Tonight the annual Academia Awards will be on the television.
I’ll be watching, as I have for over fifty years. I always say I’m not going to, but I love great acting and I can’t help it and I want to see who wins. So I indulge myself in the same way that I eat things I shouldn’t.
Why do I do this? I’m not sure, but it seems like a habit to me. I don’t think actors and artists should use this platform for their political beliefs. On the other hand, I think they’re entitled to do it if they want to, same as me. It’s the law; the very first item in the Bill Of Rights.
You have to read between the lines in that Bill Of Rights. The people who wrote this thing were slippery if you ask me. They said we can, but they didn’t say we should. They didn’t tell us we have to deal with the results. And if you check the dictionary, that falls under something called responsibility. It’s probably under maturity too.
I’m just trying to be logical here. Lots of people feel differently about political issues. So if a well-known actor takes a public stand on those issues, a portion (probably a significant portion) will disagree. In terms of what they call a “bankable star,” an actor who producers and directors love to cast in their next movie, this is like cutting off an arm or a leg. And each time they speak, it continues to chip away at their bargaining power. If they continue to take sides, people tend to stop listening, so that’s like taking their mouth away. Now I’m just a community theatre actor, but I know it’s hard to act without arms and legs and mouths.
So the bottom line is that it’s just silly for a well-known actor to speak in ways that are devisive or contentious. They are famous because of their ability to act and yet they diminish themselves by choosing to say things they didn’t have to say.
I know a guy who is a master carpenter. He is an artist in wood. He doesn’t talk politics and he doesn’t have political signs plastered all over his shop and he doesn’t throw his political opinions onto Facebook. And of course he doesn’t do that because his customers don’t want to hear his political opinions. They want beautiful bannisters and cabinets. I’m sure he has an opinion, but his decision to put a lid on it was a no-brainer. People think of him as mature and responsible.
I’ve loved movies all my life. I have always marveled at great actors. I’ll continue to watch these people do the thing they do best. I’ve learned how to not listen to them when they win an award. It’s called a MUTE button. Mary and I use this device to voice our opinions in the privacy of our home. No one can hear us, unless you count Alexa. She apparently doesn’t have a political bone in her body. I can tell when the actors are done talking, because they hold the trophy up and walk away, apparently very proud that they’ve just lowered their salary.