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I'm a celebrity dammit, why wont you pay attention to what I'm telling you!
February 6, 2003 2:39 PM   Subscribe

I'm a celebrity dammit, why wont you pay attention to what I'm telling you! It's bad enough I have to pay $10 to watch your lousy movie and hear your crappy music, just don't tell me how to think.
posted by beatnik808 (67 comments total)

 
These celebrities seem to be the only ones speaking what I feel AND getting media attention.

They have my vote.
posted by mooseindian at 2:47 PM on February 6, 2003


Who is Janeane Garofalo? (or is this something one would need a television to know the answer?)
posted by mischief at 2:47 PM on February 6, 2003 [8 favorites]


Uh, actually her complaint was that when selecting people to represent the anti-war movement, the invariably chose celebrities, who they then don't take seriously. She feels that it makes it seem like only 'soft-headed' celebs are anti-war.

She would prefer if more intelegent anti-war people were put on the media, but they arn't. So people like her need to do it, and while they may not be experts, they are the only voices out there who can get on TV.
posted by delmoi at 2:50 PM on February 6, 2003


Beautiful.
posted by xmutex at 2:51 PM on February 6, 2003


and, oh, mischief: clever way of making the point you don't own a television. 5 points.
posted by xmutex at 2:52 PM on February 6, 2003


Yeah, it's kind of funny that dissenting voices are simply not welcome. If they were rallying behind the President they would be ignored not lauded, but for being able to get some media attention with an unsupportive view celebrities get chided and ridiculed.

Of course, the average citizen or average dissenting movement has difficulty getting attention with their views, but apparently getting a sympathetic celebrity to lend some of their spotlight is unacceptable.
posted by shagoth at 3:00 PM on February 6, 2003


Well, imdb doesn't tell me much, except that she was in a scene cut from Brain Candy, the only movie in her filmography I have seen. I tried a google search, but clicking on a link crashed my browser (twice).
;-P
posted by mischief at 3:04 PM on February 6, 2003


Fun article, but I have to go with what delmoi said. The media just isn't interested in presenting alternative view points or anyone vaguely intellectual so only the celebrities remain to question current politics. Maybe we should start a letter writing campaign and have Noam Chomsky guest star on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or start a reality show staring Howard Zinn as an accidental millionaire looking for love.
posted by elwoodwiles at 3:05 PM on February 6, 2003


Dissenting voices are more than welcome. But there is about as much reason the the media to pay attention to Sheryl Crow's view on war as there is for them to focus on my views on the latest trends in Ethiopian popular music: none.
posted by jammer at 3:06 PM on February 6, 2003


Who is Charlie Parker? (or is this something one would need to be a fan of mid 1950's bebop alto saxophone players who recorded for the Savoy and Dial labels to know the answer?)
posted by milnak at 3:16 PM on February 6, 2003


Who is Janeane Garofalo? (or is this something one would need a television to know the answer?)

I own a TV and I still don't know who she is.
posted by holycola at 3:19 PM on February 6, 2003


I personally don't have a television, but I read daily transcripts of Joe Millionaire, and am proud that Joe supports our president and our troops.

Sometimes I wonder what is worse, celebrities talking about the news, or personalities (Bill O'Reilly, etc) using the news to become celebrities.
posted by cell divide at 3:25 PM on February 6, 2003


Damn beatnik808 ... that was funny ...
posted by MidasMulligan at 3:25 PM on February 6, 2003


hee. I even tried http://Not_In_Our_Boldface_Names.com. Such a funny domain *should* exist, dammit...
posted by freebird at 3:31 PM on February 6, 2003


Who is Rush Limbaugh? Who is Bill O'Reilly? Who is Sean Hannity? Who are these millionaires telling us how to think, what to feel, how to vote, just because they're wealthy and on TV?!

I saw the Janeane appearance on Howie Kurtz's show, and he was out of his depth. Why, for example, do we care about Kurtz's opinion? He came off as far less intelligent and knowledgeable as Janeane; and as someone else noted, Janeane's very point is that the media is complicit in right-wing journalistic bias by the fact that the only voices they allow on screen that dissent with those in the corridors of power are the easily ridiculed or dismissed. The anti-war position is only allowed to be displayed by those who the pro-war zealots can dismiss as irrelevant, while the pro-war position is represented by men... in nice suits! With cool titles! From institutions and think tanks you've never heard of!

For that matter... why are we supposed to canonize Reagan right onto Mount Rushmore, when he was nothing more than an under-educated B-movie actor with strong political opinions? Somehow Reagan is a Christ-like figure who should have his feet washed by Peggy Noonan's hair, but Janeane Garofalo is a stupid bitch cunt who should keep her mouth shut?

A nice comment on this trend here, as well:
I noticed a number of right-wing bloggers sneering at Susan Sarandon and Barbra Streisand for expressing opposition to the war in public. The general take seems to be that because Ms. Sarandon and Ms. Streisand are "merely" actors, they should not have an opinion. Some of the rants have an almost royalist feel: these folks are trying to get above themselves and speak against their betters. Others try for a curious variation of the old class warfare argument: these rich bitches are using their popularity and their money unfairly to promote their opinions.

I got news for you, sweetpeas: in a democracy (yeah, yeah, a Republic, whatever), everybody's opinion counts. Even yours. So get past it. If Dennis Miller can support the war, Arnold Schwarzenegger can make appearances at the Republican convention, and Charlton Heston represent the NRA, Sarandon and Streisand can speak their liberal minds publicly.

One of the great gifts of the Founding Fathers is this little thing called the First Amendment. It guarantees free speech to every citizen of this nation. Not "those I like"; not "the right sort of folk"; not "the experts". You, me, and my aunt Sally. The most ignorant jackass in the most backwards town can stand up and preach to anyone who will listen. You can ignore them; you can rebut them; but you cannot shut them up. You don't have the right.

By the way, there's a silver lining to this: if you ever find yourself in the minority again--and you will--your rights are protected too.
On preview: hey Midas- shut yer fucking trap. You aren't an "expert", you don't work in the current administration- therefore your opinion is unimportant. You have even less right to speak than Janeane- bet you aren't even in her tax bracket, white trash mo'fo! You are neither expert, nor Fox News talk show host, nor convicted Reagan- era felon with a cabinet post. So what do you have to offer? Zip, zilch, zero, nada. Pipe down, li'l one.
posted by hincandenza at 3:32 PM on February 6, 2003


Remind me to add hincandenza to my "ignore" feature in MeFi pro beta 5.6. Personal attacks are a complete waste of time and invalidate anything else you might say.
posted by cell divide at 3:40 PM on February 6, 2003


I think hincandenza was trying to make a point, cell divide.
posted by Kafkaesque at 3:53 PM on February 6, 2003


No one knows her? janeane garofalo

She usually plays the unattractive cynic in the handful of movies I've seen her in.
You may remember her from such films as Dog Park, Mystery Men, Cable Guy, Truth About Cats and Dogs, Reality Bites, Romy and Michelle's High-School Reunion, and a host of probably more interesting albeit lesser-known films. I've always enjoyed her on-screen persona myself....
posted by imaswinger at 3:53 PM on February 6, 2003


Here's Kurtz's Washington Post column, and a transcript of Janeane's appearance on CNN Reliable Sources, for those of you who haven't seen it yet. And, why not, here's Janeane on The O'Reilly Factor as well.
posted by monosyllabic at 3:55 PM on February 6, 2003


Personal attacks are a complete waste of time and invalidate anything else you might say.
The same could be said of the author towards Ms. Garafalo, no?

However, I understand hincandenza was trying to turn the author's point around, but I think he would have been better directing it at the author. No need to continue the trend of pot shots at conservative mefi members ( I don't think I've ever agreed with him -- including here, I didn't find the lame vitriol funny-- but Midas's posts are almost always well thought out and written with care. Sorry, MetaTalk derail there.

Anyway, Garafalo has some decent points, but I'm not buying the "media conspiracy". The problem is that the public does not get upset until/if things get really bad for them personally. Vietnam era protests did not kick into high gear until there were a lot of dead americans. Not trying to predict what will happen in Iraq, just making my own cynical point about the public.
posted by malphigian at 4:05 PM on February 6, 2003


On preview: hey Midas- shut yer fucking trap. You aren't an "expert", you don't work in the current administration- therefore your opinion is unimportant.

Oddly, my firm is beginning an engagement with a department under the current administration. And in past roles, I've actually done business with 2 other administrations. But don't let me interrupt your tirade with facts.

You have even less right to speak than Janeane- bet you aren't even in her tax bracket, white trash mo'fo!

Actually, I'm probably in a much higher tax bracket. Very few actors or actresses are even in the same league as senior Wall Street players - and she's definately a minor, B-list twit.

You are neither expert, nor Fox News talk show host, nor convicted Reagan- era felon with a cabinet post. So what do you have to offer? Zip, zilch, zero, nada. Pipe down, li'l one.

The difference, of course, being that I've never claimed to be an expert (though I'll bet I have traveled considerably more extensively in the middle-east than she has, do attend World Economic Forum and CFR events, and know at least a few of the players personally). Nor do I make talk show appearances and whine and pout because my personal opinions don't get taken seriously by "the media".

I think hincandenza was trying to make a point, cell divide.

Kind of an odd one, though ... Since according to his own logic, he has no more right to speak than I do. However, it's been some time since he honored my with one of his trademark, cheap, visciously personal shots. And I do so enjoy seeing his continual demonstrations of the warm compassion liberals are so well known for.
posted by MidasMulligan at 4:30 PM on February 6, 2003


Great find! My favorite celebrity peanut gallery, sadly missing only three: Alec, Babs, and Richard!

Give them time.
posted by hama7 at 4:41 PM on February 6, 2003


I think hincandenza was making ironic reference to the silliness of judging the worth of someone's opinion based upon things like media positioning or tax bracket...thus in fact not really deprecating Midas's opinion at all...but maybe not. Really, why even get involved, yikes. *pulls u-turn, heads for other parts of town*.
posted by freebird at 4:42 PM on February 6, 2003


but maybe not.

Not. Really not.
posted by hama7 at 4:46 PM on February 6, 2003


I went out and ended up thinking about this and was reminded of Mohammed Ali. He was no intellectual, by any stretch, but when he can out and opposed the war it did get peoples attention. I think the a celebrity willing to stick their neck out for their opinions, possibly even threatening their lucrative careers, deserves some respect. As was pointed out in the thread, many commentators with no real knowledge (Rush) of anything but the propaganda they're pushing aren't going to stand up and provide much needed dissent into the mainstream media. To dismiss somebodies opinion because of who they are, rather then the validity of their opinion is called an ad homenim attack, something mefi's know well.

And Midas, I've yet to agree with you about much of anything, but somehow, I like you. Ignore the trolls, your posts are informative and worth reading.
posted by elwoodwiles at 4:49 PM on February 6, 2003


I think even the leftmost of the leftist people, like Noam Chomsky, would agree with you, malphigian. The point Garofalo is trying to make (it's the big idea from Manufacturing Consent) is not that there is a huge right-wing media conspiracy. It's that the nature of market-driven media, especially where the bulk of the media channels are owned by a small group of people and cost of entry is prohibitive, creates a specific set of filters that encourages propaganda, or at least selective reporting.

The criteria the media use for choosing a story (basically how many eyeballs it'll enable them to sell to their advertisers) are quite separate from criteria like truth and importance - the kind of news required for an informed citizenry. Sometimes they overlap. Sometimes they don't.

Garofalo is pointing at this tendency in the CNN transcript that monosyllabic linked, when she says
I guess I am saying, actually, they're pro-ratings. They're pro-easily-packaged-stories. They're pro-sensational-headlines. They're pro-ratings grabbers. They like their graphics.
And you're right that there is a huge feedback loop between (what the media shows the public) and (what the public demands from the media). In the US, the public seems to want more entertaining news.
posted by wilberforce at 4:49 PM on February 6, 2003


a reality show staring Howard Zinn as an accidental millionaire looking for love.

I would so love to see this show (then again, in the alternate TV universe in my brain, El Lissitzky hosts his own variety hour), though I think Zinn's wife might have a minor quibble or two...
posted by scody at 4:51 PM on February 6, 2003


Oh damn, I can't resist:
continual demonstrations of the warm compassion liberals are so well known for.
Ann Coultier is a liberal?
posted by elwoodwiles at 4:54 PM on February 6, 2003


Brain Candy, the only movie in her filmography I have seen

I did not know that, and I love you mischief.
posted by WolfDaddy at 5:01 PM on February 6, 2003


For the most part I like Janeane Garofalo; she's a funny comedian. I've got VHS tapes with her from Ben Stiller's old show on Fox . And I do believe that stars can speak out and make valid contributions. Take for instance Audrey Hepburn's work with the United Nation's UNICEF fund. And hey, Bono was able to drag former Treasury Sec. Paul O'Neill to Africa and get from Bush $15 billion to fight AIDS. But for the most part these days, celebrities seem to just show up, spout a few hackneyed phrases and expect you to sit back and bask in their wisdom. They can go ahead and do that, just don't whine when the slings and arrows come back their way.
posted by beatnik808 at 5:08 PM on February 6, 2003


If only she would have married Jerry Seinfeld, but they were just too much alike, dammit!
posted by Mack Twain at 5:14 PM on February 6, 2003


hincandenza's irony now being analyzed in Meta.
posted by y2karl at 5:26 PM on February 6, 2003


Wasn't she on SNL for a season or two?
posted by Hackworth at 5:34 PM on February 6, 2003


ah the old fame dilemma rears its ugly head. i find it interesting that people get so riled up over celebrities espousing their views. they make such nice, meaty targets because their heads look SO big on television (or sound really large on the radio for those MeFites sans t.v.).

really, just because they are "famous" doesn't make them better than anybody or their opinion matters more, all it means is that they have better access to public forums. what would any of you guys say if you were on one of these shows? would we take *you* any more or less seriously?

as far as the hypocritical nature found in the link, i find the same goes for anyone else espousing their opinion on how to live my life. you know those vegetarians that wear leather, or greenies that are still somehow hooked up to their city's power grid, or any other number of examples i'm sure we could all come up with.

my point is this: no one made you pay $10. stay at home, read a book. or go ride a bicycle built for two.

side-note on the hincandenza vs. midas thing:
Actually, I'm probably in a much higher tax bracket. Very few actors or actresses are even in the same league as senior Wall Street players
wow midas, you must have an enormously huge penis!

hinc was being sarcastic, i think it was painfully obvious. but thankfully you laid the smackdown. and now we must respect your opinions: a) because you're a human-being and b) you make a lot of money and have to wear a suit, therefore you are much better than i am.
posted by raygun21 at 5:35 PM on February 6, 2003


Why do we pick on celebrities so much? Seriously, who's forcing you to watch lousy movies and listen to crappy music? And how does it makes sense to blame these individual entertainers for a.) having an opinion or b.) your own poor choices of entertainment material?
posted by blissbat at 5:36 PM on February 6, 2003


My favorite line:

"male-dominated world of rock ’n’ roll groupies"

How many male rock 'n' roll groupies are there?
posted by whatever at 5:49 PM on February 6, 2003


Shes getting a lot of free publicity by voicing her views.
No guarantee that she actually believes what she says, and isn't just garnering some free exposure.
posted by Trik at 6:23 PM on February 6, 2003


How many male rock 'n' roll groupies are there?

I think that was sarcasm.

Celebrities are as entitled to express their opinions as anyone else. But if a celebrity chooses to add her opinion to the national debate, she better be prepared to have that opinion analyzed and criticized, just like any other opinion on a sensitive issue of politics or policy. If the issue is at all controversial, it's likely that a large percentage (i.e., hundreds of millions) of Americans will disagree with any given opinion. In other words, Janeane Garofalo shouldn't expect to have it both ways -- if she doesn't like the fact that some call her "anti-American," maybe she shouldn't participate in the debate.

When a famous person opens his or her mouth, the media can be relied upon to broadcast the statement to a mass audience. That can either work to the celebrity's advantage (if what they have to say is well-reasoned and intelligent), or to their detriment (if it's, um, not -- see, e.g., Crow, Sheryl). So speak up, celebrities of America! Just don't expect everyone to kiss your ass when you do.
posted by pardonyou? at 6:24 PM on February 6, 2003


Whatever: Lets start a male rock 'n' roll groupies, I'm game for puppeishly following Half the female stars around...

Yummmm, Ani Defranco,, Grroowwwlll..
posted by Elim at 6:28 PM on February 6, 2003


The difference, of course, being that I've never claimed to be an expert (though I'll bet I have traveled considerably more extensively in the middle-east than she has, do attend World Economic Forum and CFR events, and know at least a few of the players personally)

Hmmmm....."never claimed to be an expert"....followed immediately by resume trumpeting expertise:

- doublethink encounter mode ON....check.

And lemmee see here.....

- MidasMulligan and movie stars travel more extensively than we average Americans...check.
- MidasMullligan and movie stars attend events the rest of us poor unwashed masses never get into....check.
- MidasMullligan and movie stars know "the players" personally....check.
- MidasMullligan and movie stars are in higher tax bracket than we coolies....check.
- MidasMulligan and movies stars are in tight with various "administrations"....check.

Did you mean, therefore, that based on the aforementioned, it's now OK to mock your opinions in the same way you mock theirs?

Oh, come now - while it's obviously clear that the sort of incisive, objective geo-political analysis required to make tough foreign policy decisions can't be considered fully complete until we hear from Britney and Justin, we've at least recieved enough guidance from Susan Sarandon, Barbara Striesand, and other actors, writers, and assorted artistic luminaries to reach at least a preliminary conclusion, haven't we? And I'm sure that just as soon as Britney and Justin resolve the issues surrounding the potential for future sexual relations, they'll immediately turn their full attention towards supplying us with the crucial insight we need reach a final, conclusive opinion on the issue.
posted by MidasMulligan at 11:19 AM PST on January 30


Just wanted to be sure to get your real point, because I think the issue in this thread is respecting opinions based on ideas....not on whether someone happens to work in film, or the arts, or literature, or whatever. And if any insist on decrying opinions based on someone's participation in those fields, I'm sure we'd all like to read your critical take on conservatives who also work in those areas.

If you're stance is not just hypocritical, that is.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 6:35 PM on February 6, 2003


All those typed 'MidasMulligans' make a pretty ascii design, and even move a little if you stare at them long enough.

~wince~
posted by hama7 at 6:45 PM on February 6, 2003


Wow, someone must have been passed over for lead in the high school play...

(And who is Bruce Feirstein? Or is this something one would need to read third-rate town newspapers to know the answer?)
posted by majcher at 6:46 PM on February 6, 2003


Oh, how I love these debates. Let me just get it all straight. Celebrities should endose something when it's a consumer product that we might enjoy. Celebrities should use their fame to endorse causes, such as funding for September 11th victims and promoting what many condescendingly refer to as "pet" causes. However, when a celebrity has a valid opinion about something and wishes to express it, the celebrity is an arrogant twit. Well, that makes sense.

Frankly, I'm more bothered by the arrogant hypocrisy of Feirstein's obnoxious condescending little essay than I am about the entire debate. I hate living in a city with all these tabloid toilet papers that write "voice of the people" editorials using a high-and-mighty atitude to bitch about how the damn libruls are acting too high-and-mighty.

You know what, Bruce? I do give a damn what Richard Gere and Jeneane Garofalo have to say. Not because they're celebrities, but because they're actually providing rational arguments. The only thing this sneering article does is prove that the sterotype of "Hollywood Liberal" can be applied to someone who don't give a shit about actually debating... or more likely just aren't as smart as the celebrity they're ducking from.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:59 PM on February 6, 2003


I don't agree with Garofalo, but I admire her for speaking out. She's speaking at risk to her career.

Hollywood is made out of self-serving, insecure, attention-craving babies. Moral courage is so out of place there, she's bound to be burning bridges.
posted by Zombie at 7:11 PM on February 6, 2003


Should celebrities opinions be taken seriously and weighed on their merits?

Sure.

Should they be taken any more seriously than the man who made the grilled-cheese sandwich, I am now eating?

Hell, no.

And I mean that regardless of political opinion. Obviously, I'm gratified if a celebrity agrees with me but that's as far as it goes. And even then it can get annoying. Sometimes downright obnoxious as in the cases of Richard Gere and Arnold Schwarzenegger, both of whom I may occasionally enjoy as entertaintainers but who I find utterly detestable as activists.

Who is Janeane Garofalo?

The most gorgeous woman on earth. Come sit on my lap and tell me all about your position on the war...
posted by jonmc at 7:15 PM on February 6, 2003


Just wanted to be sure to get your real point, because I think the issue in this thread is respecting opinions based on ideas....not on whether someone happens to work in film, or the arts, or literature, or whatever.

Ok foldy, hinc ... deep breath now. All I said at first was that I liked the FPP. It was a riot. Hinc then decides to make an apparent attempt at irony (which slightly confused a few people, because clever, well written irony usually isn't accompanied by the crude language of a drunken bar thug). Get it? He was trying to be funny, and make some sort of point.

I responded - also with irony - but apparently didn't use enough crude language to make myself clear. So I'll spell it out:

The FPP was satire. It was humorous. The thought that it was immediately taken so seriously - and that people actually wanted to discuss the reasons why Janeane Garofalo (good grief) really should be taken seriously ... what a hoot! So I responded with mock seriousness (figuring that those who thought themselves terribly clever by using "irony" to make some serious point would, themselves, be able to understand irony). Yet I, like the article itself, am taken seriously, and get the (now rather old) accusation from foldy that I might be a "hypocrite". (I am touched, however, that he pays way more attention to my past posts than I ever do).

Hinc ... if you want to effectively use irony - study the link itself. Lines like:

"Ms. Sarandon complained: "I’m tired of being labeled anti-American because I ask questions."
She also informed the crowd that her black fitted top was from Dolce & Gabbana."


Now that is irony.

foldy ... if you "think the issue in this thread is respecting opinions based on ideas....not on whether someone happens to work in film, or the arts, or literature, or whatever." ... well, that may be the issue you and a few others tried to make out of the thread ... but the thread itself was merely a great piece of humor ... in fact, one of those jewels I stop at MeFi to find.

But keep on with the discussion. Definately. Because just about the only thing more humorous that self-important actors believing their stance on foreign affairs desrve to be taken any more seriously than the guy on the street, are those that defend them in their delusion.
posted by MidasMulligan at 7:22 PM on February 6, 2003


Zip: 10001
posted by JohnR at 7:27 PM on February 6, 2003


jonmc, I hear you.
posted by y2karl at 7:32 PM on February 6, 2003


Celebrities opinions are more important than those of a random Joe on the street, because:

You're more likely to remember other opinions that a celebrity has had, and thus make a connection between those opinions. Whereas you're unlikely ever to hear from Random Joe again.

Similarly:

Celebrities opinions are more important than those of your mother, because:

Other people are more likely to have heard the opinions of those celebrities, and so you are more likely to have a shared context with them, for discussing those opinions.

Thus:

Celebrity opinions are equally as important as those of MidasMulligan (to use the current example), if and only if, you read Metafilter, and are discussing something on MetaFilter.

possibly
posted by inpHilltr8r at 7:34 PM on February 6, 2003


Midas, if we could hook up a generator to your spin, we'd never have to worry about Mideast oil again.
posted by y2karl at 7:34 PM on February 6, 2003


I could probably have worded that last bit better, only I hit post instead of preview
posted by inpHilltr8r at 7:36 PM on February 6, 2003


Wait. So does this mean she's not too fond of Sean Penn? Ooookiedoke.
posted by Feisty at 7:45 PM on February 6, 2003


You're more likely to remember other opinions that a celebrity has had, and thus make a connection between those opinions. Whereas you're unlikely ever to hear from Random Joe again.

Wait a minute. I'm more than likely never going to have an personal contact with any of those celebrities (whom in the immortal words of Dennis Miller, "outside of telling you exactly what to think, want absolutely nothing to do with you"), whereas Random Joe is someone I could very easily get to know and become freinds with. Hell I think all of us here qualify as random joes. But somehow, I'm going to have more connection with some ceelbrity?

That makes exactly zero sense.

jonmc, I hear you.

On celebrities and their opinions or Janeane-the-lap-action, karl?

On preview: Sean Penn is in desperate need of a thorazine enema.
posted by jonmc at 7:51 PM on February 6, 2003


the latter--she is a very attractive woman. But not the lap part: I'm pretty sure Tina doesn't read this but...
posted by y2karl at 7:54 PM on February 6, 2003


Hold on. Celebrities in general, sure, are speaking with little authority. But Garofalo is a comedian; she researches and writes funny commentaries pointing out contradictions in political and social mores and behaviors. She does it pretty well, apparently, since she's at the top of that business.

Doesn't that give her opinion some weight when she speaks seriously on the same issues?
posted by nicwolff at 8:36 PM on February 6, 2003


May I summarize for the benefit of those tuning in late?

MeFite 1: "Rudely expressed but perceptibly sarcastic ad hominem comment."
MeFite 2: "Immediate reaction. Comment on the amount of zeroes necessary to convey the tax bracket I'm in. Assertion that I am a player, & know all the other players, too. Implied contempt for anyone who actually has enough time to post at MeFi in preference to e.g. skiing Gstaad with outlying members of the House of Saud."
MeFites 3-10: "Huh?"
MeFite 11: "Ideologically-inspired, kneejerk defense of M2."
MeFite 12: "Gratutitous but contextually welcome appreciation of star's pulchritude in marginally politer I'd-hit-it vein."
MeFite 2: "Repeated self-justification."
All: "I have achieved little today."
posted by adamgreenfield at 8:37 PM on February 6, 2003


adamgreenfield: I have not brachicephalically... used... the word pulchritude... in a sub-mesogastriologically way... with.... that... woman.
posted by stavrogin at 11:19 PM on February 6, 2003


Hilarious article, thanks for posting it.
Let me just add that this "celebrities can get away with anything" assumption is rooted on the following facts
(among others) :

-Ronald Reagan;
-sycophantic, E! Entertainment-style media;
-O.J. Simpson;
-Re actors, more than one of them take their Lee Strasberg lessons a bit too seriously and start thinking they actually can impersonate whatever role they choose in real life as well, as long as they look ponderous and wear glasses (not shades, mind you);
-agents and PR people in general, who lie to the public ("look, he's not gay! He dates supermodels!" etc) and to the artists themselves ("you're great, you really should have 655 bodyguards and throw a fit once in a while" etc);
-finally, celebrities know that, most of the time, they're overpaid; that probably translates into some kind of guilty complex, which they try to alleviate by spousing some public cause, often to ridiculous, counterproductive results.

So basically these pampered, out-of-the-loop, often uneducated celebrities think they can do anything, and resent the fact that some things, such as intricate foreign policy decisions, may be miles above their "I can do anything" illusion.
posted by 111 at 5:32 AM on February 7, 2003


MeFite 12: "Gratutitous but contextually welcome appreciation of star's pulchritude in marginally politer I'd-hit-it vein."

Hey, I thought I actually made sense with my comment on stars opinions being no more or less valid than anyone elses, but I guess it got lost.

As for pulchritude,...well, I can't help myself, It's janeane...
posted by jonmc at 5:47 AM on February 7, 2003


She was in a Sopranos episode once as well.
posted by adampsyche at 5:49 AM on February 7, 2003


111: no sense in wasting time by trying to paint all actors and actresses with the "uneducated" or "overpaid" or "pampered" brushes.

I heard one actress recently say something to the effect of: "No, we don't know more about it, but we have the spotlight. And it's our job to help direct it toward those who do have the facts."

For the link happy:

If you want a short list of actors with degrees.

If you care to read about some work being performed by "celebrities" and "creative persons" against the war.

And a general call out: If you believe "celebrities"* have any more or less "right" to speak for or against the war mentality then please state so we can stop wasting time reading each others' posts.


*celebrity: anyone who has interviewed, been interviewed, or featured on any media.
posted by ?! at 6:13 AM on February 7, 2003


How many activist celebrities suggest that their opinions should be taken more seriously than the average joe?

Like Garofolo, most of them seem to know how the game is played: They acknowledge their own unimportance but take advantage of the forum celebrity provides to espouse causes they believe in.

For all the sniping in this discussion, who among us wouldn't do the same thing? I fail to see how speaking up for your beliefs to an undeserved audience of millions is worse than remaining silent out of humility, especially if you hold a minority opinion that could jeopardize your career.
posted by rcade at 6:23 AM on February 7, 2003


Hugh Hefner, B.S. in psychology from University of Illinois

Wow. The tumblers of the universe have all just locked into place for me.
posted by Dick Paris at 7:07 AM on February 7, 2003


I'm a celebrity dammit, why wont you pay attention to what I'm telling you!

Apparently, Bruce Feirstein pays almost constant attention. He's probably one of those people who reads the glossy magazines and thus gives celebrities their undeserved soapbox. Now, if he had any talent for writing at all, perhaps lots of people would pay him attention, and the envy would melt away.
posted by liam at 7:29 AM on February 7, 2003


?!, thanks for the links. While you're right so far as generalizations go (not all actors are dumb or uneducated), I still think the traits I mentioned describe many if not most actors/celebrities.
Now does the fact that some NBA players hold degrees mean that they're fully entitled to lecture the world on high politics?
It's also important to observe that most celebrities seem to be against the war, which makes the public debate a little unbalanced to say the very least.
I think actors and stars would fare much better as far as respectability goes if they restricted themselves to non-partisan causes, such as helping the less fortunate and actively campaigning against sexism, violence or drug abuse, which they often condone in their works and even personal lives.

ps: the only person who's consistently against the war but keeps holding my attention and respect is the brilliant author of these works.
posted by 111 at 10:00 AM on February 7, 2003


That makes exactly zero sense.

Yeah, in hindsight, I think I had a brain-fart.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 10:39 AM on February 7, 2003


111: I don't believe a degree gives the person a right to speak pro- or anti-war. Excuse me, you said "entitled."

To answer your question: if they are American citizens they are "entitled" to say whatever they please about the war. Looking up the appropriate passages in the US Constitution is left as an exercise for the reader.

The gist of my opinion is: to restrict debate to only those of a select group we deem worthy is to do a disservice to the goals of both those who framed the Constitution and to everyone who has fought* to maintain the Republic.



*Fighting to maintain the American Republic includes speaking up when you think the elected officials are dead wrong.
posted by ?! at 12:40 PM on February 7, 2003


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