Warm-Weather Disequilibrium: The Stars Sound Off
Surveying some entertainment celebrities' recent Important Statements on Major Issues, you have to conclude that these folks have been hopelessly discombobulated by the heat and humidity of summer. At least I hope that's the case. God save us all if they really meant the things they said.
First, there's Harrison Ford - Han Solo, Indiana Jones, Jack Ryan, and the President of the United States in the new "Air Force One"- the most likable of fellows on the talk-show circuit. By nature, he's reserved about politics. His manager, who's known him for twenty-seven years, says she doesn't know which party, if any, he belongs to. But in the August issue of George magazine, Ford broke from that tradition to give the world his Important Statement on a Major Issue. Asked why he's more concerned about Chinese human-rights abuses against Tibet than Cuba's against its own people, the actor replied, "I don't think Cuba is a similar situation. We're the China in Cuba, to a certain extent." I'm sure John-John is happy that George doesn't have a Spanish edition on the shelves of Havana's kiosks. Can you imagine the laughter Ford's inanity would trigger?
There's also Will Smith, co-star of "Men in Black." He opposes affirmative action and believes the basic "Republican... philosophy [of government] is sound." The GOP would have to pitch an awfully big tent, however, to accommodate much of Smith's creed based on his Important Statement on a Major Issue in the August issue of Us: "I'm definitely a conspiracy theorist... I absolutely believe that AIDS... was introduced deliberately into the homosexual communities of America. I have all kinds of pamphlets and stuff... The CIA [put] drugs and guns into... south central Los Angeles." How do you respond to this? You don't, because it will make no difference. You sigh... and move on.
From the large screen to the small, our next subject is Anthony Edwards, who plays Dr. Mark Greene on television's "ER." From Edwards' comments in his July Playboy interview, you understand his ideological compass immediately: "I am very liberal. I'm against the death penalty. I am for socialized health care. I want gun control. The fact that we tolerate millions of handguns on our streets is a childish joke. People blame drugs and anything else they can think of, but it's OK for us all to happily carry handguns. That's horses-t."
So he's a Ted Kennedy Democrat. No surprise, no big deal. But Edwards isn't done yet. He has an Important Statement on a Major Issue that needs venting: his disdain for his most successful movie, "Top Gun": "My problem with 'Top Gun' is that it's really about rationalizing bad behavior... I don't believe in war. Everything I do creatively these days should be a shot at what the military stands for." So why did he make the movie? Because he figured, correctly, that "Top Gun" would be "huge" at the box office, thereby boosting his career. Honest, I'm not making this up.
A former actor and president is still on the mind of many in Hollywood. In the August Details, actor John Cusack discussed how his artistic sensibility was formed in the early 1980s: "You're... in your freshman year of high school and Ronald Reagan is taking office and you're pretty sure that this... thing is gonna blow up the world. I knew what it was like not wanting to be part of the system." Rock star/actor Jon Bon Jovi reminisced in the August Spin, "I was born during the Kennedy era, when we still believed, [but] when I was old enough to vote... Ronald Reagan was telling us that everything's going to be OK, the bad guys are...in Russia and we're the good guys and all that nonsense." Wouldn't it have been refreshing for Cusack to complete the thought with, "And given that none of this was true, I was one idiotic high-school freshman," and for Bon Jovi to conclude, "And given that Reagan was entirely right, I'd like to publicly apologize"... But those wouldn't be Important Statements, so never mind.
Finally, there's the radically individualistic nausea-rocker Marilyn Manson, spouting its poison in the July 25 Entertainment Weekly. "I think I'm probably one of the only true Christians in the sense that Jesus may have intended," this despicable creature intoned. "Jesus was the first sex symbol, rock star, magician, hippie, drug dealer - whatever he was, he was someone who had some views, and I don't think he was any different from someone like me. Some idiot hundreds of years from now may have a Marilyn Manson T-shirt, and a bunch of people are gonna pray to it, and they're gonna make little Marilyn Manson necklaces that everybody wears."
Yes, it's been a long, hot summer. I guess this is the proper tonic for the Beavis and Butt-head generation.