Lately, it seems to be all the fashion for celebrities to speak up about political issues. For example, just today, there’s an article about Bette Midler trying to organize a “sex strike” in Texas. It seems like so many celebrities have so much useless stuff to say.
I ignore it all. Every bit of it. Even JPop celebrities (though I did read Sashihara Rino’s book, and thought it was pretty good.)
Here’s the thing about celebrities: Generally, they’re pretty dumb.
Oh, I’m not saying they’re not talented. They certainly have a role to fill in society. We need good artists – singers, actors, musicians, etc. They have a service to offer, we pay them money to do their service, in some cases, a lot of money, and everyone’s happy. Even folks like me build their reputation, such as it is, on commenting on their product.
But ultimately, that’s all they do. Their worth to society is in the artistic product they produce, or in their expertise in a specific field. Everything else, they know nothing.
For example, Neil DeGrasse Tyson is a famous astrophysicist. I’m sure he’s really good at being an astrophysicist. You don’t get a doctorate without passing a bunch of tests and sucking up to a lot of professors. So, if he tells me something about the Universe, absent any other reason, I’m likely to accept it, as he’s more educated on the topic than I.
But he knows nothing about philosophy, and every time he opens his mouth on the topic he makes a fool of himself. I’m a far better philosopher than he is. This isn’t a statement by any means on his worth as a person or an astrophysicist, but there are things he’s just not good at.
The same goes for most celebrities who get up on the Emmy or Oscar or Golden Globe stage and pontificate about political things. In that context, they’re idiots. They have no clue what they’re talking about, they’re just regurgitating things they’ve heard, or things they think are popular, or things that might get them better cred or roles. Or, maybe they even believe it. It doesn’t matter. Their political thoughts are a mishmash of muddled thoughts, and we are the worse for having to listen to them.
So I don’t.
This applies to folks on the right, too. There aren’t as many, but folks like Toby Keith or Ted Nugent are just as bad. Waving a flag around and talking about how great America is isn’t exactly any more of a deep political thought than some semi-bare chested women talking about climate change in front of a bunch of tuxedoed people who are likely paid to be there.
I don’t listen to celebrities. Any time someone like Bette Midler, or Alyssa Milano, Jimmy Kimmel, or even Larry the Cable Guy opens their mouth, I just do the mental equivalent of patting them on the head, saying “bless your heart”, and going about my day, secure in the knowledge that anything they have said has about the same interest and import as the ingredients list on a cereal box.
And here’s the important part – even if I agree with them. I may agree with some things Larry the Cable Guy, or Glenn Beck, Lance Wallnau, or even Steve Turley have to say, but at the end of the day, they make their money by being entertainers as well, and even though they’re at least a little more politically intelligent than most other celebrities, I still remember that they’re mostly entertainers. I haven’t forgotten Steve Turley’s incredibly optimistic and ultimately wrong and disappointing videos about how the election was going to go. I don’t pay much attention to them either.
Don’t listen to what celebrities have to say. They’re celebrities for a reason. And if I ever get popular, well, that may even include me. But as for right now, you know exactly how unpopular I am, so feel free to listen if you want. 🙂