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Shut Up and Dance

If there’s one thing I’m sick of right now, it’s celebrities thinking they have anything useful to say on any political topic.  They don’t.  By and large, their opinions are uninformed, ignorant, and even stupid.  They gained an audience or fanbase by doing whatever art they do (and maybe even competently) and then try to mobilize that base for whatever asinine political idea they get in their head.

Celebrities, and particularly celebrities of the artist kind, should just shut up and dance, or sing, or whatever they do.

Recently, an artist I’ve never even heard of made news by interrupting her concert to make sure everyone knew what her opinions on abortion were, and then invited people who didn’t agree with her to leave.  Quite a few folks did.  I know I would have.  Another artist named “P!nk” said that if people didn’t agree with her views on abortion, to never listen to her music again.  Way ahead of you, girlie.  I’ve never heard even one note of your music, and I had no plans to start.  You’re not all that.

Artists absolutely serve a purpose in our society, and in that sense, their popularity is earned.  They produce something people like, and therefore a lot of people follow their work.  I don’t begrudge them that.  But that’s the reason they’re popular.  Their popularity doesn’t make their thinking logical and rational, and their popularity doesn’t give their opinions any outsized weight.  But too many of them fall into the trap of thinking that they’re smarter than they are because lots of people pay attention to them.

And the worst thing is, when they start speaking up, thinking they’re smart, they’re actually showing their ignorance.  Because once an artist takes a political side, they immediately and permanently lose half of their potential fanbase.  In some cases, of course, this might be a considered business decision.  Folks such as, for example, Toby Keith might decide that it makes business sense to pander to one side of the political spectrum.  Okay, I can see that.  But in most cases, it’s just a spontaneous emotional reaction with no thought given whatsoever, and then they wonder why they get blowback.

To P!nk, that other artist whom I’ve never heard of, and anyone else who thinks the fact that they can sing and dance makes them smart enough to engage in any kind of intelligent way on political issues of the time:

Shut up and dance.  That’s what you’re paid for.

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