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The Emperor’s New Clothes, René Girard, & Marshall McLuhan
April 8, 2021 at 3:00 pm EDT
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In this salon, Hollis Robbins investigates the famous story of The Emperor’s New Clothes. What lessons are we meant to learn from this fable?
The poet, the artist, the sleuth—whoever sharpens our perception tends to be antisocial; rarely “well-adjusted,” he cannot go along with currents and trends. A strange bond often exists among anti-social types in their power to see environments as they really are. This need to interface, to confront environments with a certain antisocial power, is manifest in the famous story, “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” “Well-adjusted” courtiers, having vested interests, saw the emperor as beautifully appointed. The “anti-social” brat, unaccustomed to the old environment, clearly saw that the Emperor “ain’t got nothing’ on.” The new environment was clearly visible to him.
– Marshal Macluhan, The Medium is the Massage
Let’s talk about the Emperor in Hans Christian Andersen’s story as a successful leader, innovator, and embodiment of transparent government.
While McLuhan praises the little boy who “sees,” Girard invites us to see destructive potential of the boy’s outburst.
We will discuss who is the real leader and the real innovator of Andersen’s tale.
What do you think the story is about?
Good to read before the salon:
- The Emperor’s New Clothes – Hans Christian Anderson
- The Emperor’s New Clothes and Workplace Harassment
- The Medium is the Massage – Marshal McLuhan
- “The medium is the message”
- The ideas of René Girard
Thursday 8th April
3pm in Los Angeles / San Francisco
6pm in New York
11pm in London