America is obsessed with celebrities. People with real talent. People of accomplishment. People who are famous for the jobs they hold. People who were in the right place at the right time to catch the media’s, and by extension the public’s, attention. And let us not forget the lucky sperm club: people famous from birth with the grace to have born to wealthy or accomplished parents.
Three people of fame, celebrity, notoriety – or just well-known names …
Today’s blog entry was inspired by three people who received the media’s adoring attention today in between the hard news of the day.
First, there was Paris Hilton, a celebrity who is famous for her status as a rather attractive heiress who has spent the most part of her life as a walking shill for products and party spots around the world. She was in the news – linked to John McCain’s campaign video and the startling discovery that she does not support any Presidential candidate.
Second, was the odd-named Rumer Willis who is the rather unattractive daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore. For the life of me, I cannot remember why she was being interviewed today. An eminently forgettable person who seems to be just another lucky spawn.
And third, was the son of accomplished actor/director Leonard Nimoy – indelibly and forever to be remembered as Mr. Spock on the ground-breaking Star Trek series. It seems son, Adam Nimoy, was promoting his life story (thus far) in a new book titled: “My Incredibly Wonderful Miserable Life.”
Why the world should care about a celebrity spawn who recounts his “thirty-year battle with drug addiction, three career changes, one divorce, a major mid-life crisis, and countless AA meetings ” totally escapes me.
But it is symptomatic …
Symptomatic of today’s world with it’s manufactured news, sound bite wisdom and a general disregard for the ordinary folks that are making our great nation work. Where fame is in direct proportion to the media attention you receive and no mention is made of the hired media relations consultants constantly pitching stories and personal tidbits of information to keep their client’s name before the public.
But what really irks me is that we are treating a candidate for the highest office in our country, the Presidency of the United States, like another product to be packaged and sold to the public. With all of the personal foibles and warts airbrushed by the handlers. Where substantive issues are promptly set aside by reference to a dry position paper that can be found on the candidate’s website among all of the razzle-dazzle of personality and the chance to contribute.
Even when the so-called “rock star” candidate puts forth a position, backtracks and then totally switches direction – it is treated just another campaign glitch. “Oops, I misspoke.” “Yes, but I really meant to say …”
A complicit media …
In their rush to fill a never-ending 24/7 news cycle and to assure themselves of continuing access to the candidate, the candidate’s party and other newsmakers, the media glosses over the mistakes, miscues and outright deceptions in favor of describing the interior of the candidate’s plane.
At the crossroads …
We are at an historical crossroads. Our country seems almost evenly divided between the two parties who are now pandering to some of the worst elements of our society in order to build a coalition to surmount the voter tipping point and achieve electoral success.
And the candidates want us to join the politician’s campaign team as if we are rooting for our favorite sports club. They want us to identify with the candidate as a winner in order to bolster our supposed low self-esteem.
We are a nation at war with an entire culture that wants us dead or, at the very least, subservient to their religion. We are experiencing a major financial crisis and employment for many Americans is becoming a shaky proposition. We are outsourcing many of our productive jobs and importing those who will take care of our elders and our gardens. We lack a common direction and both political parties will do or say anything to get elected.
And the worst part of the crisis seems to be that the American people can no longer trust their government. One party, the democrats, doing everything in their power to disparage the current Administration while they pander to their own special interests. An Administration who is solidifying the power of the Executive branch to the point where it may be next to impossible to indict and convict Administration members who may guilty of much more than just inappropriate behavior.
We are getting royally screwed by our politicians and a majority of the media seems to have take sides. Slanted coverage abounds – the lines between news and editorial comment being blurred beyond the boundaries of traditional journalism. And yet the media is content to prattle on-and-on about superficial fluff that means next to nothing to the average citizen.
A different kind of vote …
The media has always been considered the “fourth branch of government,” pointing out wrongdoing when crimes were committed and malfeasance and influence peddling whenever and wherever it occurred. And now they play gotcha games to side with their candidate against the other.
So it it is time for the American public to vote – not only at the polls, but on the job that the media is doing. While it may be hard to give up your diversionary fix of television or put down that celebrity magazine, that is what may be required to nudge the media into covering serious and substantive issues.
It is amazing that a member of the widely-scorned tabloid press is the single media outlet pursuing the alleged John Edwards’ illegitimate child story for the purpose of selling copies of their publication. But it is also amazing that the mainstream media is not covering the story – not for the salacious nature of the coverage – but to demonstrate to the American public the character of a man who is seeking higher office; possibly as the next attorney general of the United States in an Obama Administration. Why are the members of the media not explaining to the American public what kind of deal may have been struck when Edwards’ delegates were ceded to Barack Obama?
If you are unhappy with the media coverage, change the channel; stop your print publication subscription, walk past the magazines near the supermarket checkstands. Vividly demonstrate your displeasure with the current media efforts to turn hard news into “infotainment.”
As for the candidates …
Closer scrutiny is required of any and all who serve the people – and especially their advisors. It is now time to break this cycle of arrogance and special interest corruption. We need to return America to the land of the straight and narrow, rather than the bent and crooked.
While most people are not supposed to pay attention to the candidates until after Labor Day, it is time to buck common wisdom and get involved now. It nothing else, research the candidate of your choice and honestly ask yourself “what did he say and does he really mean it.” Place it in the context of his past actions, votes and even what he said in previous speeches.
Note the inconsistencies and outright falsehoods. Ask yourself, if the candidate is wishy-washy on a particular subject, are they the right person to lead our great nation in these perilous times?
But above all, get involved. Talk to your neighbors. This is not a beauty contest based on good looks and apparent popularity. The person you vote for will most certainly change the course of your life once they are elected. It is up to you, your neighbors and the broader community to make sure that the course that they set is a true course to accomplishment and not a backslide into the morass of slimy politics and backroom deals.
For those who are voting against George Bush, for whatever the reason, you are greatly misguided. George Bush is not running for office and it is unlikely that anyone running for the Presidency will emulate his somewhat dysfunctional management style and hyper-repressive secrecy.
Do your homework. Make your choice. And vote. It is our future that is at stake – not some reward to a political party for fielding a candidate who wins simply because they seem to be a better speaker and the media has complicitly covered up the truth about the candidate and those who advise him.
And for the celebrity hounds …
The least I can do is to assist in your amusement while the country continues to decay. Here is a link to an 8-page sample of Adam Nimoy’s book.
Nero allegedly fiddled while Rome burned – enjoy a moment of diversionary pleasure while your country sinks into the abyss from which it might never return.
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw
“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell