Selfie…

So apparently last night Ellen DeGeneres posted a selfie of a ragtag band of Hollywood A-list celebrities that thundered across Twitter faster than any tweet in the history of the universe. That’s an interesting factoid, but while I’m sitting here getting caffeinated, I’m left mostly wondering why we care.

I like movies as well as anyone else, but I don’t lionize those who make them or endow them with super-human, superlative qualities beyond them being good at acting. That’s great. I’m glad they’re doing what they do, but I don’t want to get on the band wagon of anyone who thinks the biggest names in Hollywood are spending their days doing anything particularly heroic. They’re doing their job and that makes them professionals, not demi-gods.

It’s good that a professional organization like the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences pauses for a few hours and recognizes member achievement. People should be recognized when they’re reached the top of their chosen field of endeavor. What I don’t particularly understand, though, is why anyone outside that field pays attention to what those individuals are wearing, who they’re screwing, or what they have to say about politics or current events. It’s a little like looking to the best dentist in America to give me fashion advice or to tell me how to build a suspension bridge. Sure, he might have an opinion, but it’s the furthest thing from his professional area of expertise.

There’s no real point to this little ramble aside from my own continued curiosity about why we collectively make a big deal about watching other people put on formal ware and sit in an auditorium for hours. I hate putting on so much as a tie whenever I can avoid it, so the idea of making an event out of watching other people wear uncomfortable clothing simply defies any kind of logic I can muster.

To whom much is given…

Because of talent in some particular field, some people are set above all others. It happens in all walks of life: politics, sports, academics, and yes, especially in the entertainment industry. Maybe it’s crass to say this, but I have a hard time finding sympathy for those who achieve these heights and then actively try to undo their success through bad behavior, drug abuse, and general hard living. While I can be empathetic to family and friends who have lost someone, I can’t get on board with efforts to lionize that person by choosing to ignore the decisions that lead them inexorably towards untimely death. Ultimately, we all live and die by the decisions we make. I’m less sympathetic when a so-called celebrity falls to their own bad decisions than I am for the tweekers on any street in West Baltimore. They, at least, didn’t have much of a choice to begin with.

So yeah, while the news channels are screaming that this is a big deal, all I’ve managed to see is a someone who was given the world and decided to throw it all away. Maybe it is a situation worthy of our collective sympathy, but I’m just not feeling it.