Americans can put up with a lot when it comes to celebrities. We still go watch Mission Impossible movies even after Tom Cruise had a bouncy seizure on Oprah Winfrey’s couch. We can even forgive him for hawking a religion that has all the trappings of a cult to anyone outside of it. People still tuned in to watch Joe Namath play football even after he admitted to a strange predilection for wearing pantyhose. (Well, strange for that time at least. If Tom Brady did it now, we’d all let out a collective, “Whatever.”)
People even still watch the Kardashians even after it’s become painfully clear that they do absolutely nothing. Hell, they watch them specifically because they do nothing.
But one thing we cannot tolerate is the newfound need of any person with even a slight hint of notoriety to expound their political views if they get within 20 yards of anyone with a video camera or cell phone. Like creeping ivy weaves its way up a trellis, politics has started to creep into our entertainment, and that’s not something we’re going to take sitting down… even if the couches we potato on are really comfortable.
I’ve posited a theory about why this is happening (Hollywood Guilt: Why So Liberal?), but just to recap: If you made millions for doing something every kid in the entire world does for free, and you came to the realization that if you disappeared tomorrow, a hundred other people just as talented as you are there to replace you, you would probably feel the need to do something that others might consider more worthwhile. In a world where people are supposed to feel guilty about the color of their skin or how much they make, it’s a solid hypothesis. Unfortunately, it would be impossible to test because no celebrity would ever be honest about that while they’re telling you how hard it was on their psyche to pretend to be someone else.
Soldiers facing IED’s in Iraq didn’t go through anything compared to an actor having to pretend to fight with a laser sword that he could only see after postproduction.
What these celebs seem too self-important to realize is that we watch them because we need a break from the real world from time to time, especially politics, and we do that primarily through them. They appeal to us because they can take us away from our lives, if only for a couple of hours. When they stop being able to do that, their value as a celebrity drops like an eagle hitting a wind turbine.
Slight pause. A little background for perspective:
I’m a self-admitted movie buff and comic book nerd. (It says so right in my bio, thanks for reading.) As a world class insomniac, I tend to get in two to three movies a night. I had rated over 15,000 movies on Netflix before they switched to the thumbs up/thumbs down system and made me start all over.
That’s not bragging, unless lack of sleep is a virtue in your mind. I just don’t want anyone to think I’m just writing this out of hatred for celebrities. I’m not. I’ve spent the night with quite a few of them. Now back to the column.
Believe it or not, most people don’t want to know about a celebrity’s political views whether they agree or not. In the celebrity search to matter, they taint the very reason they matter to us.
We want to go to a Green Day concert and sing along with Basket Case without hearing Billie Joe shout “F^$& Trump.” We could stay home and watch any report from Portland, OR to get that.
We want to watch a football game without having to think about who’s going to be taking a knee during the national anthem. (And for God’s sake, don’t pretend that the flag and the anthem haven’t been part of sports since the day Cain and Able picked up a couple sticks and played field hockey with a sheep patty.)
We want to read a Stephen King book or listen to a Cher album without worrying about whether they blocked us on Twitter. (Ok, that one was personal.)
And this may come as a surprise, but I want to watch a Clint Eastwood movie and not think about him talking to an empty chair.
No celebrity has ever changed anyone’s political opinion. No one says,” Well, I was against illegal immigration, but then Kylie Jenner gave that Pepsi to that cop, and now I get it!”
At most, it’s a validation of what we already think. It’s fun to believe that you and Lady Gaga are simpatico, or that Kid Rock and I could have lunch together without wanting to kill each other by the time we get dessert. It makes us feel that we could sit at the table with the cool kids.
No, as much as celebs want you to believe that they just feel it in their hearts that as long as you gave them fame, they have the obligation to use it to make a difference in “just one person’s life”, it ends up being a supremely selfish act. If you do something just for the sake of someone seeing you do it, you can’t truly call it altruistic.
“Now, Parker ” you say, “a lot of people get on Twitter and pop off about politics. Why can’t celebrities do that?
“Good question,” I reply, “and to that I say know your role.”
You don’t turns on the news expecting a reporter to suddenly break into a stand-up comedy routine, and nobody goes to The Avengers expecting Iron Man to deliver a soliloquy on gun control. The first has yet to be seen; the latter is becoming all too common. And it’s not just the actors, the political creep is weaving its way into their product, too, thanks to Hollywood writers who feel the need to get in on the politically correct act.
Arrow (yes, I’m a comic book nerd) had that very special episode on the goods and bads of gun control. Supergirl’s entire season turned into a thinly disguised Trump-bash about immigration. (Yes, there are aliens on Earth, but most of them were good and there is no reason except bigotry to kick them off the Earth or for God’s sake do something silly like build a force field around the planet to keep them out. Most of them were just trying to get away from their own bad planets.
The writers were so intent on getting this message in, they completely forgot that Supergirl worked for a secret government organization dedicated to monitoring those aliens and getting rid of or locking away the bad ones.)
If I tuned in to the West Wing, I knew I was going to watch a political show. Ditto House of Cards or Homeland. I even know which way the show is going to slant. If I tune in to Supergirl, I want to turn my brain off and see a flying woman kick some alien butt with heat vision. I don’t want to watch her have a debate. Not only is it clubbing you over the head with a position, it’s just bad writing.
As a conservative, I’m a big believer in freedom of speech, and everyone has the right to share their opinions. Celebrities aren’t excluded from that, but they need to get over themselves and realize the reason they’re celebs in the first place. There are consequences for their little forays into feigned relevance. George Clooney’s movies have tanked, and it’s not just because they were all horrendous (although Solaris could put an ADHD kid on a sugar high to sleep.) A bigger reason is that he’s turned off half the people in the country who would bother to go watch him onscreen.
Clooney, like Hillary Clinton, may feel like he doesn’t want those deplorable people as fans anyway. If he does that would be a shame, since he owes a lot of his success to those very people.
I don’t want to speculate about Clooney’s life, but he’s got money for days, a gorgeous wife, and a job a lot of people would love to have. I’m guessing he’ll be okay no matter what I think. I can say the same about Trump, which is why I’m pretty sure he doesn’t care what Sarah Silverman or Whoopi Goldberg think of him.
Judging by the last election, most people aren’t influenced by their opinions either.
I just don’t want to become a place where our entertainment avenues are as divided as the country.
I don’t want to live in a world where only Calgon can take me away. Especially since then we’d have to debate showers vs. baths
The post Writing Angry: Celebrities, Supergirl, and Political Creep appeared first on Tea Party Tribune.
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