Tuesday, January 10, 2017

- Dance Monkey, Dance!

Ah Hollywood. Land of fruits and nuts. I guess it isn't surprising that the folks there believe that only they are really in touch with how things should be in America. It makes sense that a group of people who "dress up and pretend" for a living will believe that empathy and Feeeeelings are the key to really understanding the world. And it's a cliche to criticize them for it. But both we and they would do much better if they would recognize that being good at pretending doesn't make you good at everything.

They don't know politics. They don't understand politics. So it would be much better for everybody if they just shut up about politics. And that's not just for the people I disagree with like Ms. 'whats her name' from the other night. Even the guys I agree with should shut up.

As a transplanted New Yorker, there are few celebrities that I would approach on the street if I had the chance. When I see one, I usually ignore them - even the really good looking ones like Kate Beckinsale. All New Yorkers have stories like this one, but back before plastic surgery turned her into a monster, I once smacked foreheads with Darryl Hannah while trying to cross against the light in the rain. I hopped up on the very crowded curb to avoid an oncoming cab, and bashed her right in the face with mine. And we did what most New Yorkers do in that situation. I said I was sorry and she scowled a little. But I said nothing else because I didn't want to reward her ego for seeing me trying to avoid an oncoming cab, and not getting out of my way.

But there are a few I would still approach. And they're all people who say something akin to "I'll leave politics to the politicians. I'm just an actor." Mid level people usually, who you wouldn't recognize right off. But people who seem humble, gracious, and just trying to do their job. Those are the people who most entertain me. the people who don't try to tell me what's wrong with my ideas as well. I don't need to be preached to by someone only a step above a dancing monkey.

Ironically I see that most political of all actors Alec Baldwin, all the time. He and I have taken to nodding to each other when we cross paths, which we do 4 or 5 times a month or so. Many people I know would fantasize about popping him in the mouth, but I have to see the guy all the time so I feel like discretion is the better part of valor. Instead I treat him the same way I do anyone else in the neighborhood - with polite, silent courtesy. I'll continue to, so long as he does the same with me.

But if he ever says anything political to me, the title of this piece will be my only response to him. It's a lovely bit of entertainment industry shorthand - both utterly dismissive, and 'insider'. And it should be our collective response to the rest of Hollywood. You people aren't thinkers. you aren't intelligent. You're just photogenic, emotive, and wildly over compensated for your cultural value added. So shut up monkey, and dance.

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