Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Celebrity Advice (from 2006)
I have a soft spot for weirdos, cranks, freaks, dopes, and the great majority of the minority of strangeness.
I concurrently have a great deal of respect for the mundane, the average, the square, the nerd, the: Hey expecting highwater with those pants? sorts of people.
Apparently, I've got it exactly backwards.
You see, I don' t fit in very well with the second group. Let's call them the joiners. I don't have the mental toughness to work my whole life at the same thing. I don't have the simple piety required to enjoy the benediction of regular churchgoing. I don't have the ability to willfully suspend disbelief enough to watch television and get any enjoyment out of it; I'm always looking at it as a useful catalog of modern day affectations and avarice, but I can't bring myself to look at it as entertainment. In short, many would say, I belong with the first group: "Hey ottist, paint this!"
I don't fit in very well amongst the strange set, either. I'm not able to hide my admiration for the joiners, and that's a deal breaker with the freaks, generally. "It's my way or the highway" sounds very second groupish, but it's really the outlandish brigade that tolerates nothing outside its little world. The joiners just shrug their shoulders if you say you don't watch American Idol, and maybe figure you're a little odd. The freaks will picket your house if they decide your kid's habittrail keeps hamsters against their will or something equally trivial. When I say, against their will, I mean against the freaks' will; the hamsters seem to have no opinion other than a certain enthusiasm for free sunflower seeds.
As I was saying, I seem to have the whole thing backwards. If the television, newspaper, movies, and radio are to be believed, I'm supposed to get my cues on how to behave from the freaks, and I'm supposed to get my cues on entertainment from the joiners.
Have you seen how celebrities, and celebrity politicians order their affairs? Taking advice from them on any topic seems about as efficacious as looking for a dowser on the Titanic after you hit the iceberg. Not. Likely. To. Be. Of. Any. Help.
And I said any topic, because you can't even ask them about their own craft. They don't even understand that, and it shows. How do you explain why a zillion people will line up to see an aging midget, in the third iteration of an adaption of a lame television show about spies, who's simultaneously publicly demanding his third or fourth or fifth wife have a baby without saying anything aloud? They themselves really can't explain it either, so they go to the default position: I must be wonderful.
No. No you're not; you're dreadful human beings, in general -- and in particular, some of you are even worse than dreadful.
Conversely, a great deal of pains are taken to inform me what the great mass of people think I should be interested in. You must like this; everybody does. We took a poll.
I know I should be interested, but I'm not. And I'm not not interested as a sort of gesture, either. I leave it to others to say one thing and then do another. I don't secretly watch American Idol while disparaging it openly. I'm really just not interested one way or the other. If it doesn't matter enough to me to like it, why would it matter enough to hate it?
I don't go to the water and sewer commission meeting looking for entertainment. Why would I conversely pay any attention to advice from someone who's never gotten up before noon in their life, and demands that their M&Ms get sorted before they eat them?
Stick to your trades, people; stick to your trades.