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Things That Happened In The Last Five Weeks, Part 4

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4) Three-Time Academy Award Nominee Laura Linney Told Me Not to Vote and I Almost Listened

A record 133 million Americans voted in this year’s Presidential election. 133 million – huge. That’s over 60% of our country’s citizens who got off the couch and, taking that old MTA adage to heart, saw something and said something. Even factoring in a steadily increasing population (which gives the record a bit of a Titanic quality) that’s a bona fide big number. You saw the people in line at your polling place, right? Amazing. That’s why I’m slightly ashamed to admit I almost wasn’t one of them.

You’ve all seen this, right? “Hollywood’s Hottest Celebs” (I shit you not, this is how they’re addressed by the DNC) all gathered in one location to drop some voting knowledge on your ignorant ass. And with such a clever twist, too! To be fair, it’s not a bad premise – address voter apathy head on, and with all the “spunk” and “attitude” a 2008 video might require. I’m sure some people respond to that. And for me, anyway, reverse psychology is firing on all cylinders when certified psychopath Halle Berry tells me not to do something (I nearly ran to my polling place in early October). But the smugness on display – the vacuous celebrity arrogance, even (or maybe especially) amongst the Oscar nominees – is enough to make me consider what kind of country it is that I’m voting in.

I was always going to vote. College-educated and raised in the “You’re Awesome!” era, there was no way I wasn’t going to allow my voice (however hoarse at the moment) to be heard. But videos like this make me pause. Is America worth fighting for if these are the people delivering her civic messages? Ashton Kutcher? Courtney Cox? JONAH HILL?!? Why is Jonah Hill telling me to do (or not do) anything? Cynicism isn’t attactive on anyone, I know, but I don’t think it’s possible to assemble a team that could more turn me off from voting – hell, even democracy – than the one featured here. FUCK democracy if PSA’s like this are where it leads.

(Editor’s note: I’m actually a big supporter of democracy.)

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6 Responses to “Things That Happened In The Last Five Weeks, Part 4”

  1. JES Says:

    “Don’t keep reading” for your below-the-fold tagline: heh.

    But really, come on. You’re too young to be so curmudgeonly about this PSA or, well, about ANYTHING. (Except that when you’re curmudgeonly you’re entertaining as hell.) I can’t imagine that anybody seriously imagined it would change the course of the election, let alone history or, for that matter, democracy.

    Put it this way: assume you were a celebrity. Okay, you already are, you have a blog right?, so put it THIS way: assume you were a BIG celebrity. Shallow, deep, sincere or phony, currently successful or has-been. Whatever.

    Suppose somebody came up to you and asked you to participate in this. Would you?

    I have no idea who Jonah Hill is (I didn’t recognize a lot of faces, and a lot of ’em just blew by too fast). Absolutely there were some grade-Z celebs there. There were also some GOOD people (Harrison Ford e.g.).

    What would you have the good people do? Ask to see who else was on the invite list before agreeing? Is there a yay-democracy PSA featuring E!-level celebs that you would NOT feel this way about? Say you’re allowed to cross Jonah Hill’s name off the list because he’s a douchebag; who would you replace him with?

    Maybe you’re just feeling grouchy towards Hollywood about that whole HBO thing. :)

  2. JES Says:

    P.S. Oh. Duh. Never mind. I hadn’t seen this one before; I thought it was the “Don’t Vote” video. (Which is why I laughed at the “Don’t keep reading” bit.) I still don’t know what THIS one is about (no sound at the moment), but OTOH maybe some of the same questions apply.

  3. DJ Steve Says:

    I had the SAME reaction. Seriously. My immediate thought after watching it was, who is this video for? Un-registered, un-decided voters? or for the egos of the celebrities that made it?

  4. BigFig Says:

    I hate all those self righteous aholes in Hoolywood

  5. Henning Says:

    Dialogue! I love this!

    It’s true that I shouldn’t waste my time getting mad over something as inconsequential as a celeb-endorsed voting PSA, especially when there are plenty of other things (the economy, Beverly Hills Chihuahua) more deserving of my ire. And you make a good point, JES, about the Hollywood perspective here – if approached to “rock the vote” or whatever, I’m sure I’d agree to help out no matter a) the obnoxiousness of the message or b) the talent involved. Ultimately, videos like this can only be viewed in a positive light.

    … I’m realizing more and more, anyway, that my frustration stems primarily from a disbelief that Jonah Hill and Ashton Kutcher continue to get work. Their professional existence more than their hip support of democracy is what really makes me wonder about our country.

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