Sunday, June 04, 2006

"Hello, this is Sally Field"

Big article in a recent LA TIMES saying that it’s now okay to sport gray hair because of Taylor Hicks winning the AMERICAN IDOL competition. Are we the most shallow country in the history of the world, or what? Do we really need to take our cues on how to live our lives based on celebrities? Following the Taylor Hicks logic, it’s now okay to be drunk like Paula and illiterate like Randy. Social graces are no longer required. We can now all be blunt and insensitive like Simon.

Which is well and good except if you do try to act like Simon in the real world you’ll get the crap beaten out of you eighteen times before lunch. If you drink like Paula you’ll be fired and hopefully lose your driver’s license (or at least your gig on LOST). And if you’re a moron like Randy you’ll wind up in the White House.

I just don’t understand the notion of making celebrities role models. Why would anybody give a shit what Barbra Streisand or Tom Cruise thinks about anything? Why is Martin Sheen’s opinion any more valid than the skeesix who fixes your snow blower? If you want to give to a worthy charity because Bono supports it, that’s fine. But to base any life decision on the advice of “self help author” Teri Hatcher is INSANE.

With the June elections coming up I’m getting three calls an hour from my “close personal friends” Ed Begeley Jr. and Sally Field pimping some candidate. If I’m on the fence over who to vote for do I study up on the issues or take the word of the Flying Nun?

Here’s a novel concept: how about thinking for ourselves? Or at the very least realizing that celebrities are there to merely amuse us and when we do need to seek the council of others we turn instead to people who actually are qualified to help – namely bloggers.


david golbitz said...

I'm pretty tired of celebrities and their lives and opinions, too. I just don't care.

But if there is one redeeming quality to their egos, it's that they do have the ability to bring attention to various important causes and issues that the majority of Americans wouldn't normally hear or care about.

So they have that going for them.

Anonymous said...

I'm voting for whoever calls me the least. Sally, Ed and Jerry Brown all have my number in their Rolodexes. I'm so thrilled.

Anonymous said...

Amen to that Ken.

Do the "celebrities" actually phone you up? Over here they had a brouhaha about recorded voice message calls from Sean Connery in favour of Shcottish independensh.

Anonymous said...

I so agree. I know it's free speech, but celebrities have more access to such platforms over any other individual.

And if you think a celebrity with their 12 person entourage and multimillion dollar home(s) knows more what the average person needs to sustain a standard are just as insane.

ChrisO said...

I'm a little tired of the knee-jerk celebrity bashing when it comes to politics. Of course, there's a lot of know nothings shooting off their mouths. But since when does being a celebrity disqualify you from having a voice? For two examples, Martin Sheen and Susan Sarandon have been very active and committed politically for decades, and particularly in Sarandon's case, I think you could argue that it's been to the detriment of her career. On the conservative side, you could say the same thing about Charlton Heston. Although I disagree with his politics, he's served as president of SAG and the NRA. I've seen Alec Baldwin and Ron Silver very articulately discuss public policy. Is it a rule now that no matter how active and informaed you are, if you're a celebrity you just have to keep your mouth shut? Let's leave the running of the country to the politicians; that's a great idea.

VP81955 said...

Is it a rule now that no matter how active and informed you are, if you're a celebrity you just have to keep your mouth shut?

Certainly not, but you better bring something to the table to validate the reporting of your opinion. The great character actor William Schallert, whom I interviewed several years ago, was president of the Screen Actors Guild and ostensibly has background in meat-and-potatoes issues from his union work. That's what counts, not that he played an editor or teacher on TV ("Patty Duke" and "Dobie Gillis," respectively).

And there are plenty of actors who pay more than lip service to social issues. In the mid-eighties, long before she became a recognizable character actress, Beth Broderick helped found the Momentum AIDS Project in New York, which provides meals to needy families suffering from HIV.

Mary Stella said...

How do I get on the list that George Clooney calls? We can dispense with politics in the first five seconds and spend the rest of the conversation on more interesting topics. *g*

Anonymous said...

I don't mind celebrities and their free spiel. When people aren't talking about that, it's usually something worse. Like stars in their bathing suits. It hurts to see Dustin Hoffman get busted for his spare tire!

Anonymous said...

But would anyone prefer a phone call from "the skeesix who fixes your snowblower" over Martin Sheen? This way you can be amused during the half-second it takes to hang up.

"you better bring something to the table to validate the reporting of your opinion."
That's the fault of the media outlets that do the reporting, not the celebrities that have opinions.

At least when Sally calls you can say, "So that's what she's up to these days." Not that you were wondering in the first place.

lonestarr357 said...

...sorry, but the post title got me to thinking of Miss Field's recent osteoporosis medicine ad. She's a fine actress, an Oscar winner twice over and was nominated more than that.

This must be a screwed up universe to allow her in less films this millenium than Paris Hilton.

Anonymous said...

Some celebrities have the ability to articulate their political views in plain English and never desire political office.

The polar opposite is now the governor of California.

Even before he took office, the Governator was a big proponent of the ‘Head Start’ program. At family functions with the Kennedys he would routinely grab Maria and the kids, shove them in the Hummer and say “Let’s get a head start before Uncle Teddy hits the road.”

Anonymous said...

Ken, don't be too hard on Sally Field...I mean, that whole osteoporosis thing. Do you realize what that hump on her back will do to Sister Bertrille's aerodynamics?

Anonymous said...

Is it a rule now that no matter how active and informaed you are, if you're a celebrity you just have to keep your mouth shut?

I don't think there's a problem with listening to anybody who has something intelligible to say or something worth listening. Be it Joe Average down the road or Charleton Heston.

The problem is listening *because* they're celebrities. [Or being expected to listen.]