Apr 232012
Authors: Chance Johnson

They sit in the confines of their lofty mansions, being served at every beckon call. Renting out entire floors of Vegas hotels is not out of the ordinary, nor is traveling the world in private jets. These folks campaign for and endorse political candidates, keeping a bottle of hand sanitizer at the ready in case they come into contact with the lowly masses. I’m not speaking of corporate CEO’s, bankers or Wall Street fat cats, but of Hollywood celebrities.

Why do we hold the opinion of celebrities in such high regard? What makes them so qualified? Frankly, what reason do I have to listen to Eva Longoria when she comes to Fort Collins and tells me how to vote, like she did in 2008? Why should she be any more worthy of my time than the cashier at the local grocery store?

It would seem that possessing the talent of acting also comes with the endowment of a political prowess that the rest of us have to study and experience firsthand. Why should they have a soapbox, and not the rest of us?

We, as consumers, are paying these people to entertain us by making movies and putting out albums. Don’t quit your day jobs. No matter how much I enjoy an actor’s work, nothing turns me off more than to see their faces on CNN, regardless of what they are talking about or the political position they have.

I challenge you to come up with a demographic of people who are more out of touch with the average U.S. citizen. It’s doubtful that you’ll find a group of people who have their heads further in the clouds. Natalie Portman made a great example of this when in 2009 she described the recession as “kind of an exciting time.” Seeing so evidently that Hollywood as a whole is completely oblivious to how the real world functions, is it any coincidence that they are traditionally liberal?

To be fair, we encourage this as consumers of media. After several months of not subscribing to any cable or satellite, it’s amazing how much garbage you’ll miss (or don’t miss in my case). When standing in line at the store, I see Kim Kardashian on the front of no less than five magazines and I think, Who the hell is Kim Kardashian, and why am I supposed to care?

Oh, and not to ruin anyone’s day, but Catherine Zeta-Jones is suffering from bipolar disorder. It was on the cover of the May 2011 issue of People, so it’s probably important. Apparently, magazines are an outlet for celebrity hypochondriacs to update us on every ailment they are experiencing, like Facebook is for everyone else.

I get no greater pleasure than watching Hollywood celebrities crash and burn while talking about subjects of which they are totally clueless. Immediately, Paul McCartney comes to mind. In an ad for PETA, McCartney said this about a time he caught a fish, “I realized as I watched him fight for breath that his life was as important to him as mine is to me.” No, all a fish cares about is where it’s going to find its next meal and its next sexual encounter. Obviously, it takes McCartney’s deep intellect to enlighten us.

This is also the same guy who, in 2008, wanted to cruise around the UK in a Hybrid Lexus to prove how environmental he was. McCartney achieved this by having the car flown in from Japan –– the equivalent of driving the car around the world 300 times.

In a sea of mindless drivel, one face of common sense has emerged. Actor Robert Downey Jr. has been all the way to the top, lost everything after drug abuse and time earned in prison, and gained it back via a slew of straight-to-DVD flicks. This was through his own willpower and determination.

Downey summed this up years after his incarceration by saying, ““I have a really interesting political point of view, and it’s not always something I say too loud at dinner tables here, but you can’t go from a $2,000-a-night suite at La Mirage to a penitentiary and really understand it, and come out a liberal.”

Chance Johnson is a senior journalism major. His column appears every other Monday in the Collegian. He can be reached at letters@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 2:36 pm

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