self-help guru speak, there may be good reason for it. But Vaynerchuck doesn’t slide easily into this category.

Still, despite his popularity, there is always an underlying suspicion at play with these “celebrity” types. It is a weakness in the consumer mindset that we have and especially in America. Perhaps a form of idol worship. How exactly a person can resist the pull of fame and fortune and not fall into the fracture of it all is a mystery. It’s also a rarity, and a wonder if its at all possible for those affected by fame if they can maintain even an inkling of humility. Hopefully, Gary doesn’t plunge into the “fissure” that claimed the likes of the Python stricken by the arrow let go by an infant Apollo. Ouch! What a Scorpionic way to go.

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