Cult Of Celebrity!

red-carpet

It may be too much to hope for, but it looks as if the terrible, terrible plague that has gripped our planet for far too long may be over.  … SERIOUS PAUSE … Uh – no – not that one, the other one: the soul- eating Cult of Celebrity.  Maybe — just maybe — our unholy obsession with celebrities could be in its final days.

It all started in March when Wonder Woman and her tone deaf (that works on so many levels!) choir trotted out John Lennon’s ode to hypocrisy, Imagine.  Although they meant it as feel-good manna from the ruling class, it didn’t take the peasants more than a few minutes to “imagine” Gal and the gang were a bunch of assholes.  After all, millionaires telling a bunch of people who are having trouble paying the rent to “imagine no possessions” is kinda adding insult to injury.  And from there, it just got worse.  Ellen DeGeneres, the world’s mightiest sycophant, told us that living in her multi-million dollar mansion was like “being in jail.”  Clearly, Ms. DeGeneres has never been in jail, seen a jail or even had a jail carefully described to her.  And of course, since then we’ve all learned that, even as she spoke, her smiles and chuckles production company was treating the staff as if Ellen was the warden.  Then along came Madonna, the Queen of Pop, and named Covid-19 the “the great equaliser.”  Oddly enough, she did it stark naked in a bathtub that probably cost more than my car!  Apparently, some of us are more equal than others, huh, Madge?  Then there was Jennifer Lopez frolicking in her huge backyard; Pharrell Williams, asking for money; Katy Perry, bored out of her mind, and on and on and on.  But for sheer audacity, nothing beats the crew of really, really white people on Twitter, celebsplaining how much Black Lives Matter in their “I Take Responsibility” campaign.  These Malibu militants were giving it their best shot, but it was almost impossible not to laugh at their “Dammit, I’m sincere!” sincerity.  First of all, they’re actors – Duh!  Secondly, we all know their only brush with black anything is probably Will Smith.  And finally, aside from wearing a T-shirt and maybe giving the housekeeper a Christmas bonus, these folks were done.  When they shut off the camera, they were going back to their enormous homes, their manicured lawns, their nannies, their drivers, their personal assistants and a little Grey Goose by the pool.  The message might be “We’re all in this together,” but anyone who’s watching knows we aren’t.

The truth is without Award Shows, Red Carpets, parties, photo-ops and the Late Night Jimmies (Kimmel and Fallon) the celebrity emperor has no clothes.  When push comes to shove and serious stuff is on the table, it’s painfully obvious that celebrities are less than useless.  In fact, they’re part of the problem, because they insist that fame somehow makes them relevant — that their political insights, their social awareness and – OMG! — their medical advice actually means something.  It doesn’t.  It’s just muddying the water.  Personally, I’m praying that, as more and more people discover this, when the New Normal finally gets here, there won’t be any room for these parasites.  We can only hope!

Stuff That Surprises Me!

surprised

I’ve been roaming around this planet for a while now, and without putting on the brag, I can say I’ve seen and done a few things.  Nothing spectacular, but I’ve gained enough experience points to view the world with a very wary eye.  In fact, I’ve been called downright cynical on more than one occasion.  However, just because I know there’s no such thing as a free lunch, that doesn’t mean I’m jaded, faded and ready for the boneyard.  Actually, unlike most folks of my generation, I find a lot of wonder in the world.  Plus, even as my chronological odometer is creeping towards clicking over, there are things that still surprise me.  Sometimes, that’s a good thing; sometimes, it isn’t.  Here are just a few examples.

It surprises me …

That it’s still called Twitter, with a cute little blue bird icon — even though all the evidence shows it should be called Lynch Mob, with a flaming red Hangman’s Noose logo.

That coffee tastes way better when it’s not in a paper cup.

That the people who scream “science” at the first mention of religion are the same people who refuse to accept the scientific fact that there are only two human gender chromosomes, XX, XY — and one very, very, rare XYY combination that’s only found in men.  (BTW.  Call yourself whatever you like, just don’t call it science.)

That Johnny Depp lost all of his cool, and somehow, Keanu Reeves found it.

That people believe Qatar, population just shy of 3 million, has more Covid-19 cases than China which has like 100 times the population — over 1.5 billion!

That, at night, train whistles make me lonely.

That the people who want to legalize drugs to solve the drug problem think banning guns will solve the gun problem — and the people who want to make drugs illegal to solve the drug problem think banning guns won’t make any difference at all.  Weird!

That even the worst little brat on the planet is cute when he/she/it is sleeping.

That even though it’s been totally discredited, Politically Correct still rules the world.

That the Big Brother anti-mask brigade haven’t figured out that masks fool Facial Recognition software.  (Looks like a win/win to me.)

That I feel infinitely small whenever I look at the stars.

That we bitch about bad customer service when people with crap jobs occasionally seem grouchy from some reason.

That despite the “Imagine” video and Kanye West, there are people who still take celebrities seriously.

That they’re making another Fast and Furious movie.

We think that calling people names will somehow change their political opinion.

And finally:

That we’re still protesting the same stuff we did when I was a child.  Progress, people!  Have we made no progress?

Gillette: Ya Screwed Up!

gillette

Gillette has just made a massive mistake that’s going to have consequences all over the world.  This is serious, folks — so you’re going to need a little background.  Gillette recently released an advertising video that, in no uncertain terms, calls their customers (men) a bunch of knuckle-dragging assholes who spend their leisure time teaching their male children to bully each other and harass women.  And then they take the virtuous stance that this has got to stop.  Applause!  Another multi-national corporation has found its soul.

Maybe.

Personally, I don’t think Gillette suddenly developed a social conscience last Tuesday and felt a moral obligation to join the #MeToo conversation.  I think their advertising department took one look at the gigantic numbers generated by the controversial Nike/Kaepernick collaboration last September and said, “Wow!  We need to get in on some of this social justice action!”  So, at a time when traditional advertising is dying, they decided to hitch their corporate brandwagon to the rising star of “toxic masculinity.”  Fair enough.  Unfortunately, there are a bunch of cynics in this world who believe Gillette is just newsjacking.  They think that the reality is Gillette doesn’t much care if its customers punch each other in the face or have pan-fried puppies for breakfast — as long as they buy razorblades.  Here’s the deal: if Gillette were actually serious about social justice, they’d be funding a string of Gillette Centres for Battered Women.  After all, the designated smoking areas in some German airports are sponsored by Camel.  Honestly, if a multi-billion dollar corporation is going to talk the talk, they should walk the walk — every once in a while.

But the real problem is there’s going to be an unintended consequence from Gillette’s global hypocrisy.  Millions of Gillette customers don’t like being told they’re the problem and then being asked to pay for the privilege.  They’re dumping their Gillette products in the trash and finding alternatives – alternatives that have a different chemical composition.  Thus, in the very near future, people all over the world are going to subconsciously discover that their sons, fathers, brothers, husbands, boyfriends and lovers all smell different.  Humans, like all animals, rely on their olfactory sense for any number of social and sexual cues, and when the people closest to us don’t “smell right,” that’s a major problem.

So, now we’re left with a bunch of pissed-off men, a lot of suspicious babies, wary relatives, cautious friends and an army of confused and slightly frustrated women — all because the folks down at Gillette wanted to cash in on the 24-hour Twitter news cycle.  Thanks, Gillette!  If that’s “the best men can be,” don’t do me any more favours.