CHARLOTTE, N.C., January 12, 2017 — First there was Colin Kaepernik. Now, there’s Meryl Streep. Streep is an enormously talented actress who could melt down her Oscars and end up with more wealth than the average middle class American. She also put her foot squarely in her mouth at the Golden Globes on Monday and, without realizing it, demonstrated precisely why Hillary Clinton is now a trivia question.
The media still don’t get it. The horribly, horribly “vilified” multimillionaires in Hollywood still don’t get it. And, from the looks of it, they will continue to wonder what hit them four years from now.
What celebrities like Streep and Kaepernik fail to understand is that people do not deny their right to express themselves and to say what they believe. But Americans absolutely do resent their use of their celebrity status to make political statements to national audiences, preaching to us from positions of vast wealth and privilege.
If Kaepernik and Streep want to pontificate, they should hold a press conference. No one outside the celebrity press would show up, because nobody cares about their moral or political views.
So, they use the opportunities afforded by celebrity to make bold statements about all that is wrong with the world, most especially the country they live in, which has provided them not only with enormous paychecks, but also a microphone or stadium where they should be giving thanks and showing humility.
Giving thanks is about taking to both knees, not just one, and that would be silly in their idealistic world.
Streep herself is an old story, hardly worth bringing up except in the context of the wider story of our pampered and self-absorbed celebrity class. But someone wrote a response to her tirade and posted it on the internet, with comments so dead-on accurate that they are worth quoting:
“Dear Hollywood celebrities,
“It’s time to wake up now. Get this! The only reason you exist is for my entertainment. Some of you are beautiful. Some of you can deliver a line with such conviction that you bring tears to my eyes.
“Some of you are so convincing that you scare the crap out of me. And others are so funny you can make me laugh uncontrollably.
“But you all have one thing in common. You only exist and have a place in my world to entertain me. That’s it. Nothing else.
“Your world is a make believe world. It is not real. It doesn’t exist. You live for the camera while the rest of us live in the real world. Your entire existence depends on my patronage. I crank the organ and you dance.
“Therefore, I don’t care where you stand on issues. Your opinion means nothing to me
“Believe me, the truth is that you aren’t real. I turn off my TV or shut down my computer, and you cease to exist. Once I am done with you, I go back to the real world until I want you to entertain me again.
“I could care less that you supported Hillary for president. Get back into your bubble. I’ll let you know when I’m in the mood for something pretty or scary or funny.
“What was with all this ‘I’ll leave the country if Donald Trump wins’? Don’t you know how stupid that made you sound? Did you think my reaction was going to be? I better not vote for Trump or we’ll lose Whoopi Goldberg? Al Sharpton? Amy Schumer? Leave. I don’t care!
“Make me laugh. Make me cry. Even scare me. But realize this, the only words of yours that matter are scripted—just like your pathetic little lives.
“I may agree with some of you from time to time, but in the final analysis, it doesn’t matter. In my world, you exist solely for my entertainment.”
Speeches and protests like Streep’s, Kaepernick’s and other celebrities often betray enormous ignorance, and they put on display the attitudes of the Hollywood-New York celebrity class that the American people rejected in November.
Instead of building a wall on the Mexican border, President Trump should consider building one around the state of California. It would keep our addled celebrities isolated to share their wisdom with each other and leave the rest of us alone.
As Walter Cronkite used to say when he signed off his newscast, “That’s the way it is.”
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe. He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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