I was watching a football game or something a few weeks ago, when I suddenly informed by an asinine commercial that Leonardo DiCaprio planned to release a new documentary on “climate change.”
Last time I checked, DiCaprio is not a meteorologist, or an ecologist, or a biologist, or a chemist, or a physicist, or an astronomer. He is an actor.
I also know that he has been making such documentaries and promoting such nonsense since at least 1998, when he established the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, which is when they were still referring to climate change as “global warming.”
(For the record, I’d be pretty scared if the climate wasn’t changing.)
I then reflected that this DiCaprio is probably a better actor than he is a scientist or policy analyst.
But his behavior falls in line with that of many other writers, artists, singers, and actors who attempt to play those roles yet have absolutely no business doing so.
Meanwhile, people like Lena Dunham and Jay Z are suddenly being treated like they’re the smartest people in the room because of their stances on hot-button issues.
The only reason people pay attention to the political statements of actresses and singers is because they’re already famous.
Whatever they say is going to sound like pure wisdom to their fans, and it will attract the attention of the media because it’s political, thus giving them even more unwarranted credibility.
In other words, it doesn’t matter what these people say so long as it’s them saying it.
Granted, some political views are more palatable to the blogosphere, tabloids, news aggregates, click-bait sites, and the mainstream media than others.
Chris Pratt’s enthusiasm for hunting hasn’t won him much attention from such parties. The same can be said for Adam Baldwin of Firefly fame, who endorsed Ted Cruz via Twitter last year according to Wikipedia.
The effect, however, remains the same. When some actor suddenly announces his stance on a feel-good cause like climate change, it grants him an aura of sophistication and charity.
Think about it like this: People are naturally suspicious of politicians, but they love it when celebrities make political statements because they already like them.
If they happen to agree with whatever vacuous tripe the celebrity is saying, they’ll love them even more and do whatever they say, which usually means voting for Democratic politicians.
The problem isn’t so much that people unqualified to give opinions regarding such topics continue to do so. It’s a free country. They’re free to say what they want.
The problem is that these people’s sincerity is, at best, questionable. DiCaprio is without a doubt mouthing whatever lines some intern is feeding him just so he can beef up his personal brand.
Ditto for Donald Trump, who’s taken this principle to the Nth degree by becoming a major contender for President of the United States of America. Heck, he’s been running for president since 2000.
The two-pronged point I’m trying to make is that when people who are famous for acting, singing, or writing begin talking about politics, science, or public policy, plug your ears. They have nothing to say worth listening to.
I highly doubt that any actors, singers, or writers of note are reading this blog post, but if you are, please stick to acting, singing, and writing.
If you must talk about politics, go and spend your free time reading good books on things like history or economics, like Ronald Reagan used to do. Please avoid major periodicals for a while.
Or if you’re more technically inclined, you could be like Hedy Lamarr, who invented a nifty anti-missile jamming system during World War II. If she could do something like that, you could easily bone up on mathematics or chemistry or engineering or something.
In a word, actually learn something about what you’re talking about before deciding to soapbox about it. That’s all I ask.
Image courtesy of dailymail.co.uk