Pay Attention, It's For Your Own Good.
Monday, Jan. 20, 2003

There was, I thought, an interesting juxtaposition of events this past weekend.

Saturday we had various anti-war protests being conducted across the country, the largest and most visble occurring in Washington, D.C. Sunday night brought The Golden Globe Awards or, as they are known in our house, Oscar's Little Brother.

What caught my...well, not my eye, exactly, but more my mind, was the idea that these two happenings synthesized perfectly one of the more obvious and distasteful of celebrity personality traits: Look At Me.


Now, I know that there are celebrities who are deeply committed to their work and/or to whatever their particular concept of "correct" social and political activism is. But what strikes me about those who shared the stage with International A.N.S.W.E.R. and the cast of Chicago is that they want so desperately to be acknowledged.

I think that this is part of the reason that we are continually hearing from some in the entertainment industries (I'm including authors and media types here) that "dissent" is being "crushed," even as such people are afforded the opportunity to make such claims from, among other places, the op-ed page of The New York Times and the comfortable chair next to Katie Couric.

I often get the sense, listening to such diatribes, that it's the contrariness, the "see, I'm dissenting, I'm thinking for myself, even if they don't want me - or you - to" that is so attractive to the moneyed, pampered "elites" who wail on so. It goes without saying, of course, that one could not possibly honestly conclude that a course of action opposed to those who are anti-war is correct.

Likewise, looking at some of the antics and fashions served up at the Golden Globes, I wonder who the hell allows some of these people to leave the house looking and acting the way they do. Is the working theory that Lara Flynn Boyle or Sharon Stone know something that the rest of us don't? That hardly seems likely, but yet you can almost feel the condescension and superiority oozing through the screen: "we're celebrities, don'tcha know? We're the anointed ones. You know you want to be us, so you must agree that we know what's best. At all times. About everything."


Well, screw that. The rest of us have to live in the real world, without handlers and flacks to keep us from the drudgeries and obligations attendant in every day life. The rest of us can't just throw money at a problem or an issue to make it all better. The rest of us don't have hangers-on enabling our delusions of grandeur.

The rest of us have to live in the real world, where an inquisitive mind and a sense of proportion come in handy.

Posted by mikeski at 7:18 p.m.