Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Celebrities and Politics: Who Cares?

Every morning I wake up and start to panic: what will I write about in my blog today? I am always afraid that a new topic will not come to me. Yet like the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, the new topics come to me with invariable predictability, each and every day.

It starts with straightening the items on my dining room table. I've written about the positive effects of housework on the thinking process. Straightening tends to be my first household task of the day. Then I go and sort the laundry and start a load going, if necessary. The next task I perform is dish-washing.

We don't have a dishwasher. Or rather, we do, and its name is Varda. It just isn't practical in Israel to use a dishwasher. We are a water-poor, energy-poor country. So, most of us here just roll up our sleeves and get cracking. That's what I do, anyway.

I don't need a Feng Shui expert to tell me that a water feature is conducive to calm, productive thinking. The minute the water starts running, so my thoughts begin to flow. This morning over breakfast dishes dotted with bits of oatmeal I remembered a status I posted on Facebook last week: Who cares that Katy Perry split up with Russell Brand?

That's when it hit me that this is a topic that has always aggravated me: the intimate doings of celebrities shoved into my face. I don't care what brand of toilet paper Angelina Jolie purchases. I don't care about her relationships, either. I shouldn't care. Neither should you.

But even worse than that kind of drivel, went my brain's train of thinking, is being exposed to the political pronouncements of said celebrities. What do I care what Matt Damon thinks about Sarah Palin or President Obama, just for instance?

What makes people sit up and listen when Paris Hilton makes fun of McCain or comes up with the "Paris Hilton Energy Plan?"

But the public eats this stuff up. We just love to see those pretty faces spouting their opinions.

I tried to find a rationale for caring what actors THINK. I came up with money plus power equals influence. We listen to The Donald, for instance, because of his immense wealth. Regarding finances, at least, he possesses a genius we mere mortals do not. Anyone who is good at his craft is someone worthy of respect that extends beyond the specific sphere of that person's expertise (though I wouldn't want to imitate Trump's marital record).

All well and good. But what about beauty? Are you going to let Heidi Klum dictate your vote in the next election?

To be fair, I love to listen to Jon Voight speak about Israel and the Jews. The reason? He's well-informed and high-profile.

I could say the same about Gene Simmons.

So it's not about a knee-jerk reaction: I don't think that all celebrities are vapid. If a celebrity has something to say that is reasonably intelligent, I'm all ears. And I think that celebrities can play an important role in spreading factual information that the media would rather hide.

The bottom line? Don't expect me to listen to you just because you have a pretty face. It's not going to happen.

What do you think? Should celebrities stay out of politics? Do you care what they think?

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