Movies can move the masses, all right. In fact, the herd gets so swayed by such superficial baloney it’s not funny.
TV is on at my place. While the stars walk the red carpet, bouncers are having a real tough time holding the human tsunami that is threatening to give at the seams. A reporter fills the screen, and after some commentary on the crowd behind the barricades, thrusts the microphone in one hyper-fan’s face. Flanked by teary eyed girls -- can’t say what the tears signify though -- screaming deafeningly, she doesn’t say anything; just screams at the top of her lungs to outdo others. The whole herd is obviously going through some very powerful emotion.
If this is what movies do to people, boy, am I glad I don’t watch movies. The last one I saw was in 1999; gave me such a headache. Before that, in 1991 I think it was.
Anyway, presently the footage sets me thinking on my pet-peeve: people -- womenfolk majorly -- going bonkers over movie stars. To see how impressionable is the masses’ psyche, one only need see movie audiences behave around a celeb. Clearly stupid.
Ask a lot of celebrities; heck, ask all of them. They'll know the stupidity of it all -- them getting all this attention. Of course, they wouldn’t tell you that, but inside they know. If you have trouble understanding a celeb’s -- borrowing a cliché here -- train of thoughts, lemme enlighten you on what he is really thinking: “Ooh, my, my! These dumb people are so pathetic. They are giving ME so much attention. All I do is act, but look at them! They are treating me like some king. Bloody idiots, for putting so much importance on a bloody nobody like me.” Hail the masses!
While the crowd is indeed stupid, the star is very clever. And dishonest. Dishonest because he accepts something he knows doesn’t rightfully belong to him. All these riches and adulation from fans -- them showering him with nonsense tears, swooning on sight, spreading their legs and stuff -- are so unwarranted. What has a star done to deserve this? A celebrity accepts something he has got no business accepting and keeps mum.
On the flip side, people might retort, why should he not keep mum? What’s wrong with that? I turn around and say to them, “Yeah, right.” It’s not like a movie star enjoying all this adulation doesn’t harm the masses. The celebs present a negative yet powerful role model for the naïve people. They philander, they do dope, they splurge, they badmouth, they expose. But they don’t donate, they don’t give back to society (not enough anyway), and most of all, they don’t value their fans (they SAY they do, but they don’t REALLY).
Having such a profound influence over the masses, as a role model, a movie star puts people on the wrong track. He’s like an adult who takes advantage of a kid’s naiveté. Masses are kids, because they don’t understand how they are being misled; how they are paying for their innocent adulation. They are wasting their mind, time, money, and self-respect on a nobody.
And who are fans, anyway? Bunch of low self-opinion idiots too naively impressed with a worthless brat of a film star. Die-hard fans hero-worshiping a celebrity can be relied upon not to look farther than the tips of their noses. What do you make out of a person who hero-worships a fellow being and treats him as a super being plainly because he happens to act well, look well, sing well, or play basketball or any game well?
Lemme address all you masses now. Who do you suppose deserves your admiration more: a worthy policeman who gets killed in the line of duty; a social worker who’s happy sharing others’ sadness and suffering; or these singers, actors, players, who are ordinary artists after all and whose tight schedules never permit them to do even little acts of kindness?
If you think social worker is a lesser being than a movie star, why? What great acts of bravery, heroics, or virtuosity do you think these celebrities performed when you treat them like kings or queens? Brad Pitt -- or Tom Cruise or Robert Pattinson or Angelina Jolie or any other actor for that matter -- just acts. Who doesn’t know how to act? We are all actors. When we step out for the day, we put on a face for the world. Acting is like smiling. All humans are capable of both. And regardless of what the guy says, he acts for himself, his awards, his family, and for money, rather than for YOU. Why are YOU so bonkers about him? Get a life! Stop worshiping bloody nobodies (far as I know, your stars are good-for-nothing illiterates; most are not even graduates, lemme enlighten you).
A rational man would just approve of these celebs and close the chapter on them. Beneath their glamorous, superficial selves, the celebrities are ordinary humans who must be given only what they truly deserve: a worthy applause, nothing more, nothing less. Otherwise it will screw their heads -- which it does more often than not -- and make them act like kings or queens with supercilious attitude towards ordinary people.
Becoming a fan of someone who pigeonholes you as stupid and wouldn’t even notice you is just so demeaning to yourself. It’s like staying in an abusive relationship where you are at the receiving end. Just have a think.
Get a print-out of my rants, find some time, sit somewhere quiet, have a couple of drinks -- coffee will do for teetotalers -- to pigeonhole life’s vicissitudes for the nonce, and THINK.
By Harpreet Bhagrath
The writer is the Chief Editor at themoneytimes.com
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