wan McGregor, Jessica Chastain, Patrick Stewart, three (fairly) sacred cows of Hollywood, their cadre of tweeting supporters and all together too much of Hollywood are wrong. There, I said it.
Quick, run outside and see if the heavens are still where they should be!
How do I know these people are wrong? Because I said so. Read that again. They are wrong because I, Elliot J. (not John like the President) Nitkin actually have the audacity to say that a group of world renowned actors are wrong.
What was the precursor to this blog? Within the last few days, Ewan McGregor decided (at the last minute apparently) not to appear on the Piers Morgan show. Mr. Morgan opined a view of the recent Women's March in America that was contrary to Mr. McGregor's view-point.
Substantially, I do not agree with Piers Morgan (with one or two potential exceptions).
(Click here to read the article >)
But I do feel that Piers Morgan contributed positively because he offered a reasoned opinion.
He treated his listeners like intelligent individuals who are capable of forming their own opinion. He offered, albeit briefly, a cogent set of statements to which the reader can apply their own objective set of criteria to test the veracity of those statements.
You know, like in the manner of expressing free thought that democracy was designed to promote?
To be clear, I have read Piers Morgan's public pronouncements and found them to be disturbing. When a group of people, regardless of their numbers and how they are constituted, have something to say, they must have the right to say it. He seemed to want to nullify their right to free speech. Where I suspect he was right, at least in part, was in his statement that liberals in America displayed an over-arching sense of self-entitlement to the office of Presidency because Hillary Clinton is female. That was not reason alone to elect anyone.
Mind you, what so many conservatives fail to acknowledge is that they felt that same way about Donald Trump, if for different reasons.
However, entitlements and rights to the office are no longer at issue. The election is over, decided and finalized. Now the question is the same as after every other American election in history: where will America (and by proxy the rest of the world) go from here?
Piers Morgan suggested a course of action. You may not like it, you may even find it repugnant or you may find it's veracity present, if limited. The point is that everyone must decide on a viewpoint for him or herself, not follow a cult of personality blindly.
Asking for another's view-point is certainly beneficial, no matter who you ask. But in doing so, you are considering what you think they have expressed in that opinion.
That is valuable social discourse.
Ewan McGregor walked away from the show and therefore, he offered absolutely no response, no statement of why he disagrees with Piers Morgan that we can evaluate for ourselves. He offered no action steps, no statement as to why he wants these actions to be taken and why the outcome would be, in his opinion, progress.
All he offered was to be a point-man for their gratuitous adoration. This put no meat on the bones of progress. The sum of his actions were, instead, cowardly.
Had he faced Piers Morgan and called him out on the show, Ewan McGregor would have displayed real hubris. He would have made public the substance and nature of his convictions.
Ewan McGregor and his cadre simply offered the same elitist arrogance displayed by so many arrogant elitists: He seemed to think his boycott should be reason enough for anyone watching to be spurred to action.
To add to this creeping dictatorial mind-set, Jessica Chastain, Patrick Stewart, Vincent D’Onofrio and Ben Stiller among others, lauded Ewan McGregor .... for NOT SPEAKING.
Isn't that the reason so many people on the right feel that people on the left are condescending elitists? When those on the right do it, isn't that the reason so many on the left are repulsed by conservatism?
Isn't that the definition of dictatorship - turning to a demagogue and blindly following their musings rather than demanding that leaders be accountable for their logic and vision?
Simply supporting women's equality means nothing. The solution to today's challenges will require a great many action steps. By walking away from a debate, Ewan McGregor walked away from the chance to present any.
I mean at least Madonna wants to burn down the White House. True, that's an entirely asinine idea, other than providing us with perhaps the largest weeny roast in history.
Now the piece of art posted here is completely different. Painters speak volumes through silent imagery.
You can consider the presentation of President Trump's complexion and ask what the artist was trying to say by making it look so infected. You can ask what is the message or reason for depicting Trump as an octopus (inspired by a Kraken) with his tentacles all over the White House?
You can ponder why Trump is being portrayed looking in a hand mirror.
The questions go on.
However, if you use this piece to stimulate thought, you are engaging in a discussion, you are using your intellect. And when you try to answer them, you are in fact having a conversation with yourself and by proxy, the artist. It may be in your head, but you are least thinking about another person's ideas. This is an important part of social discourse precisely because it IS discourse and a civilized one at that. What it is not is a CNN/TV gab fest that seems like it was produced by the WWF for a cage match.
Here is what I have learned from the artist, Mark Bryan:
"The Kraken has been released from the depths and the Trumpocalypse is at hand. Hang on tight, it’s gonna be a rough ride Back to when things were “great”.
To clarify, This was meant to be a “Kraken”, not an Octopus. The Kraken is a mythological sea monster of Norwegian lore. Derived from krake, a word designating an unhealthy animal or something twisted (cognate with the English crook and crank) Historically depicted as an Octopus like animal. This image was inspired by the famous cartoon about the Standard Oil monopoly by Udo Keppler in 1904. The tentacles are also an irresistible metaphor for political satire. I had reservations about using an octopus like image because they really are amazing and intelligent beings. I apologize to them everywhere."
By painting something that evokes immediate thought and a visceral response, Mark Bryan contributed to the presence of social discourse. Ewan McGregor and his pals held Piers Morgan up for ridicule and derision. His "solution" was one that seems to plague our times - bullying.
Each side trying to cow the other into submission, not compromise.
Why was he lauded for his "contribution"?
Why is America and indeed much of the world, consumed by this cult of personality? Why do we subjugate our free will and thought to the meandering whims of a few over-weened and pompous attention seekers?
I firmly believe they are generally far more concerned with popularizing their next movie project than making society better.
And America, in particular, wonders why it is so divided.