Celebrities Want Their Cake and Eat It Too

Celebrities crack me up.  Not all celebrities.  There are some actors and actresses that stay out of the limelight and relish their privacy.  I’m talking about those who are attention-seeking junkies who spend every waking moment trying to be relevant.  Then, when something goes wrong in their lives, they want the cameras off, the lights dimmed, and their “fans” to just go away.  This seems to be what happens when their very public relationships go south.  Here are a few examples.

Someone who fits this category perfectly is Kim Kardashian.  As I read recently, people weren’t interesting in seeing or reading about her “marriage” to Kris Humphries during the multi-million event in August, but rather reading about her “wedding.”  I knew the marriage was in trouble the week after when People magazine’s cover story was “Kim’s Wedding” – no mention whatsoever of Kris on the cover.  The whole event had nothing to do with their “marriage.”

Seventy-two days later, she filed for divorce.  No big surprise there as far as I’m concerned.  But then it was reported that the Kardashian clan banned E! channel from screening anything to do with her divorce drama in her reality show.  According to TMZ, Kim didn’t want cameras to document the private, emotional moments behind her divorce.

What a hypocrite!  Here’s a woman who became a “celebrity” because of a disgusting sex tape released on the internet, who allows the media to film and record every movement she makes on more than one television show, has spent countless hours monetizing on her celebrity status, and created a business empire worth millions.  She and her family have over 10 million followers on Twitter and I can’t read my news feeds without seeing something about the Kardashians.  But now she wants her privacy.

Another example is has-been actress, Demi Moore.  She marries a guy 15 years her junior and for the past six years, has tried to remain relevant in the media even though her last really successful movie was Charlie’s Angels in 2003.  Here’s another one who loves the limelight, is ready for any intrusion into her life by the media as long as it’s considered a positive.  Then when things go bad, she asks that her privacy be respected.  “This is a trying time for me and I ask for the same compassion and privacy that you would give to anyone going through a similar situation.”  Well, every one of these celebrities begging for their “privacy” when times go bad has never wanted to be like anyone else.  Most of the time they don’t think the rules apply to them and certainly want to be treated special, except when they don’t.

Finally, there’s Chaz Bono, who in November proposed to his girlfriend of 12 years on his television show.  Now, they’ve split up and he’s asking for “privacy” during these difficult times.  “No further amplification [of their break-up] will be forthcoming and they ask that you respect their privacy at this time.”  Remember, he put himself out there by allowing his transition from Chastity to Chaz to be documented in “Becoming Chaz,” wrote a book about it, “Transition: How I Became a Man,” and touted being a “different kind of man” on Dancing with the Stars.

I recently met a man who bought and sold celebrity autographs which, apparently, is a lucrative business.  He told me that even has-been celebrities will appear at conventions and will sell their autographs for as little as $5 – but they’re still making public appearances and still crave the attention.  Most are upset if someone doesn’t recognize them.

I have plenty going on in my life that keeps be very busy so I don’t follow any of these people on Twitter or Facebook and only know about them from the headlines. I can’t escape them at the grocery store or on my computer.  I only read about them because they provide fodder for my articles.  But, there are millions of people who are either curious, envious or enamored with celebrities and are truly interested in every tidbit of news or gossip that’s published.  Otherwise, websites like Perez Hilton’s, tmz.comimnotobsessed.comand thehollywood-gossip.com wouldn’t exist.

But, remember, if that portion of the public wasn’t interested, celebrities would not be celebrities.  In other words, celebrities, who thrive on and crave public and media attention, want their cake and eat it too.  They want the adoration but only when it suits them.  When the going gets tough, they want everyone to back off.  I say they can’t have it both ways.

I don’t get it, but if you do, God bless you.

Apology Not Accepted

Does anyone really buy into apologies —  the frequent “written or spoken expressions of one’s regret, remorse, or sorrow for having insulted, failed, injured or wronged another” that we hear all too often these days from people in the news? 

I’m probably not the best person to be writing about this subject.  I’m the gal whose husband tried to convince “you don’t have to say everything you think.”  I’m getting better but I’ve had my moments where my foot went straight into my mouth. 

I know a loudmouth when I see one and, these days, there’s no shortage.  What is in short supply are people who are willing to face the consequences which result from their rants.  I think it would be refreshing to hear someone say, “If you must know, I really did mean what I said and I’m not sorry.”  But I guess then there’d be even more people out of work. 

I’m not saying deep down everyone  is a homophobic, conservative-hating, anti-God racist.  But I’m getting a little tired of people running their mouths and then, when it suits them and their bank accounts, we’re supposed to forget they ever said what they did in the first place and go on as if nothing happened. 

Most will fold like a house of cards under pressure and pony up their unconvincing (at least to me) apologies because their careers are in jeopardy. 

Take, for example, one of my favorites, Teflon-coated Kobe Bryant.  After his fourth foul in a game, he called referee Bennie Adams a “f******g f****t.”  Under pressure the following day, he “expressed his heartfelt regret for the hurt that his words caused” and was fined $100K. 

Russell Crowe went on some ridiculous tirade against circumcision on Twitter and the following day felt the need to make additional lame comments.  “I realize that some will interpret this debate as me mocking the rituals and traditions of others.  I am very sorry.  I have a deep and abiding love for all people of all nationalities …”  Just shut up and act.

Recently, comedian, Tracy Morgan, during a comedy routine, went on a rant about homosexuals and later found himself apologizing, probably under pressure from the people behind the scenes of his show 30 Rock.  He considers himself an “equal opportunity jokester” but, apparently, not an equal opportunity apologizer because TNT, not Morgan, eventually apologized for his inappropriate comments regarding Sarah Palin.

After listening to one of President Obama’s news conferences, Mark Halperin, a regular on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” show called the President a “dick.”  He was suspended indefinitely as an analyst on the show and issued his “heartfelt and profound apology to the President…”

Even corporations feel the need to apologize.  NBC apologized for omitting “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance during the U.S. Open broadcast.  And then, when Missouri Congressman, Todd Akin, equated liberalism to a “hatred of God” in response to NBC’s omission, he goes and apologizes! 

None of these examples seems to me to be a slip of the tongue.  They all meant to say what they said and they had to know what they said would offend someone.  I doubt thatKobe meant to call the referee a “sucking maggot.” 

When we hear these things, are we really looking into a person’s soul?  When Mel Gibson went on his anti-Semitic tirade, we were told these statements reflected his deep-rooted core beliefs.   

I’m not a shrink but I have to think that if someone, like Morgan, is going to do an entire “comedy routine” about homosexuals, he certainly knows what he’s saying.  For him to figure out afterwards that “even in a comedy club this clearly went too far and was not funny in any context,” what made him think it was funny in the first place?  But, hey, that’s just me. 

Comedian, Jon Stewart, who thinks his impersonation of Presidential hopeful, Herman Cain, was funny, hasn’t apologized (although I’d like to hear him use the same Amos ‘n Andy voice to mock Barack Obama).  I didn’t think it was funny but perhaps his liberal audience did, and, besides, it’s always okay to mock a conservative black man. 

Public mea culpas on demand come far too soon without real sincerity or much introspection as far as I’m concerned.  It’s clearly all too convenient when it comes down to the wallet. 

Say what you will about the Rev. Al Sharpton, but he’s never apologized for the Tawana Brawley mess he got himself into back in 1987.  He’s never been willing to make “an admission of error accompanied by an expression of regret” but, for some unknown reason to me, he’s managed to continue to be the outspoken poverty pimp opportunist he’s always been. 

I don’t get it, but if you do, God bless you.

P.S.  I won’t be apologizing to the Rev. Sharpton any time soon. 


Too Much Time, Too Much Money

I don’t think a day goes by when I don’t use that expression.  I either read about or see someone who just has too much time on his hands, or has too much money, and gets into some sort of trouble.  I see it in people in all walks of life but Hollywood seems to be the breeding ground for these types of useless twits.

This month’s ungrateful waste of humanity is Charlie Sheen.  Not a day has gone by in the last couple of weeks when his meltdown hasn’t been all over the internet.  I’m going to say that if his name wasn’t “Sheen,” he probably wouldn’t be on the very popular dopey sit-com which earns him a reported $1.8 million per episode.  If not for his father, he would’ve been just another ok-looking, ok-acting, wannabe trying to make it in Hollywood.  For every Charlie Sheen, there’s probably a 1,000 members of SAG who can’t even get a job as a corpse.

So what does he do with his good fortune?  For over 20 years, he’s had a history of criminal charges and involvement with booze, drugs, gambling and hookers which makes him the perfect poster boy for my headline.  If he truly has an addiction or other psychological problems, he certainly has the money to employ the services of a first-class psychologist and not some hack who’ll take his money and tell him what he wants to hear.

If Sheen is spending long hours shooting a sitcom and still has the time to get into so much trouble, he should find something useful to do.  Why don’t we ever hear anything negative about actor, Gary Sinise, who also stars in a hit tv show, CSI NY?  Why, because when he’s not earning a living, he’s out doing concerts and charitable work on behalf of our military, that’s why.  In my equation, Gary Sinise doesn’t have “too much time.”  He’s using the blessings he’s been given – his name, his money and his time – to make life better for others.

All this reminds me of an article I read in the Denver Post, “The rat race behind India’s prosperity.”  It told the story of Sabid Ali Sheikh, 23 years old, who is one of Mumbai’s 44 “night rat killers.”  He was described as a “clean man, dressed in elaborately embroidered jeans and a crisp shirt, who thinks himself lucky to have even this dirty work.”  His father has been a rat killer for 30 years, and his brothers, who sell vegetables, wish they could be rat catchers too.

More than 4,000 people applied for these coveted jobs.  Competition is fierce and only 18-30 year-old men can apply.  They must be able to lift a 110-pound sack, run a few miles and demonstrate their ability to catch and kill a rat in the dark within 10 minutes.  Each rat catcher must kill 30 rats a night, six nights a week.  Sabid earns $271 a month if he makes his quota; if he doesn’t make his quota, he’s not paid.

Contrast the two.  Sabid has practically nothing, but is grateful for what he does have.  From his actions, I doubt Sheen recognizes how blessed he is and appreciates nothing.

You might say, “Hey, Leona, it’s his money, it’s his time.  He’s not hurting anyone but himself.”  Well, that might be right if he was living in a cocoon.  I just read his meltdown is costing CBS and Warner Bros. millions of dollars and affecting the livelihood of numerous people.

So for right now, Charlie Sheen is my perfect scapegoat for all that’s wrong with people with too much time and too much money.  Next month, we’ll be reading about some other Hollywood loser who can’t find something productive to occupy his or her time.

If someone is so bored with their life that they lose all empathy for people around them and involve themselves in destructive behavior that not only affects them but others as well, they should get help, find a hobby, read a book, do some charity work, do anything other than wasting their precious life.  Sabid, the rat catcher, speaks about his simple life.  “Everyone wants to be famous and known.  But this is my destiny.  Everything you wish will not come true.”

I get Sabid.  I don’t get Charlie Sheen and people like him, but if you do, God bless you.