Welcome, newcomers. The tradition of blogging begins with the airing of grievances. I got a lot of problems with you people! And now you’re gonna hear about it!
Today I direct my considerable ire at celebrities. In the end, they’re not the real problem. Like an M. Night Shayamalan movie, there’s a twist to this post. You probably see it coming even now, but hey, at least I didn’t charge you $10 and steal two hours of your life.
So, on the topic of celebrities…what in the hell are we thinking as a nation when we give these people’s thoughts any serious consideration?
What do celebrities know? Really?
Dennis Rodman (AKA “The Worm,” famous for rebounding, tattoos, wacky hair styles and dressing like Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner), went to North Korea to help bring peace and understanding to the region. You know, North Korea, where only officially approved government hair cuts are allowed. Really. You get one choice. You’ll never guess which one. He came back singing the praises of North Korea, declaring that Kim Jong Un “He don’t want war.” The media actually covered it. Real media. That it itself gives some feel of validity to his visit, opinions and the story. Yet, it seems as if his diplomatic mission may not have succeeded. Shocking.
Matt Damon protests constantly about the evils of Wall Street and guns. You can really tell he has a depth to his beliefs when he talks about income inequality while making 10 million dollars a film. He has done work on multiple films critical of Wall Street, which is in keeping with his personal beliefs, so we can applaud him, right? Don’t clap too hard. He’s also the voice of TD- Ameritrade, a stock trading firm. In fairness, he said he’d donate the money to charity. That said, I wouldn’t take money from the Clinton Foundation, even for the Human Fund, and I need money a whole lot more than Matt Damon. Not only would I refuse it on principle. I also wouldn’t take it because I don’t want to end up like Vince Foster. Apparently, like Hillary Clinton, he’s against Wall Street…up until the point that they offer to give him money. There is also a certain tragic hypocrisy when he is at the opening of a film where is paid millions of dollars to personally glorify uses of firearms (and cars, knives, fists, etc) to kill people and then says that he supports Australian style gun control. If you don’t know, in Australia, gun control looked like massive confiscation. Everybody’s guns got taken away. And it did nothing to lower the crime rate. Probably because the pimps, drug dealers, smugglers, poachers, etc. who owned guns didn’t bother to follow the law. I know that it was hard to see that coming. I don’t expect Matt Damon to be a policy expert on gun control. He’s a successful and busy guy. But perhaps the media should spend a little more time covering the University of Melbourne research that showed “There is little evidence to suggest that it [national gun confiscation] had any significant effects on firearm homicides or suicides,” but what fun would that be? Sounds like you might have to think to read that. Yuck.
Amy Schumer, a self-described “whore,” talks about gun control. She grew up as a rich white girl in New York. She’s cousins with anti-gun crusader Senator Chuck Schumer. Oh, and she’s never actually fired a gun and knows nothing about them. If having no exposure to a subject makes one an expert, then I’m an expert on time travel and landing on the moon. She’s very talented at creating surface level understanding of content with deceptive video shorts. She really knows much less about the world than any of the strippers at your local gentleman’s club, but does it with about as much class. Is this the person we should be paying attention to in any policy conversation about anything?
Mark Zuckerberg slammed Donald Trump for wanting to build a wall to help enforce immigration laws. Any guesses as to what he has built around his own home? Oh, and not only did he build a wall, he bought the homes of his neighbors to have even further control over who lives around him. He’s like Marie Antoinette, but without the same hair.
I could go on and on, but you get the point.
Well, you know, that’s just like, your opinion, man.
Some will wrongly accuse me of saying that celebrities shouldn’t have opinions or shouldn’t share them. That’s not what I’m saying. They should have opinions. The First Amendment protects offensive, stupid, wrong and insane speech. Maybe you see this blog post as insane or offensive. They should share their opinions, however misguided or wrong others might view them. We should just remember that the next time we hear a celebrity give us their opinion that it is the opinion of someone who pretends to do things, makes sex jokes for a living, or grabs a ball for piles of money. These aren’t people who know any more than you do about these issues. They probably know a lot less. They are surrounded by people who adore them. They have private security who protect them. They have a bank account that is bottomless. They travel from place to place in a private jet, protected by an armed personal security detail and exist in an echo chamber of agreement. They share virtually nothing with you or I.
Some will wrongly accuse me of being some kind of communist for picking on Amy, Matt, Mark or Dennis because they’re rich. This has nothing to do with that. I applaud their achievements and very much wish I was also rich. They’re not bad people because they are wealthy. They are not bad people. They’re just not any more informed on the topics they often speak out on than you are.
What insight do celebrities have that we don’t? Did Dennis Rodman acquire some meaningful experience in foreign relations at a tattoo parlor? Did Amy Schumer finally crack the code on ending violent crime in the middle of a set on having a three way in an alley by a dumpster? We should listen to people who know more about the issues. I’ve listened to many black men over the last few days who have changed some of my thinking on racism and the police. When I hear from a surgeon or a lawyer that they feel they are wrongly stopped and fear the police because they are black, I think we need to listen. We just need to listen to the right people. Sadly, these people never have their voices added to the national conversation. Instead, we have a media who looks for the sideshow and the celebrity. They want ratings, not solutions. They seek profits, not change. The larger problem is that the media covers these celebrity opinions like they have some extra merit, and the bigger fools are the ones who eat it up. That’s us.
Celebrities are either intentional hypocrites or naive failures. Either way, unless they’re performing like a trained whale at Sea World, they’re probably best ignored. Unless that is, we’re going to solicit advice from Shamu next. Which may not be a bad idea. It seems that there is much untapped knowledge in Paul the Octopus (RIP) or Orlando the stock picking cat . It worked for the World Cup and stock market investing.
Maybe celebrities can teach us something, after all. Pick a ball, Amy. On second thought, someone get me Orlando the stock picking cat.