Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Apotheosis of Celebrity Bullshit...

One of the finest babes on planet Earth, the half Dominican-half Puerto Rican beauty Michelle Rodriguez, was recently overheard bitching about being "bothered" by fans. She said (and I'm paraphrasing here) that she would like to live in France because "stuff like that doesn't happen there". I'm assuming she's talking about autograph seekers and the everyday schlubs that approach her because she's a "star", when the reality is she's a bullshit C-list Hollywood actress who is such a twat she can't keep a steady job from the myriad of DUI's on her rap sheet, and only gets film roles where she plays another in a long line of stereotypical tough-as-nails Latina army grunts who takes no shit from anyone. She should have graduated from roles like this a long time ago, but toady she can't manage a cameo appearance on garbage like the "Fast and Furious" franchise, which she once starred in.

That's "NOT" the way you dress for a court date-
Talk about type-casting. There's something wrong with the roles she's getting because there is something wrong with HER. Her attitude sucks, she has problems on every set she works on, and when convicted of a DUI while working in Hawaii while filming the incredibly successful TV series "Lost". She preferred to do five days in jail than do community service and was, unsurprisingly, the first character killed off the series. She's been typecast, alright-for being an asshole, and rightfully so. Just check out this quote-

"Oh baby, I was typecast the minute I did a film called Girlfight years ago. That has nothing to do with anything, it just has to do with… you allow yourself to be typecast. If I decided I didn’t want to be typecast tomorrow I’d just go do an indie film where I play some poor girl who goes through some excruciating experience and win myself an award for crying or being raped [breaks into laughter] or playing someone with mental illness. But at the end of the day I’m not in it for the acting. If I were in it for the acting then I would be worried about people not giving me the opportunity to express my vast array of emotions on the screen.
I could give two shits. I only wanna be someone I respect or someone that I consider interesting or fun. I’m here to entertain people and make a statement about female empowerment and strength and that’s what I’ve done for the last 10 years, and people can call it typecast, but I pigeonholed myself and I put myself in that box for saying no to everything else that came on my plate. Saying no to the girlfriend, saying no to the girl that gets captured, no to this, no to that. and eventually I just got left with the strong chick that’s always being killed and there’s nothing wrong with that."

So, despite putting up with her metal disorders and her blatant disregard for the law, her fans continue to support her. Darling, let me tell you right now-it's because of those annoying fans that you're even capable of considering moving to France, because they are the ones that put the money in your pocket to live so well that relocating halfway around the world is a viable option.

Couldn't dodge that community service forever, ay sweetheart?
Let me now get to one of my personal heroes, Neil Peart, drummer of the prog-rock supergroup "Rush", who also suffers form this dilemma. Apparently being around other people bothers him so much that he shuns totally, without excuse or even a hint of remorse, the meet-and-greets before and after concerts that his two other band mates are more than happy to participate in. His interviews during their latest documentary gave us a disturbing look into this man's irrational and totally unwarranted outlook on his fans.

I've always noticed that Peart, as soon as the last song is over, waves dismissively at the fans and runs offstage. He does this at every show. I have never known him to stroll to the front of the stage and take a few bows for the benefit of his adoring fans. He is loathe to give them anything more than a cursory wave of acknowledgment and off he goes. It struck me while he was speaking of the tragedies that befell him one after another, losing his young daughter and then months later his wife to a terminal illness that his issues run very deep. I couldn't think of the unimaginable grief this would have caused, yet he took this time to reiterate his visceral antagonism towards the rest of humanity by saying he just wanted to get on his motorbike, keep riding, and avoid being recognized by anyone at all costs. Sounds soothing, doesn't it?

How dare you photograph me, you cretin?
Let's get a few things straight. I love his drum set, which is so huge he has to mechanically rotate it a full 180 degrees just to play it all. It is an absolute marvel that anyone can put something like that together and make it all work, much less play it with such incredible proficiency. But what he forgets is the money that makes it possible for him to pay for the myriad of drum sets he's had over the course of his career is because of his fans.

That cross-continent motorcycle trip he took without having to worry about the cash to finance it came from the fans who have supported the group over the years. His lifestyle was made possible by us, the fans who purchase Rush's albums regardless of whether there are only one or two good songs, which has been the case for a good many years now (I love Rush but the truth is the truth). We do this because we believe in the band and are fans for life. His discomfort with paying his fans back with the relatively small gestures of signing autographs and taking pictures with us schlubs speaks to more than just a discomfort with adulation.

I understand his motivation was more about becoming an excellent musician than of being a "rock star", but at some point he has lost all perspective on what exactly he owes his fans, but how many people wish their biggest problem is being approached by fans wanting an autograph and a handshake? I've been told by other surly celebrities that we common folk have no idea what it's like having idiots follow them around and bothering them in public when all they want to do is walk down the street to get a paper and a coffee. This is true, we don't. It certainly does sound a hell of a lot better than how regular everyday people live out their pathetic lives in total and complete anonymity, that's for sure. How many of us for once would love to go somewhere where someone other than our dogs are happy to see us? How many of us never get a thank-you from ANYONE for a job well done?

Neil Peart, loving the Limelight while despising the people that put him there-
Even Michael Jackson, a man who lost the ability to walk down any street in the world before he was able to vote, would find it in his heart to occasionally wave at the clearly mentally unstable people that would mob him everywhere he went. But I seriously doubt Michelle and Neil have ever had to deal with this. So my question is, why the hate?

Yes, it is hate, a disdain for the hoi polloi that put them on the map in the first place, without whom they would be where, exactly? It has to be said that Rodriguez is in a different situation than Peart, simply because she is young, beautiful and female. So I know the kooks that pester her are on a different level. Neil's biggest fans are drum geeks, and I highly doubt they are as collectively obnoxious as the assholes that chase Michelle around. She is also more highly recognizable because she's been in movies and television.

These are indeed two different levels of fame, and I can see one being much more annoying to deal with than the other. That doesn't excuse their behavior. Michelle would get pestered regardless because of her looks. Her fame just makes it worse. But it must be said that without her looks no one would hire her to do a commercial for tampons. The same cannot be said of Peart, who on the other hand, is talented at something where looks don't matter. His fans are for the most part respectful of his prodigious talents and aren't looking to take it any further than to tell him what his music has meant to them over the years. Is that too much to ask? No, it's not. especially when his other band mates manage to take time to do exactly what makes Peart cringe, and they do so with no problems whatsoever.

The drumset WE FANS made possible-
I remember vividly the very first time I heard the drum solo on "YYZ" from Rush's live album "Exit...Stage Left". I can say unequivocally that there will never be a more succinct and technically proficient drum solo in the annals of rock music. I could not believe anyone could play that fast and that well. the precision he displayed was surgical. It was enough to make a young person believe in the impossible. The feat of this drum solo may be equaled (I highly doubt it), but never will it be surpassed. The inspiration many draw from listening to Rush's seminal album "Moving Pictures" give Rush fans hope that one day they too could grow up and be as good at anything as the guys from this group play their instruments. With all due respect to bassist/keyboardist/singer Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson, it is Peart who is the divine inspiration bar none.

I know for a fact many of his fans feel the same way. To be considered an annoyance simply because some would love to have the opportunity to express their sincere gratitude in person is a disappointment that is hard to describe. I went to his Wikipedia page and found out he is a keen fanboy of the Libertarian political and social school of thought, and is a fan of the Libertarian manifesto "Atlas Shrugged", written by social elitist douchebag Ayn Rand. It is difficult not to come to the conclusion that, after putting all these pieces together, Peart is the way he is because he despises the very people that made his life possible, and is unapproachable because he thinks he's better than his fans. And like all Libertarians that I've had the displeasure of meeting, it's always the ones that got it good in life who are the most angry, frustrated and bitter.

Rodriguez and Peart need to get a fucking grip with their bullshit. You'll never catch me out there approaching any celebrity after having done it one time and being humiliated for daring to ask for an autograph. But that's OK. My feelings were hurt, but then I went on youtube and caught the asshole in a moment he'll never be able to live down, and I went home feeling vindicated. Too bad it had to be like this, but that's life. Good night, Mark Jackson-I threw away your worthless autograph because I'd rather remember you THIS way-

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