Friday, May 11, 2012
Movie Stars and Politics
Jennifer said it.
And she's perfectly right. Why is a movie star's opinion on politics worth more than, say, a cab driver's? Why should I care what they think?
It's not like being famous automatically earns respect for anything other than that which got you famous. That's why Albert Einstein, for example, went on record with high-minded gibberish in re politics (which was not his area of expertise by any means).
So we can respect actors, say, who are good at what they do, for being good at what they do. Respect in other areas (such as opinions on international politics) will need to be earned separately.
For what actors are good at, quite frankly, is lying -- pretending to be someone they're not.
So I need not care what they think, and indeed I don't. But they ought to care about what I think... because they're selling a product -- their ability to entertain me -- and I don't need to buy it if I don't feel like it. If I can't see an actor's face without getting upset about something stupid he said, I won't pay money to see him. (Did the entertainment industry learn nothing from the Dixie Chicks?)
As Samuel Goldwyn is reported to have warned his scriptwriters: "You gotta message, use Western Union". Or, to put it even more directly, there's this lovely exchange from Inherit the Wind:
Hornbeck: May I ask your opinion, sir, on Evolution?
Shopkeeper: Don't have any opinions. They're bad for business.