Recognition for celebrity opinions…
As a consumer of mass media, and a creator of minor media, it’s time for me to address this whole celebrity/war relationship that about 10 percent of fellow consumers find pleasant. I happen to be among the 90 percent (even those that agree with them) who could care less about what Cheryl Crow or Sean Penn or George Clooney or Martin Sheen – even though he plays the president on TV – think about war, or anything else. For once I’m in the majority, and it’s a train you have to jump on before it leaves the station.Celebrities: Please stop the embarrassing acts of publicized bravado. Stop tarnishing your careers, and “taking stands” on issues that aren’t about acting, movies, TV shows or plays (OK, you can talk about sports and charity too). And for safety sake, please don’t go to Iraq. When the bombs start falling on Baghdad, there’s nowhere to get a good cappuccino and biscotti.Instead, concentrate on career building, perhaps by going on “Celebrity – (insert reality TV show title here),” or something else that’s funny for us. We’ll watch you, buy from the companies that brainwash us during commercial breaks, and put you back up on your pedestals. We’ll even read about you in People magazine. That’s comfortable for us. Take it from a professional minor media creator, keep it light.Remember the loathing you felt for Charlton Heston when he gave the “Cold Dead Hands” speech? That’s kind of how the 90 percent feel right now. It wasn’t so much that the head of the National Rifle Association took a stand in the gun debate, it was Charlton Heston using his celebrity that raised your ire. Kind of like when Rosie O’Donnell raised our ire by ambushing Tom Selleck on her now-defunct talk show over the very same issue. Very uncouth.Although your sentiments are representative of a formidable proportion of Americans, and your arguments have a valid place in the public debate, it’s just not fun having you deliver them, especially during critical TV moments. Who else is bitter about the Susan Sarandon-“What has Iraq done to us?”-commercial paid for by Ben of Ben & Jerry’s and aired during the Super Bowl? It’s a bittersweet, rocky road, Susan, but you’ll get your just deserts.Celebrities: People don’t like to hear YOU saying what you’re saying because you are PERCEIVED to be out of touch with reality, whether or not it is true, no matter what your positions are.Sure you waited tables while you cut your teeth, and you may have had a typical unprivileged upbringing, but fame is a ticket to ride in a different world, and that is where the 90 percent would like you to stay. That’s why we (through the consumer chain) pay you so much.It’s not that you are unpatriotic (p.s. stop being so defensive about that), it’s that you played Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. It’s hard for us to mentally bridge that gap.Maybe it is not fair, but we perceive reality as being as far away from your day-to-day life as one can get. Most people don’t live on the biggest stage in the world, most don’t live in extreme wealth, and most don’t have access to “the talk show circuit.”And maybe, just maybe, we’re jealous, but at least our heads aren’t in the clouds. And they fit in our hats too.Jim Scripps is editor of the Sierra Sun.
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