Tag: celebrity

The Fault in Our Stars

Self-flagellation is never sexy — not even when sexy people do it.

I’m talking about individuals like Latina actress Zoe Saldana, who said that Hollywood liberals like her “got cocky and became arrogant and… became bullies.” She implied that this behavior led people to vote for Trump.


Of course, Hollywood celebrities have recently been wailing and gnashing their teeth over Trump’s victory. Because so many of them are liberal, this is perfectly understandable. What is mystifying, however, is the object of their scorn: their fellow progressives.

In addition to Saldana, there is celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, who said, “the utter contempt with which privileged Eastern liberals such as myself discuss red-state, gun-country, working-class America as ridiculous and morons and rubes is largely responsible” for Trump.

Wow, that is quite the self-indictment. And then there is our old friend Bill Maher, who believes “liberal culture’s preoccupation with language helped put Trump in the White House.”

Indeed, many people believe that endorsements from liberal celebrities “don’t matter anymore [and] more likely and long-term: They hurt.”

Yes, there is no shortage of celebrities who are admitting their culpability in Trump’s rise, even if they themselves are ardent touchy-feely progressives. Hell, it’s apparently because they’re touchy-feely progressives in the first place that we are in this mess.

But there is one little flaw with this apology tour: All of it is bullshit.

In a way, it is just more celebrity self-aggrandizement. Celebrities are saying that their opinions have the power to convince everyone how to vote — especially those knuckleheaded Neanderthals in the Rust Belt.

However, celebrities who humble brag about their cultural power are only the most visible manifestation of an insidious development in our society.

I’m talking about progressives who are so busy blaming themselves for Trump that they are not focused on fighting right-wing demagoguery.

And yes, that forms the perfect segue to my next post. So stay tuned.

Everybody Does It

Think about the many times a celebrity has been caught muttering — or in some cases, shouting — racist comments.


Or ponder how often somebody in the public eye has issued a bigoted tweet or did something else that made his or her fans say, “Give them a break. They didn’t mean it. They’re not really prejudiced.”

The list of excuses always the following accusation: People who object to such behavior are hypocrites because, after all, “everybody has used those words.”

But is this even remotely true?


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U Got the Look

Recently, I wrote about the low-level celebrity who confused me with the valet at a parking ramp.

While out having drinks, I retold the story to a couple of friends who, inexplicably, had not read it on the blog (yet they all claimed that they read my posts religiously… hmmm). In any case, we talked about whether the celebrity’s mistake rose to the level of racial profiling.

We never came to a definitive conclusion, because the topic soon drifted into a more concrete example of judging someone by the color of his skin. I’m talking about the TSA’s habit of stopping people like me for multiple wandings and the occasional frisking at airports. I’ve written before about this, but my friends all had theories on why the TSA is convinced that I’m the next Mohamed Atta.

“It’s because you look like somebody,” Friend One said. “There must be a guy on the terror watch list who looks exactly like you. It’s just bad luck.”

“No,” Friend Two said. “It’s because you look like everybody. You’re like the standard angry traveler with a bad attitude. They want to make an example out of you for going through the line with a scowl.”

“You’re both wrong,” Friend Three said. “It’s because you look like nobody. You’re still an exotic mix compared with most people who fly. So TSA thinks you could be a Muslim extremist, or a MS-13 gang member, or a yakuza for all they know. You could be something bad because nobody else in line resembles you.”

I thanked them for their insights. I finally had an answer on why I have to allow an extra fifteen minutes for airport security whenever I fly.

It’s because I look like somebody… or I look like everybody…  or I look like nobody.

So there you have it. That certainly clears things up.

But just as I achieved this level of enlightenment, Friend Four spoke up.

“It’s because you look brown,” she said. “That’s it.”

Damn, I had never even considered that.

It’s Kind of a Funny Story

All residents of Los Angeles spend an inordinate amount of time waiting for our cars. This is because the gods who devised our car culture decreed that, throughout the land, valet parking shall be the law. It’s not a question of choice.

One of my favorite restaurants makes you hand over your keys, and then watch as the valet moves your car about six feet from where you pulled into the lot. The IHOP in West Hollywood has valet parking (think about that; an IHOP…). And the parking garage where I waited for my car just yesterday had mandatory valet service, even though I could have easily parked it myself.

In any case, I was standing at the counter, claim ticket in hand, when I heard a voice behind me.

“Excuse me.”

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Power Lunch

It’s good karma to thank one’s internet friends, so let me give a quick shout out to Pete and Raul for their recent comments on my posts.

Speaking of amigos, a friend and I met up for dinner recently. For some reason, we started talking about shitty jobs that we’ve had in the past. Between us, we’ve had some pretty horrific gigs, but one of hers in particular caught my attention.

My friend used to be a personal assistant for a minor celebrity here in Los Angeles. One of her duties was to take the celebrity’s mother out to lunch. Yes, Hollywood types really do pay people to perform such tasks (I’m glad I could confirm your justifiably low opinion of them).

In any case, my friend was doing her job, listening to the celebrity’s elderly mother drone on over lunch, when the old lady stopped talking. My friend looked up, concerned that her client’s mom had just suffered a stroke on her watch.

But the celebrity’s mom was staring. My friend noticed the unmistakable flitting of anger cross the lady’s face.

“Look at them,” the celebrity’s mom hissed.

My friend turned around to see what the offense was. As you can imagine, the object of scorn was a Latino family.

The celebrity’s mom launched into a diatribe about how Hispanics were taking over and how they were “stealing my benefits.”

The exact nature of these benefits was not made clear. In fact, my friend briefly considered telling the old lady that any privileges she had accrued were because of her majority status in the culture — that and the fact that her daughter had once starred in a hit TV show. It wasn’t because the old lady had actually worked hard for anything.

Nor did my friend learn how a normal-looking family out for a meal was really a front for stealing the old woman’s “benefits,” whatever those were. In fact, as my friend explained, “I’m not even sure everybody in the family was Hispanic. A couple of them looked Middle Eastern.”

In any case, my friend endured the diatribe about “sneaky Mexicans” and escorted the old lady out of the restaurant. The benefit-stealing family of possible Hispanics remained oblivious.

My friend quit the job soon after this incident. Cut off from the entourage, she never heard from the celebrity again. It’s just as well, because her old boss is now an ex-celebrity who hasn’t worked in years. In all likelihood, she doesn’t even have a personal assistant anymore.

Who knows, maybe the celebrity has to suffer the indignity of taking her own damn mom out for lunch.

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