Skip to comments.Exit, Stage Left ... Please!
Posted on 10/16/2002 9:15:24 AM PDT by IronJack
Now that war with Iraq looms large, the Lefts merry band of celebrity fellow travelers is out like a swarm of moths on a klieg light, disparaging the administration, casting aspersions on the military, and feigning grievous umbrage that makes Hamlet look positively upbeat. So far, weve heard from the regular cast: Baldwin, Sheen, Streisand, Michael Moore, Julia Roberts. Now Harry Belafonte, another dusty dummy from the crypt of irrelevance, has added his foreign policy insights, which are as useful as the Donner Partys road map.
This crew is what you get when you drag a copy of the Communist Manifesto through Beverly Hills. As usual, the fawning media, in whom a healthy skepticism is an asset, are stumbling over themselves to give these mannequins a credibility they ill deserve. What makes anyone think that the opinions of these Howlywood harlequins is of any greater weight than that of Gus down at the Laser Lube?
First of all, Im not sure it takes much talent to be an actor. I know that defies the conventional wisdom, which holds people like Marlon Brando and Robert DeNiro as mortal gods. But frankly I dont see what talent is required to mumble in the dark or arch an eyebrow or spit a few epithets. Most movies are made in the direction and the editing anyway; the actors are just one tiny part of the production, albeit the most visible one.
But even if I concede that acting is a gift, pray tell how does that endowment extend into every other field of human endeavor? Why does Alec Baldwins view on the war with Iraq carry any authority? The fact that Alec Baldwin has occasionally played a military officer or a CIA agent does not mean that Alec Baldwin knows the Manual of Arms or cryptography. I played a Roman centurion in my junior high Christmas play. Does that mean Im entitled to share in Caesars riches? Did Tootsie make Dustin Hoffman a transvestite?
Were told that actors research their roles, and that lends them a perspective the ordinary person might not have. Yes, if that average person is sweat-glued to his Lazy Boy and never reads a book or watches anything more elevating than Worlds Worst Lawns. The research actors do could be done by any citizen with a PC and Google. My guess is it pales beside the investigations conducted by our intelligence community. I dont suspect Baldwin has access to the same satellite observations the CIA does.
There are few earthly glories more fleeting than those of the footlight. Mondays Oscar winner could find himself making balloon animals by Friday, and his leading lady could be turning tricks outside the bus station for the price of a tuna sandwich. Do you see Leonardo DiCaprio headlining anywhere these days? Wasnt that Kim Basinger selling Abdominizers at the mall last weekend? That leads me to believe that, whatever the degree of art required in the movie business, it has little in it that endures. Im not sure what the value of transient talent is, but a virtue that ephemeral hardly commands much respect.
Besides, the lifestyle of these buffoons makes their opinions irrelevant. What matter is the ranting of a spoiled diva who awakens from a drug-induced slumber at 3 in the afternoon, to breakfast on hummingbird eggs and Malaysian kelp squeezins? Then its off to two hours with a personal trainer who ensures that exercise addresses those flaws the surgeon cant. A quick brunch with her business agent you know, the guy who pays all her bills for her and then its on to a fitting at X Pensivos, whose fall footwear line costs more than a working mans house. Back to the mansion to read some scripts, which basically involves having the maid read them for her. Her dope dealer drops by with the weeks Happy Sample, which shell need later on over at the Baldwins Mazola party. And the caviar delivery is waiting out by the boathouse.
Oh yeah, her press agent called. Sally Jesse has her booked for an interview next Tuesday in New York. The limo will take her to the airport at 4; the jet leaves at 5. The subject of the interview is the Republicans cavalier attitude toward poverty.
The view from inside the cashmere castles of the insulated jet set is a little different than that from underneath a broken-down minivan. Aside from politicians, there probably isnt a group of people on earth more out of touch with crap-stained reality than these pampered posers. Legend has it that Barbara Streisand has rose petals sprinkled into her toilet water. Problems are what the help has. Babs biggest worry is that her farts wont be perfumed.
Lest we suspect that their howling is indeed driven by some humanitarian motive, I feel compelled to point out that this same crowd seemed oddly silent when their poster child, Bill Clinton, was bombing aspirin factories in Somalia and refugee convoys in Kosovo. Apparently, the only bad war is a Republican war, one that is justified by the cold-blooded murders of 4,000 of our countrymen. If its to divert attention from a Democratic sex scandal or other Capital Hill hijinks, war is just what the script calls for. So aside from being vacuous, their criticisms are duplicitous.
The tactic here is obvious. Since America is terrified of anonymity, any association with the glitterati, regardless of how tenuous, accords the empty masses a brief illumination they would otherwise lack. They can become one at least ideologically with someone important. Perhaps during the association, theyll get a chance to actually touch the hem of one of their gods bathrobes. No one dares question Michael Moore because hes important. Peasants dont upbraid their betters. If he says war with Iraq is wrong, then by Sam Goldwyn, it is wrong! Never mind the informed opinions of military experts and intelligence agents who point to a growing menace from the increasingly unstable Iraqi regime. A disheveled tugboat of a movie maker says we have no business in Iraq. That ought to be enough to turn those ships around and ground those airplanes!
The tactic is visibility. If Gus stands on a soapbox and rails against Saddam Hussein, a handful of passers-by might hear a couple of words over the street noise. But if Rosie ODonnell belches some platitude about giving peace a chance, she is on every talk show from coast to coast, and every magazine in the checkout line. Would you rather advertise your product on a kids party balloon or the Goodyear blimp? Visibility sells.
Which is fine if you form your opinion from talk shows and tabloid newspapers, and are willing to trust the opinions of ill-informed blowhards. But if you want the facts, and want to make your judgment based on evidence a bit more solid, visibility isnt enough. It doesnt really matter if some silicone starlet raves on about an issue any more than it matters if a star football player endorses a certain brand of colored water. The product and the issue speak for themselves. And frankly, I dont relish the notion of the Screen Actors Guild vetoing American foreign policy.
These folks are experts on one thing: making themselves look like something theyre not. Lying is their stock in trade, harmless enough when employed to entertain the masses at their modern-day Punch and Judy shows. But their paltry calling becomes downright dangerous when it creates the illusion of knowledge in heads so hollow they whistle in a strong wind.
One thing every good actor knows is when its time to leave the stage. Theres nothing more pathetic than one whose talent is so meager all he can do is play the Fool.
Doing card tricks at kids' parties ...
Thanks. I've got a few more simmering in the pot.
Thanks for the compliment. But with these phony posers, the stuff writes itself.
Glad to see you back!
Let's face it, these people are NOT intellectual luminaries, by and large. Most of them are pretty faces, and not much more. Their profession makes no great demands on their brainpower. Thankfully.
Once they get an initial amount of fame, their obsessive need to be recognized and revered does not allow them to be satisfied by being know simply for their acting.
I think you've touched on an important aspect of their existence: guilt. They know that they are no better than anyone else, and that their elevated status is ill deserved. SO they try to prove their social worth by making inane comments on subjects about which they know nothing. That makes them easily maniuplated by the liberal power-brokers in Hollywood, and it validates their aggravated sense of ego. Just like the Kennedys, they know they don't deserve what they have, so they try to redeem their ill-gotten success by an inflated pretense of social conscience.
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