Heard first on Awesome with Brian Holler!
DJTEN here, with Just a Thought on Celebrities in Politics. We love celebrities. We love all the trivial things they do. What they wear, where they go, the interviews they give, their families, it can get a little excessive but that’s another rant for another day. There does come a point however when celebrities get serious. They are humans, after all (ignore the Daft Punk reference) and they all have issues they care about. That’s when things get shaky. Many musicians for example tend to tell their audience what they want to hear. A country music star can do no wrong by injecting Christianity into anywhere he or she wants, and with this year’s contraception debate, I do mean injecting Christianity anywhere. Lady Gaga panders to her crowd by preaching equality amongst sexual orientation for example. All power to her and her flaming meat bra egg or whatever she’s wearing at this moment. And experimental bands like Radiohead pander to the schizophrenic.
Speaking of schizophrenia, Clint Eastwood spoke a little before Romney on Thursday’s Conclusion to the Conservative Circle Jerk known as the 2012 Republican National Convention. Perhaps the most interesting part of it all, even more interesting than Ann Romney’s apparent “love for women” was the fact that Clint Eastwood was talking to a chair as if sitting in it was President Black Dynamite himself. Here’s the best way I can summarise this…occurrence for those who were blessed enough to have missed it. Coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs Eastwood engaged in a lengthy, unnecessary, and awkward conversation on foreign policy issues from Gitmo to the War in Afghanistan, with an empty chair.
I’ll let that be what it is. This is of course the latest in a series of Republican rages against the Obama machine. (Ignore that reference as well) The one in most recent memory is that of Ted Nugent, who frantically claimed that if Barack Obama were to be re-elected, he would “be dead, or in jail” and called Obama’s administration “vile”, “evil”, and “America hating”. Presumably because when the President was scrolling through iTunes for something that’ll enlighten him mentally, he went with “Call Me Maybe” instead of “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang”. One has to wonder, is it easier for musicians such as Nugent, who hasn’t sold a certified gold album in 30 years to pander to the right? Where people are gullible enough to believe that Barack Obama is a black, yet white, radical Muslim with a psychotic Christian preacher, fascist yet socialist good, decent, family man antichrist? JUST SAYING!
Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum of sanity, Bill Nye has recently come under some pressure. Not only because of the fact that a Twitter trend wrongfully pronounced him as “dead” when the only thing showing no signs of life were the minds of those gullible to take Twitter as a reliable source of news, but because he recently did a video for “Big Think”, which is a forum for calm discussion on issues. As a 90′s kid, Bill Nye is a staple of my childhood. He was my first science teacher in a generation that grew up on TV and the internet. So of course, I rushed to watch the video. In it, Bill Nye launched a fact nuke and lobbed it towards creationists. The impact went a little like this: “Denial of evolution is unique to the United States… your world just becomes fantastically complicated when you don’t believe in evolution.” and then the shockwave spreads: “And I say to the grown ups: If you wanna deny evolution and live in your…world that’s completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that’s fine. But don’t make your kids do it. Because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future.” Never have I been able to say “Reports of his death are greatly exaggerated” in a better way than this.
Even if you don’t agree with Bill Nye politically and think evolution is the myth, you have to admit that Mr. The Science Guy’s evolved and civil statements make the other two look like apes in comparison. To show I’m not being totally biased, Kiss’ Gene Simmons can be quoted as saying you couldn’t find someone more unqualified than Obama. As right or wrong as he may be, there were at least no references to death here. And at least Simmons wasn’t talking to an empty chair.
We often say celebrities live in the lap of luxury, and they do. But we can’t forget what they do for us. They entertain us. They can give us an escape from our daily lives to imagine and experience a wide variety of emotions. They capture our trust and sometimes use it to remind us that they, just like us are human. They see the world from their own perspective, and when their publicists aren’t looking, they tell us what they think. Us humans are an opinionated people. Some celebrities do it better than others, but for those who aren’t encouraging violence, that right to speak out on what they believe and maybe even convert a few fans should not be infringed. That means Clint Eastwood, even though I prefer the Gorillaz song of the same name more than the person, had every right to argue with a chair on stage. I’m sure old men talk to their wood sometimes anyways. Ted Nugent preaching fully automatic erotica, however…I think I’ll pass on that.
We should continue to at least observe what celebrities have to say on issues. Because if there’s anything celebrity pop culture has taught us, it’s that the cast of shows like Jersey Shore are living and undeniable proof for why we need to make sure abortions are legal and accessible for all. Just a Thought.
For more of my ramblings, you can follow me on Twitter at DJ T-E-N 23, where you can find links to my WordPress blog “Politech”. And now, back to your regularly scheduled Brian Holler.