Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Enquirer vs The Bible

I loved reading the rags in my day.  Our home was full of every newspaper, magazine or journal we could subscribe or buy and that includes the National Enquirer and Star Magazine.  Much like Professional Wrestling that dominated our television on Sunday's, my family knew it was "fake" but we had the willingness to suspend disbelief when it came to entertainment and the ability to discern the truth and the tellers of a story being that fact vs fiction.  Hence why in our home The Bible was just that - a work of fiction.

So perhaps that may explain why another group that adheres to the said "book" believes that conventional news and writers of non-fiction are fake.  They have to find someway to suspend disbelief that they hold a book that has no clear authorship, no confirmation, fact checking or valid reasoning behind a book that seemingly for centuries has stories that again cannot be substantiated.  So instead of using it as a guide in the same manner one reads other self help mantra books, they cling to it as a factual document akin to the same way I do with regards to The New York Times.  I don't always agree with and they too have had issues with those who tell stories that at times have been found lies (Judith Miller thinking of you specifically) but they are willing to admit it, they have names, faces and are grounded in both history and the present.

I took a Bible as Literature class in College and as Literature it holds up in the same way many of the garbage books written by Ayn Rand are held up in the same way by many in our Congress.  She was a hack, not an Economist and yet her thoughts on the subject have valid teachings about the Economy called Objectivism.  Really I just call it selfish. But for the record a great deal of Economic teaching veer on Philosophy as well as Mathematics.    Read some of the great Economists of their day.  Theory into practice is what we call it and our economy reflects much of that.

So what has that got to do with the article I found in the Guardian about what does it take for us to stop going to a Celebrity's movies?  Well the same bullshit that centers around current boycotts or attempts to generate attention to a Corporations misdeeds or philosophy that affects how customers perceive their professional versus the personal.  We have the Airlines and the abusing of customers, that crosses all lines and can bring change for all clients regardless. We have the ones Hobby Lobby and Chick-fil-A that may have affected their bottom line for a month but does anyone remember why? There are boycotts from both the right and the left over one perceived insult over another. This week it is Target's line with the Gaines family of Fixer Upper. The Gaines are Evangelical Christians and they are selling furniture under their Magnolia line with Target who has an open bathroom philosophy regarding gender.   Do I care? No.  I watch Fixer Upper knowing that they are both right wing Christians and unless they start spouting that shit and speaking in tongues I can get through an hour at the gym quite nicely.  Hey I watch Property Brothers and think there is some real estate bullshit there but then I am not hiring them to do anything so again I can suspend disbelief for an hour.   And I suspect Neil deGrasse Tyson can during The Martian or Interstellar (okay maybe not that one as it was just not good).

But the reality is that I can turn to reality anytime, fact check, ask for multiple opinions and make my own decision.  I can do that with The Bible too as why do you think we have so many faiths? You find what works for an hour a week and then you go about your business maybe less wiser but happier or maybe both.  But again its about you and your own connection to the source material and your own ability to suspend disbelief and reconcile facts and fictions.

I have been utterly transfixed with Leah Remini and her show The Aftermath.  I never gave this woman one thought then I read her book on her years in Scientology.  I had watched the varying documentaries on the subject and I had my own perceptions and belief about Scientology long before I watched the series, read the books or the shows.  I actually now feel quite comfortable calling it a religion and see many parallels to that of conventional religion which may or may not be a good thing.  That said I do love their ability to restore aging buildings using child labor, the Sailor uniforms and of course any references to aliens.

Now I have not seen a Tom Cruise movie in decades for no other reason that they are not good. I have watched Woody Allen movies and I do so when they are on HBO as going to the theater seems money ill spent as I end up half liking half hating them. Not because of Woody's own weird personal history but because they are well often weird too.  I have always been a 50/50 person with him and that is normal with any film director or actor.   We love who we love and there are those who can just read the Dictionary and you would go regardless.  I am talking to your Ryan Gosling!

 And we have the same dynamics with sports. Right after going to one Church many will hustle to the other Church of Sunday, the football stadium.   That draws more eyes than Pastor does in many cities other than the South where here a Coach is akin to the Pastor, a Godlike individual that will restore honor and dignity to the followers! It is a bizarre thing here and I thought Seattle had a strange fanaticism with the Seahawks but alas this is nothing like it.

With that comes a sense of responsibility that the NFL has with the community to somehow justify or excuse their exploitation of the tax paying base that without their tax breaks and excessive fees and costs for tickets and in turn licensing that causes cable to be so expensive, they pretend to care by sending varying team members into the town's hospitals and schools to show they care. What.ever.  Celebrity worship is not my thing.  Well other than you Ryan Gosling!

But those efforts demonstrate a connection and again you may not agree or care about what Colin Kapernick does or Stephen Curry thinks about Donald Trump or you may.  I simply respect their right to express them in ways that bring our concept of Democracy to be just that - Democratic.  The President of the United States does not agree but then again he is part of the process to destroy Democracy so his response not surprising.  His endless Tweeting is doing more to harm it than a player taking to a knee. 

Funny the NFL supposedly supports that but that idea of protection and caring doesn't extend to their players when they allow and enable them to literally kill each other in a slow fashion week after week for the entertainment of others. Bring back the Roman Coliseum as this is the same just without lions.

Again that is my opinion based on this thing called fact.  Look to the story about Hernandez and his brain damage that led him to lose control commit murder and in turn led to his suicide. The NFL hid those scans from the family and when released showed the extensive damage to this young man's mind that at age 27 was horrific.   Again this could be like other celebrities and their claims that vaccines cause Autism, and there is a reference to Jim Carrey in the article as well, and I cannot forget his bizarre relationship with Jenny McCarthy the Godmother of Anti-Vaxxers.  See what I mean when Celebrity worship is taken to far?  Do you really love these people that much that you are willing to put your child and other children at risk?

How weird does a celebrity have to be before we stop watching their films?
Hadley Freeman
UK Guardian
September 23 2017

All celebrities are a bit weird, so when one is known for being Weird Even For A Celebrity, you know they are probably crossing over to ‘actually quite scary’

Of the many deeply uncool things I am obsessed with – The Golden Girls, the oeuvre of Roxette, Princess Anne’s hair – the uncoolest is also the one that has been with me the longest. Tom Cruise has been a part of my mental landscape ever since I was old enough to read in a magazine that I was supposed to fancy him. I was alive in the 80s and, as strange as this is now to think about, what with his deeply unsexy obsession since with thetans, back then he was very much pitched as Mr Sexxxxxy. Which is even stranger when you think that Cruise didn’t even grow into his face for another decade: back in Risky Business and The Outsiders, he looked vague and doughy next to his co-stars, particularly the Adonis that was the young Rob Lowe.

Cruise was never really my type, but I will argue until closing time and beyond that he is one of the most watchable actors of all time: a proper Hollywood star who proved in one decade he could do top notch schlock (Top Gun), mediocre schlock (Cocktail) and proper acting (Born On The Fourth Of July and Rain Man, for which he should have won the Oscar instead of Dustin Hoffman).

It’s been fascinating to watch Cruise’s career since then, partly because of what his choice of roles says about him. There was his dramatic period in the 90s when he made relentless Oscar bids, peaking with Magnolia, and then, when that failed, his huffy retreat into decreasingly memorable action movies. He also stopped ageing – or rather, his ageing process took the shape of not actually growing older but increasingly resembling Sandi Toksvig. And that, too, has been fascinating in its way to watch.

But I’m also interested in Cruise because of what he reveals about what audiences will accept in their stars. Now, all celebrities are a bit weird, so when one is known for being Weird Even For A Celebrity, you know they are probably crossing over from “adorably eccentric” to “actually quite scary”. It’s been known for a while that Cruise crossed that line when he started wanging on about Scientology. But it is genuinely interesting how people just shrug off stories of his troubling relationships with women.

Last week it emerged that Cruise’s ex-wife Katie Holmes and Jamie Foxx are in a relationship, after having kept this a secret for at least four years. This would be hard to do under normal circumstances, but is frankly Oscar-worthy in the case of two celebrities. It is also so contrary to modern celebrity ethos, which treats romance as a branding opportunity, that it seems downright alien. By contrast, Holmes and Foxx waited to reveal their relationship until almost five years to the day that she got divorced from Cruise, and it is being widely reported that this is because, in order to secure a quick divorce, Holmes had to agree to not date anyone “publicly” for half a decade.

Whether this is true or not is one of the many things about Cruise we will probably never know for sure. But the point is, after years of his increasingly freaky behaviour and the rumours about his relationships with actress Nazanin Boniadi, then Holmes, it sounds sufficiently plausible for no one to question it. “Sure!” the public shrugs. “Controlling your ex-wife’s life for five years – that sounds like our Tom! When’s Mission Impossible 22 out anyway?” If people don’t see his movies now it’s because he makes lame movies, not because of his relationships.

Male celebrities are still given an enormous amount of rope when it comes to their treatment of women, despite multiple lessons from the past. Last week another actor who is notoriously Weird Even For A Celebrity, Jim Carrey, gave a completely creepy red carpet interview, in which he sharkishly, Trumpishly, walked in circles around the female reporter and indulged in teenage-level musings on metaphysics. Two days earlier it was announced that Netflix has bought Carrey’s documentary, Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond, which had just got universally glowing reviews – without anyone mentioning Carrey is about to face a wrongful death trial over the suicide of his ex-girlfriend, Cathriona White. Carrey has denied all the allegations and has tried to stop the trial, by initially insisting White’s bereaved mother pay a $372,000 bond. Ace Ventura was a long time ago, people.

Actors are now regularly criticised if they sign on to a Woody Allen movie, because accusations of child molestation, even if deemed inconclusive by a judge 25 years ago, are too much. But suggestions of creepy controlling behaviour around women are, apparently, still fine. From Howard Hughes onwards, this has always been the celebrity way. Maybe Tom Cruise really is the full Hollywood package.

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