Friday, September 16, 2005

When Hollywood attacks

There are two type of celebrities in the world, those who keep their politics to themselves, and those who should.

Now that doesn't mean that celebrities can't use their stardom to further their ideology, just that they should do a better job of choosing when and where to share their beliefs.

Just look at Bono as a prime example of what good a celebrity can do and still remain relatively politically neutral. While you may not agree with everything he proposes, he manages to do it without trying to make the President look bad. If he thinks the US should be giving more he says so, when they do give, he acknowledges it.

Or stars like Oprah and John Travolta and Kelly Preston, none of which are necessarily my favorite celebs, but in a time of crisis, they choose to put politics aside and use their star power to bring aide and comfort to those affected by Katrina, not to push their own agenda.

Now compare that to Sean Penn. No matter what the situation, he continually tries to make the current administration look bad. He has even gone so far as to defend some of the worlds most oppressive regimes simply because the President has expressed his dislike of them. Then there's his most recent decent into madness, his 'rescue' efforts in New Orleans. Now, if he had truly wanted to help save people, as opposed to trying to show-up the governments response, do you think taking along your personal photographer on a small boat with only space for 4 or 5 people really makes sense?

Or how about RFK Jr. who was almost falling over himself in his rush to blame the GOP for actually causing Katrina due to their environmental policies. Of course nothing they could have done over the past 5 years in power could have had any affect global warming, for better or worse, but that's really beside the point now isn't it.

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

One does not have to try to make the president look bad.

He is bad.

Time to move out of denial. The storm has lifted the vail on this corrupt administration.

Praise the lord.

September 18, 2005 9:56 PM  
Blogger Paladiea said...

I may not agree with the defence of tyrannical regimes because the President dislikes them, however one can make the argument that it's a star's duty to use their soapbox to bring awareness to the world. Granted some are better at doing that than others but at least he isn't like "shoot them (insert marginalized group or authority figure here) when you see them".

September 18, 2005 10:43 PM  
Blogger Bic said...

Anonymous,

Exactly how so?

You do realize, I hope, that under US law the Federal government doesn't actually have any authority within the borders of a given state without that states government's say so right?

And that Governor Blanco flat out refused to give the order that would have federalized the disaster relief efforts, right?

And that she was caught, on tape, admitting that she had not asked for any federal troops until at least 2 days after the flooding right?

And that even if she had, it is illegal for US military personel (with the exception of the State run National Guard) to take part in activities that are seen to be police matters right (meaning they could only work S&R missions)?

Or that the state and local authorities originally ordered the looting be permitted which later hampered rescue efforts, as well as put the lives of relief workers at risk, right?

Or that despite repeated claims about Brown's lack of experience as an emergency manager he had already handled 4 major disaster situations prior to Katrina and was well regarded by those Governors he dealt with?

Or how about the fact that the response time on Katrina was actually faster than that for several other hurricanes in recent history?

Or then there's the pesky fact that LA was not even the state hardest hit by Katrina, but somehow the others managed to handle their situations much better?

Or the fact that experts from several other states have publically stated that LA and NO's emergency plans were terrible and lacked the specifics and contingency plans necessary to properly handle any disaster?

Or the fact that many of the issues blamed on FEMA (like the Red Cross being blocked) were in fact direct orders by the governors office, and directly countermanded Federal orders (and guess which ones count)?

Or how about the fact even under the James Lee Witt's leadership (the Clinton appointee), FEMA had a similar or even worse reaction to hurricane Floyd, which while quite devestating, compared to Katrina was a walk in the park.

Can you honestly point to anything in their reaction to Katrina that in any way shows corruption in the administration? Or are you just another drive by anonymous troll hoping to score a few points with worn out left wing platitudes but to afraid to actually leave your name.

September 19, 2005 1:09 AM  
Blogger Bic said...

Paladiea,

It's one thing to use a soapbox for a specific cause which you have researched, but the truth of the matter is most celebrities who are out there spouting their opinions are so uninformed about the matters their speaking on that it's not even funny.

They pretty much parrot whatever it was they read in the paper that day or whatever their publicists told them would look good. Some actually dig deeper, but those are few and far between.

And on the political front, they are even worse off then usual. Just as is the case with the general public, they rarely know any of the details, just the headlines.

Ask a celeb, or any person on the street, which President has spent the most money on programs for the uderprivilaged, or exactly what diseases embronic stem cell reasearch has cured or for that matter if the US government actually bans embryonic stem cell research (here's a hint, the answer to that last one is NO).

If you ask anyone in Hollywood, I could guarentee you that barely a handful could answer any of those questions with the right response. While that's pretty much true for most of the general public, part of the reason for that is because we are inundated with false information being fed to use by uninformed stars who are using their ability to get media attention to further a cause.

It's sad to say but some people give an obscene amount value to a celebrities opinion. Oprah mentions a book, it becomes a best seller, she mentions she is going to give up beef because of mad cow, the market collapses. At least in her case the side affects were unintended, but in too many cases, this is exactly what some of the stars are looking for, and often based on about as much fact as Oprah's choice was, which was none at all, just personal opinion.

As for Penn specifically, anyone who just dismisses chants of "Death to Israel! Death to America!" by 10's of thousands at Iranian Mosques or compares them to preachers in the US supporting a candidate for public office, has such a distorted view of the world that he should not be taken seriously.

If you haven't seen "Team America: World Police" and you are not easily offended, check it out. It does a pretty good job of summing up my views of most celebrities and their political opinions.

September 19, 2005 2:03 AM  
Blogger Paladiea said...

Yes but Bic, the celebrity in quesion's opinion is exactly that. We may disagree with it and we may bang our head against the wall when they repeatedly spout stupidness but they're entitled to do so. Just like you're entitled to rant about said stupididty on your blog lol.

September 19, 2005 12:48 PM  
Blogger Paladiea said...

Oh and I saw Team America. I loved Kim Jong Il! Hehe

September 19, 2005 12:49 PM  
Blogger Bic said...

I guess my point is it's more of a dream of mine that someday the general public will come to realize that just because a person played a doctor in a movie you liked does not give them any special insights into how the world economy works.

Barring that ever happening, I would just like to see more celebs use their powers for good instead of just to point fingers.

They are free to support who or what they like, and to talk about it all they want, I just think that too many abuse the 'power' that their celebrity gives them. That's not to say they can't continue to do so, just that it annoys the hell out of me.

Just imagine how you might feel if a mall manager used the PA system to continually put down their ex, who happened to be a friend of yours. I'm just saying that just because you can do something doesn't mean you should.

I pick on Penn specifically because of his Vietnam-era Jane Fonda style of propaganda. He has repeatedly shown that he's willing to distort reality just to score cheap political points. That being said I still appreciate him as an actor.

September 19, 2005 3:49 PM  
Blogger Paladiea said...

Well if we're dreaming, I'd personally like to see athletes make a reasonable wage (one that's NOT in the millions) and actors too for that matter... lol. People are conditioned to idolize these people and until society changes, people like Penn will have that power in their hands.

September 19, 2005 10:46 PM  
Blogger Bic said...

=)

September 20, 2005 9:15 AM  

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