Thursday, March 09, 2006

Listening to the Stars

I will preface this post by saying that anyone who listens to celebrities without any discrimination to that celebrity's ability to reason, but just because they are famous and rich (thus they must be doing something right and ingenious), deserves to be led astray.

That being said, sometimes celebrities use their media position to inform the rest of us of their often idiotic insights about the world. A perfect example occurred at the very beginning of the Academy Awards when George Clooney, after winning for best supporting actor, informed everyone that he liked "being out of touch" with the rest of Hollywood (itself a dubious concept) because it was this state of being out of touch that achieved the successes of the civil rights movement (here I was thinking that anything good that came out of that morally corrupted movement was the work of grassroots civil disobedience by those who were actually having their rights violated, and not because of any agitation from the likes of Harry Belafonte, Carl Reiner, etc.) and any other perceived reform movement since Cecil B. DeMille left New York City. Clooney is an idiot, one who has parlayed his boyish charms and liberal politics into a career (which is fortunate for him as nearly all of his movies are box office poison).

Today's post was not motivated by Clooney however, but by two twits in the country music world who decided to enlighten us all on how the governments response to hurricane Katrina demonstrated the utter bankruptcy of modern America. This case could possibly be made along the lines of altruism utterly infecting both parties and extending to all levels of government, thus creating this situation where people affected sit around and wait for the government to do something instead of rebuilding their lives by themselves and/or with their friends and families. Or how respect for property in America is so corroded that the immediate reaction of large numbers of people to such a catastrophe was to loot and pillage their fellow citizens simply because their were no police around (or because the looters were in some instances police). I might not agree with such a critique, but were these the arguments proferred by Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, I would find them intellectually stimulating and at least cogent. Instead these dynamic duo of country and half-wits everywhere posited these gems upon us:

"When you have people dying because they're poor and black or poor and white, or because of whatever they are -- if that's a number on a political scale -- then that is the most wrong thing. That erases everything that's great about our country." - Tim McGraw

"I fear for our country if we can't handle our people [during] a natural disaster. And I can't stand to see it. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out point A to point B. . . . And they can't even skip from point A to point B." - Faith Hill

Faith Hill added that the response of the government was "embarrassing" and "humiliating," not because it has consisted of mass expropriation of wealth from the rest of the country for a disaster that was no more the fault of the rest of us as it was those affected by it, but because it wasn't fast enough an expropriation. The fact that the federal government has given itself the immoral, unconstitutional, and illogical task of responding to natural disasters and terrorist attacks with mass payouts to the victims and their families is indicative of whats wrong with the country. The fact that poor people suffer worse during disasters and economic downturns and attacks than rich is not what is wrong with this country or any other. It's what's wrong with being poor and so long as the poor are not prevented from getting out of that condition through hardwork, frugality, and self-discipline (by some sort of caste, aristocratic society of status setup, i.e. enactments and laws of the state) then those who remain poor are largely responsible for their condition. For those who are truly poor through absolutely no fault of their own it does not then follow that its the fault of the rest of us that they are poor. Social mobility still exists and has numerous proofs in the ranks of the rich and famous, not to mention the great mass of people who, while not rich, are certainly not living in poverty.

If anything, the tragedy of modern America is that nincompoops like Tim and Faith, not to mention Bill Gates, are those who rise to great fame and wealth, and go on to preach and dictate to the rest of us.

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