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Celebrity Politics: A Letter of Intervention

Dear Every Celebrity Ever,

I’m writing on behalf of all of the civilians of the United States and – dare I say – the Entire Mother Earth. You know how you always feel the need to voice your opinion on politics? You know how you somehow feel original by making some kind of joke at the Bush administration’s expense? Well, it’s about damn time for that to stop. You’re not original. That joke has been said 200,000 times, and honestly President Bush practically writes the jokes for you so stop smiling like you’re a fantastic comedian.

And it’s not that you’re “unqualified” to voice your opinions on the subject. Indeed, some celebrities have pretty impressive educations and are likely quite intelligent and informed. But you’ve lost sight of what you represent to the country. Politics are divisive and personal. When you voice that opinion in a very public manner you alienate people that otherwise blindly love you because of characters you played or the songs you’ve sang. Does it make any sense for them to feel that way about you for being an entertainer? An “artist”? Hell no, but it’s our culture of celebrity and you need to be aware of it.

Remember that time the Dixie Chicks thought it’d be a good idea to tell everyone that they thought President Bush was a big bag of douche? That’s all well and good (except for the fact that they said they were ashamed that he was from Texas when in fact he was born in Connecticut and is thus a yankee) but these three ladies forgot who they are and what they represent. You’re the Dixie Chicks. Do you remember to what Dixie refers? Yeah, it refers to the South. The former Confederacy. Remember them? And how they don’t take a likin’ to all them damn anti-war lib’rals in Hollywood? Those are your fans – or more accurately – your employers. I’m not saying that you can’t have an opinion or that you can’t express that opinion, you just need to not be a total idiot about it. You’re not Rage Against the Machine. There are appropriate venues for the expression of those opinions, and unfortunately your celebrity limits those venues for you.

Let’s take Laura Linney as another example. She’s a very well educated woman – went to Northwestern and then transferred to and later graduated from Brown. Last time I checked they don’t graduate a lot of people with degrees in “being a dumbass” over at Brown. But recently during the Emmy’s, Linney decided to ruin herself and even partially ruin the wonderful John Adams series for me by making a veiled jab at Republicans by calling the founders of our country “community organizers,” an obvious plug for Obama. I’m not a staunch Republican, but I’m also not on the Obama train. Linney’s comments – and many more by many others – were out of place. (They were also retarded. Comparing Obama’s community organizing to what John Adams did? Are you kidding me? Maybe she minored in “dumbass” at Brown…) She’s entitled to have her opinion and to voice it, but that was not the time or the place. I didn’t come to the Emmy’s to hear anyone’s stupidass opinions on politics. Hollywood is a broken record. Democrats rule, Republicans drool, Palin is just a stupid hockey mom from some state we don’t care about, Obama can organize my community any time he wants, blah blah blah blah. That’s fine, you can have that opinion. But I don’t have that opinion, and there’s a large percentage of this country that doesn’t either. It’d be a lot easier to palate if it went both ways – equal opportunity bashing. But it’s never like that, it’s always the left bashing the middle and the right. No one came to hear you say that, so stop abusing your fame and making your every public appearance a soapbox for your political opinions. People might be interested to hear what you have to say about politics in the right setting, you just never seem to know where that is.

And don’t go the “it’s my responsibility to speak out against injustice/lies/etc” direction. That’s a load of crap, alright? You’re not Che Guevara. No one is hearing what your saying, pumping their fists in the air in rebellion and then charging out their front door toward the White House as they sing Bulls on Parade. They’re just cursing at the TV, wishing you’d shut the hell up about it already. Want a venue for your political opinions? Get a blog.

You’re an artist, not an activist. Very few can blend the two successfully. Chances are, you’re not one of them.

Love and Kisses,
-conor.

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