Dear Actors, Singers, Celebrities … I Am Sorry

(another cross-post)

I found these two lovely posts on my Facebook newsfeed a few times over the past few weeks:

Aren’t you glad you wanted to be famous?

There’s nothing better than living in a country where I can determine the value of other people by their jobs. Where I can take my right to think, say, do and be whateverIgoddamnplease and shove it in everyone’s face while telling them that they are not allowed the same.

You celebrities, you make life easier for us in so many ways. Your music, films, television shows, books, and art provide us escape when we need it. We’ve even made some of you famous like circus side-show performers because we can’t feel good about ourselves unless we trash someone else – and who better than a celebrity, who is not close enough to defend him or herself. (We have taken passive-aggression to perverted lengths, haven’t we?)

Thank you. We return the favor by not allowing you your own escape (Isn’t that right, Robin?).

One day we will decide to like you and put you up on a pedestal – but that pedestal is made of clay and sits on sand. What you give us to entertain us will only be enough for so long, so we must take away your privacy and make unreasonable demands on you. Smile for us, talk to us, give up your entire life for us. Let us chase you and hound you, and sell your used napkins on eBay. When that’s not enough, let us delve further into your lives so that we may mock you for your stupid decisions, laugh at your relationships’ ends, and insult you for being the human that your stardom apparently was supposed to have taken away from you. We accuse you of being fake, then criticize you when you try to be real. When you try to maintain what we appear to expect from you, we mock you some more for trying to remain the same.

Once you’re up on that pedestal, you are expected to lead by example – unless, of course, you have a different opinion. We want you to be good role models, and insult you when you try – but make sure to give us a good excuse for why our children act the way they do so that we don’t have to accept any blame.

We will expect you to spend your money on what we deem worthy, using the “use your status for good” theory – until it’s not money you are offering.

You will not win.

I have seen the above two posts on the Facebook pages of people who post all that shit about following your dreams, being who-you-are-warts-and-all, not allowing yourself to be pigeon-holed, treating others with kindness, and even bible verses – now, I do not think those types of posts are ‘shit’, but they are if that person who posted them means that anything positive, tolerant, supportive and nice are only the rights of him or herself. One person even posted one of the above memes AND a few posts later put up a political endorsement by a celebrity. Which is it?

(It is quite a skill to talk out of both sides of your mouth, isn’t it?)

I applaud all of you; it takes courage to stand under the microscope in front of such a large audience – not like those of us who hide behind smaller spotlights and only voice opinions from behind computer screens.

We are the real actors; we pretend to love you, but we will use and then crucify you.

I am sorry.

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Get Over It

(this blog has been cross-posted)

I have $19.41 in my wallet, and that amount is to last me for the rest of the week thanks to a major snafu on the part of a large company that took multiple payments out of my bank account one day two weeks ago, and a second time again last week. There are two reasons I’m telling you this: one, to show my certainty in my willingness to gamble with it; and, two, to point out that one event creates a domino effect afterward – which is part of the point I am trying to make now.

I am willing to bet that whole $19.41 – all that I have right now – that with the three words at the top of this article you have a good idea about my subject here. I even knew that those three words would get attention because of their implication.

Three words. Like I love you, they now carry a weight much larger than the space they take up on paper implies. Now especially, they can also evoke as much emotion as those other three little words, although their meaning has grown into something more hurtful, more uncaring, and more dismissive than before.

Get over it.

Something happened recently that has caused many people to be afraid. Very afraid. Had that event had the opposite result (and it very nearly did, if not for a … technicality), then another group of people would know that same fear – if their vociferous and public opinions beforehand were any indication; yet, instead of there but for the Grace of God their motto is the derogatory get over it.

When exactly did you stop caring about other people? When did you stop being able to see that it could have been you in that position?

I will ‘get over’ my financial issues after the company resolves its error in ‘the system’ which, apparently is a law unto itself, that will try three times – with no apparent means of stopping it – to make that same error a third time (I can’t wait to see what happens on Friday). I will ‘get over it’ after the bank has refunded bank fees and charges for overdraft, and when the company provides full compensation for what I have spent. Obviously, I won’t ‘get over it’ until later.

My daughter was in a serious car accident in July. While we are fortunate enough that she will heal in time, we will ‘get over it’ after she has completed therapy, after she is no longer in pain, after she is able to go back to work, and after she gets on her feet again. AFTER the actual event.

My mother had breast cancer. There were many things that happened after the diagnosis. We shaved her head in a ‘family ceremony’, she went through chemotherapy and radiation and suffered the aftereffects – not to mention how something like that can put one’s life on hold, or worse. Tell me, if the diagnosis happened in one day, when should she have gotten over it?

A man I loved died of cancer a little over four years ago. It happened; it’s done, right? When should I get over that?

I’m asking you to get a little perspective. The people who are concerned and afraid have their reasons for feeling the way they do. Who is any of us to judge what they are feeling or how strong their feelings are? Who are you to dismiss and disparage something that’s very real to them just because you don’t feel the same way?

We – none of us – are not even able to determine what courage is in another person, because we can never know what something might cost them. We decide someone else’s measure of bravery based on our own experiences and value judgments. We never really know how much the personal price is for a soldier, an activist, a parent, or the seemingly ordinary person walking out his or her front door … anyone.

We rush to judge people, and dismiss them only based on how we feel, conveniently forgetting that they have feelings, too. Like you, other people have their own truths. If you truly believe we live in a free country, if you value your freedom of thought, then you should be able to show some respect for the freedom of others in thinking and feeling as they do. Divided we fall.

Isn’t it funny how selective we can be, even with compassion? We seem to have more compassion for the person afraid of spiders. Why is that? Why can we accept their fear in that situation?
Do we ‘believe’ that opposing beliefs of others are to be scorned? That’s a little contradictory, don’t you think?

There is one more thing that I ask that you consider – if the above wasn’t too much for you already: the event that you are telling people to ‘get over’ hasn’t happened yet. A decision was made, and a future was foretold. These people you are telling to get over it haven’t even experienced what they are worried about – they were basically told that a disastrous event was coming. If it hasn’t happened yet, how can they possibly ‘get over’ it? And, if their fears are realized, what then? Or can you predict the future – including the actions of another – and fully assure others that everything will be all right? I’m a mother, and I have trouble telling that to my children – and there’s only two of them.

If you were told that something you feared was going to happen, how would you react? And how would you feel talking to someone else who didn’t understand your feelings?

Please, please, stop using those three little words. Understand the effect they would have on you. Remember the ‘other’ three little words. If you are unable to go that far then, please, just be quiet.

I love you.