Celebrities Know what's Best for You
by Steve Sommers
We're all getting used to the sight of Irish Rock Star Bono of U2 parading the globe in the company of serious men who take him very seriously. The present US Secretary of Commerce, John Snow, and a former one, Paul O' Neil, both give him high marks for his intelligence and thorough grasp of world wide economics. Right now, several African nations are prospering after having their international debts relieved as a result of Bono's promotion of this solution. So here's the question: Why Bono?
Yes, he knows what he's talking about, for sure. But so do any number of gray un-dashing economists and world leaders. Nobody was making a ruckus when they said the exact same thing supported by graphs, and facts and figures, and PHDs. No, what is took was a sexy rock star to make this whole business look sexy and suddenly everyone's interested - especially the teen-age girls, because if Bono says it: It's hot.
Trooping around not far away from his is the gorgeous and alluring actress Angelina Jolie. The pregnant Mrs. Pitt is the UN Goodwill ambassador who has been touring impoverished areas promoting - I don't know, non-impoverishment. It doesn't matter so much because she is so beautiful to look at that she could be promoting plague and eating dirt and I'd still pay attention. You would, too, I think. It matters little to us that a couple years back she was wearing her husband's blood around her neck as jewelry and tattooing every inch of her skin. Now she's a noble madonna about to give birth to the most blessed child since you-know-who.
For years Oprah Winfrey has been telling people what she thinks they should read. Oprah is an amazing woman and her ability to tell a story through the media is unparalleled. She is a gazillionaire but is that why we assume she has literary taste? If being rich automatically endowed you with taste, then Saudi Sheiks would be the most tasteful men on the Earth, and they really aren't. As far as I know Oprah does not have a literature degree or and English degree and I don't even know that she reads any more than the average Joe on the street. Are we to assume that because we like Oprah we'll also like what she reads? Does anybody seriously need Oprah's help at the bookstore?
My pal Tom Cruise made a lot of enemies when he criticized the use of antipsychotics for the treatment of post-partum depression. He may be right, and there's a good case to be made for the overuse of these medications by the medical community. Tom's simply not the man to make the case. As he lectured today show's Matt Lauer, Matt did not know the history of anti-depressants, but Tom only knew one side of the history and he has no medical degree whatsoever. If I recall correctly, he's a high school drop-out. Not once did Matt Lauer stop to point this out to the TV audience because he knew what we all know: Tom Cruise's opinion is important because his movies bring in tens of millions of dollars at the box office.
It's painful when actors I respect for their acting speak up and say stupid things - well, stuff I disagree with. Charlton Heston gave one of my favorite performances in planet of the Apes, but I absolutely winced when he became President of the National Rifle Association. A brilliant actor was saying some remarkably un-brilliant things and it cheapened my appreciation of the great acting he'd done. I mean, C'mon, Bright Eyes, you don't even know what you're talking about with gun control. Just scream out about the maniacs who are blowing it all up and leave it at that.
Two comedians who used to be funny - used to - have become political hacks of the worst kind. One is Dennis Miller and the other is Al Franken who have each of them taken up positions on the far right and the far left respectively. Both of them are so sour and didactic that it pains me to listen to either of them, forget about belly laughs, because there's not a one left with either of them. They were both guys I liked because they were funny, but I don't any longer because the rhetoric they spought can be found anywhere and done better than they do it.
When entertainers run for office, like Reagan, they truly have a legitimate forum for their views. Vigo Mortenson condemning the war in Iraq while wearing an elf suit is not legitimate. Arnold Schwartzenager winning the governorship of California and having his say is. All politicians come from the citizenry and when the citizenry gives them their vote that means that we also are telling them that we're giving them the right to speak up. Now, Arnold sacrificed the remnants of a fading movie career so it's questionable what he gave up to run California, but we should listen to him now more than we ever should have when he was in a terminator movie.
For the rest of you celebrities who are too lazy to step into the political arena (not Al Franken, he's running for Senate from Minnesota) but for the rest of you I have this advice: All you celebrities just shut up and entertain us. That's what you're being paid to do.
About the Author
Steve Sommers' new book, Evil Super-Villains Need Love, Too ... and other important wisdom, is available at http://www.lulu.com/content/317958. His new novel, Rexroi, is available as an ebook at http://www.rspublishing.com.au - OR if you absolutely need to turn pages when you read, at http://www.lulu.com/content/306670