He/she's from my State/Country! What's so special about that?

Putting on my flame-retardant suit…

Okay, please explain to me what’s so special about someone famous being from your home city, state, country, etc.

A short while back Bruno Mars had a few concerts in Hawaii and local people went crazy, “Because he’s from Hawaii!”. Umm…okay, does that somehow make his singing better? Or when Obama was elected, it was: “Yeah, he’s a local boy!”. Hmm…other than possibly being a bit more likely to be swayed to approve programs and funding for Hawaii, what does mean?

Or…He/She’s <insert nationality>. The same as me. Okay, unless you’re blood related somehow (which counts for what?) or directly involved in their stardom, what does that person’s nationality have to do with you?

I especially get a chuckle when local people who may have never left the islands support a major league sports team that has nothing to do with Hawaii and you have 0% chance of seeing them play live unless you travel to the US mainland.

To be fair, as I mentioned in thread about the perceived hierarchy of Japanese, Chinese and Koreans, I’m glad (arguably proud) to see that the current biggest girl KPop group has three Japanese members, but that’s mainly because it’s helping the to break down the nationality boundaries that the older generations had/may still adhere to, in Japan, Korea and Taiwan (a fourth member is Taiwanese).

It’s a tribal mentality, but not necessarily in a bad way.

People tend to view someone from their tribal group as “one of us”. They seem more relatable if they shared a similar environment in their upbringing (shared memories and mores).

I can’t speak about Bruno Mars because I’m neither from Hawaii nor a fan. On the other hand Pulp are from my home city of Sheffield. They are liked here (IMO) because a lot of their lyrics reference the city. It’s good to recognise a landmark or a shared experience. Also some of the band members still live here and one owns a popular pub. Local celebrities feel closer and often literally are :slight_smile:

Ah yes, “Twice”. They’re great!

I’m from West “by God” Virginia. We’re all family here. When you’re treated as a stereotype, you tend to hang together. When we leave the state, half the time we’re wearing something WV related, so we usually recognize each other when we’re out and about. You’ll run into someone on vacation wearing WVU gear and it typically turns into a conversation and sometimes dinner or hanging out for the day.

As such, celebrities from here are family. You don’t badmouth Jennifer Garner around us unless you want to have a bit of a ballyhoo. She’s a saint and the only reason I personally haven’t broken Ben Afflecks face is because Jen and Jesus both forgave him. :slight_smile:

Yes humans are strange creatures.

LOL! Are you a Once? I’m more a High (Pristin) because of Na Young! :wink:

There is a concept called “basking in reflected glory.” It basically means that a person’s identity is informed by membership in a group. (Eg “I’m a Red Sox fan” or “I’m from Boston”) When another member of that group accomplished something, it raises the esteem of all members of that group. They feel pride because their “group” is winning or well-represented, even if their actual contributions are nonexistent.

To be fair, there is some truth to this. When a sports star or a celebrity does well, they typically thank their fans for their support, right? Of course, outside of buying a ticket the fan probably did very little to contribute to their success. The effect might even be unconscious. If a person says, “I’m from Boston,” a listener might recall hearing positive things about Boston even if they are not a sports fan. (As I wrote this, I didn’t even know the Red Sox won the series this year. Did I absorb that information unconsciously? Why were the Red Sox my go-to for this example? I don’t even like baseball. That’s how marketing works.)

There’s also a flip side to this called “Stink of Failure.” If someone in a group does badly, everyone associated with them shares the shame. Maybe it implies they were complicit, or they had bad judgment. If someone says they are a Lions fan, I will probably cringe or laugh at them, even though I consciously know that their team has nothing to do with their competence or work ethic. (Are the Lions still a bad team? I don’t follow football. I just remember hearing they screwed up really bad at one point. That’s another good example. Their no-win season was ten years ago, but when I think of a bad sports team they still come to mind.)

If there’s one thing we’ve learned lately, it is that (a) our brains are very eager to use heuristics to increase efficiency and (b) we are very [del]stupid[/del] tribal people. When someone does good, everyone associated with them can share in that feeling even if the effect is unconscious or irrational.

I’m more of a Sone. See my signature. I got tickets to see Tiffany in March! But I like many groups. Hoping to see Red Velvet on their US tour in February.

In my case it’s usually meant that when other people hear the name of my homeland and associate it with someone or something they view positively, they also react positively to me by extension. Sometimes those people took advantage to ask for information about places there they wanted to visit, usually linked to that someone.

What would you rather your people were famous for: a pretty building, or a genocide? An artist whose work you also like, or a murderer? Being welcoming to strangers, or being assholes to outsiders? Since humans tend to group other humans, being part of a group that gets positive reactions is helpful.

I’m sure I’d be really warm to you, and I enjoyed my stay in Spain very much. I did like Germany, too, despite the genocide, failed artist murderer leader, and the frigidity of the people before you know them. :smiley:

I think that there is nothing wrong with a little pride in your community and that in fact, it is a good thing. If knowing that a famous artist or athlete is from your hometown makes a little kid sit up a little straighter and realize that s/he too can do something extraordinary in life, where’s the harm?

No harm. And I acknowledge that a little admiration and pride is good. But it baffles me when people go crazy when a hometown/homestate sports team wins a championship (especially on a limited level like state championship) or celebrity makes its big as a star. I understand things like world soccer a little better because it’s a bit of Rollerball proxy war, but lose my understanding when huge fights break out. Maybe Rollerball isn’t too far off!

“Local boy does good” is a common theme in the small-town America mythos. I always had a soft spot for Tommy Lasorda despite the fact that I hated the Dodgers - he was from the town (Norristown, PA) I grew up in (I went to school with a few of his nephews). No rational reason.

I totally agree. So lame when people do that. I don’t get those examples listed above. But David Hasselhoff went to my high school!!

I agree with Senoy. I was born and raised in smalltown Kansas. When your home is ignored or ridiculed, you tend to take pride in the good things that come from there, even if you don’t have anything to do with them. You know your town, city, or state is a good place, but that extra validation of having someone or something notable from there helps the ego.

I’ve never understood the mentality of the sports fan. When an athlete or team from a given city or geographical area wins, people from said geographical area say “We won!” Um, no…YOU didn’t do anything.

Don’t get me started on the Olympics, where the performance of one athlete somehow reflects on an entire country. :rolleyes: Is that truly an attitude shared by other cultures, or is it mostly an American thing?

It’s only an American thing; it’s why no other nation sends athletes to the Olympics.

Have you ever watched the Olympics? Fans in the stands are constantly waving flags, of every country. The host nation is always the most prominent.

No, this is not just an American thing.

Well, they do have the occasional pretty building too :smiley: quite a few of them, in fact.