Let me start with a disclaimer lest anyone get the wrong impression here. I am not a celebrity. This is not an open letter from a celebrity, nor is it specifically written to be read by a celebrity, though if a celebrity so chooses then I guess I’m down with that. This is an open letter for those folks who would generally read open letters to celebrities from other celebrities, and though I may have lost some readership the moment some of you found out I was not a celebrity, I feel that it’s important that I fully disclose who I am so you realize that I am an honest person with your best interests in mind.
Wait, don’t leave yet! Would it help if I said I’m kind of famous? I was on television for a little while. You may recognize me from such spots as “Kid in background during Dave Murray’s weather report at the Litchfield Sesquicentennial” or later on as “Six Flags employee who stands next to other employee who gives the guy a basketball” in that (since retired) training video. You may even be one of those rare superfans who dug deep and found my breakout role as Macbeth (the notorious Pacific High School ’94 English Lit Macbeth video project for Mr. McClain.) Yep, that was me you little rapscallions. Don’t freak out though, I’m a normal person just like you.
Okay, now that I’ve got your attention, let’s get down to why I’ve come to you today. You see, I’ve got some concerns about the things you’ve been reading lately. No not the smut, the smut is fine. I would almost go as far as to say that everyone should read at least a little smut every week. No, my concerns are regarding something much more sinister, open letters from celebrities to other celebrities.
You might ask yourself how something like this might be an issue? Clearly any celebrity taking the time out of their busy schedule to write an open letter should be worth reading right? WRONG! You sweet, stupid, stupid baby brained idiots. How are you smart enough to even feed yourselves, you dummies? You’re oh so wrong, and here’s why:
- Celebrities are famous for being talented at what they do, which is most likely not “sitting around all day honing their intellects.”
There are exceptions, but chances are higher that the people getting attention are skilled at acting, singing, inventing duck hunting gadgets while sporting huge beards, or “accidentally” leaking poorly lit hotel sex tapes. While that’s all well and good, none of that means they have a cognitive ability exceeding that of a grapefruit. We might agree with them and their opinions, but that’s not because they’re right, but more often because we’re just as dumb as they are. I’m sorry to be so blunt, but if you’ve ever once had a positive thought about Paris Hilton, then you’ve done this to yourself.
- A celebrities time isn’t as valuable as they want us to think it is.
Once again, there are exceptions, but if a celebrity really is hard working, the odds are that they don’t give a flying frig about what other famous people are doing. If a celebrities time really was all that valuable, they wouldn’t have a spare minute to be out getting arrested for picking fights at night clubs or driving drunk. Those examples even apply to sports celebrities who are notorious for needing to spend long hours out of their day keeping their bodies toned and primed so that they can keep those gargantuan paychecks coming. Surely if those beautiful, hardened specimens have time to beat their spouses regularly, then any person in the public eye with the capacity to pick up a pen and paper can spare a few minutes to write out their vapid, shallow thoughts.
- In many cases, celebrities are actually much worse off than you and yours.
Lets face it, many of us love to watch these individuals spiral as much if not more than we like watching them ascend. There are few things more satisfying than grabbing a buttery tub of popcorn and sitting back to enjoy the persistent rapid mental decline of someone doing better than you, and we facilitate these events to some degree by popularizing them in the media. There are plenty of reasons out there about why famous people cracking is so commonplace so I won’t get into that, but just remember when you’re reading that scathing editorial from last weeks favorite pop singer about this weeks favorite pop singer, chances are high that they’re writing that letter from their suite in Crazytown, USA or at least from the train en route. (It’s cool if you imagined the opening riff from Crazy Train there, no one will judge you except yourself.)
- Their perception of real life could be spectacularly sheltered.
It’s no secret that people exposed to massive amounts of criticism and negativity eventually find ways up putting up a firewall around themselves. No one is arguing that the world would be a vastly better place if the YouTube comments section somehow mysteriously vanished overnight. If you have access to the means to filter out a near constant barrage of stressful, disheartening, and sometimes threatening information, would you do it? I lock myself in the basement if someone looks like they might be considering offering me critical advice, so while I understand it, I don’t think it helps their position to be critical of others (YES, like I’m being now. I do see the irony in that. Dick.)
- Social Media makes it much easier to get their opinions out into the world.
Before we were re tweeting pictures of kittens there were a couple lines of defense between us and the marshmallow joy ride that is a celebrity perspective. In some cases we still have agents and managers who, when not swimming around in vaults of money Scrooge McDuck style, will act as a firewall for celebrities who feel they have to get their message out there. This can go one of three ways. The agent can decide it’s passable and let it go on to the next stage where it gets free publicity, hopefully good publicity, but lets face it, that doesn’t usually matter all that much.
The other two things they can do is say “no” at the risk of getting fired, which probably depends on how on fire the celebrity is at the time, or they can clean it up for them, offering a less damaging, lukewarm alternative. This garbage-watered down version was often turned away at the second line of defense, the discerning media back when that was still a thing. Unfortunately over the last ten years that has all but been replaced by social media and information starved 24 hour news networks. That means whether you want it or not, you’re going to be force fed every Kim Kardashian/Kanye West thought-fart until people stop using their computers and watching cable. Good luck with that.
I’m not saying that all celebrity opinions should be ignored. There are the occasional bad-ass celebrities out there who know what they’re doing and try to make this world a better place. I’m pretty sure though that any one of them wouldn’t make an effort to publicly shame a fellow celebrity to bolster or rekindle their fame. So the next time you consider sharing an open letter from the lead singer of Smashmouth ripping Miley Cyrus a new one because her pet monkey is a distraction from her art, all I ask is that you think twice. Because seriously, Smashmouth is weak. They are the weakest of weak.