Friday, January 20, 2006

Just My 3 Cents

This is the first of what I’m sure will be many posts about celebrities. Celebrities have their place in our society, but I’m afraid many of them don’t know exactly where that place is. This is my poor attempt to put my views to paper in some sort of coherent thought.

What is it with celebrities and their perception that they’re so much smarter than the rest of us? I don’t get it, I mean obviously, some of them are smart, but for the most part, they’re merely very good at what they do, whether it’s singing, telling jokes, directing films, or acting. Once they’ve ”made it” and are successful in their field, they’re paid INSANE amounts of money, and everyone around them fawns all over them, telling them how great they are. They are great, at what they do, but I think that’s where they start to get confused. A great actor isn’t necessarily a great intellectual, foreign policy expert, or economist; just as a great mechanic or real estate agent isn’t. I have a theory about why celebrities fall into the trap of thinking they’re more than what they really are.

I think these celebrities, when they’re away from the audience and their circle of leeches, can’t help but do a little inner reflection. Alone in the dark, I think they truly understand who and what they are. They. Are. Fakes. Actors PRETEND they’re someone or something else for a living. The persona on the screen isn’t them. Someone else writes the words they say. Directors guide them to get the reaction they see in their vision of the character. The actor then looks at himself and sees…an empty vessel, a shell that is told how to dress, what to say and how to say it.

All of us want to do something important with our lives; we want to know we made a difference during our time here, and yet what really does an actor contribute? Don’t get me wrong, I love movies and I respect actors for what they do in their craft, but that’s where I draw the line. Their job is to entertain me, nothing more. They’re not there to tell me how to live my life, spend my money, or vote in elections. I don’t want my Doctor or mechanic to do these things, so why would I want an actor or musician too? I’m pretty sure the Hollywood elite doesn’t want me or their dry cleaner to give them life advice, so why is it okay for them? They all have their jobs, their professions, their area of expertise and that is what I want and expect from them, nothing more. Granted, everyone is entitled to their opinion, and their right to express it is protected, however, there is nothing that says I have to listen to them. That really bugs them too; they seem to think that because of their fame, their opinion is gospel.

If a celebrity is truly concerned with an issue, then he needs to get involved in the political process and change things. I don’t mean using his celebrity to advance his ideas, but run for office. Put himself in the line of fire, where he has to be responsible for the results of his convictions and actions. There’s nothing wrong with using his celebrity to bring attention to an issue, but unless he's willing to put it on the line and run for office, then that’s as far as it should go. Don’t attack those that disagree, don’t threaten to leave the country if things don’t go your way (well, you can, but at least have the decency to make good on your threat if things don’t go your way, mkay Alec?) unless you’re willing to take real risks.

I don’t know about anyone else, but for me, when a celebrity steps outside his realm and starts forcing his opinions at me, it ruins their performances for me. I can’t watch their movies or listen to their music without thinking about how they pissed me off with their unwanted “advice”. This is especially true with actors. I can seldom see them as the character they’re supposed to be playing. Instead, I see the ACTOR, and when you see the actor and not the character, the illusion is blown. I can’t believe the story at that point. Maybe it’s just me…

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