It’s tax season once again, so I guess we’ll all be contacting our plumbers to assists us in our annual tax preparation. What, you don’t use a skilled, licensed tradesman to review your finances and prepare your taxes? I don’t either because, while my plumber is very good at doing things I could never do, why would I possibly care about his opinion of my taxes? That would kind of be like listening to ... oh I don’t know ... an entertainer’s opinion about politics or pretty much anything else.
Earlier this week I began noticing a lot of noise on the news and social media about a speech Meryl Streep gave at some Hollywood award show. I don’t watch award Hollywood award shows because the idea of watching a group of entertainers dress up in fancy clothes and reinforce each other’s fragile egos with shiny objects bores me to tears. I’d rather sit and listen to group of women drone on about their husband’s inadequacies endlessly (you know ... watch Dr. Phil) than to watch a bunch of painted monkeys pat each other on the back.
I’m not a huge fan of grownups receiving awards for doing jobs that they get paid for. I have been nominated and even won a few awards for writing this column over the last decade or so, but I’ve never attended a ceremony and I couldn’t list the awards I’ve won, not because I’m humble but because I get paid for doing this. I realize it’s an old-fashioned notion but to your average working stiff (not that I could ever be confused for a working stiff) getting paid is all the validation you need that you’re doing your job well.
I didn’t hear Ms. Streep’s speech, nor have I read excerpts from it because I really don’t care about her opinion. I don’t know her and, as a general rule, I put little stock in the opinions of total strangers. Whatever she said seemed to cause quite the reaction from people who care about such things.
The story about her “controversial” comments was listed just above a story about the president-elect tweeting about her comments, which was just above the story about a U.S. Navy destroyer firing on Iranian gunboats. I really wish I were making that up but on every media outlet I checked (both the “lame-stream leftwing” media and the “fair and unbiased” right wing mouthpieces) the fact that Americans had to defend themselves in international waters was deemed less newsworthy than some thespian’s opinions. Really?
What’s worse it seems my own group of friends felt the need to weigh in on her rant and/or Mr. Trump’s rapier like Tweets. There was an avalanche of comments and clever memes howling that the lefty Hollywood types shut up and stick to entertainment. To make their point they used memes quoting Mark Wahlberg, Clint Eastwood and Kid Rock ... you know, the good celebrities who know what they’re talking about.
Others praised her for what they called her heroic and courageous remarks. You’ll have to excuse me if I don’t “like and share” comments about the courage of a millionaire who plays dress up for a living when I just read that some young sailors are standing tall in harm’s way.
You’ve probably figured out by now that celebrities don’t impress me. I’ve met three presidents, a handful of senators and congressmen and more than my share of judges as well as a whole group of movie actors and musicians over the years and they all had one thing in common; they were just people who desperately need our approval to make a living.
My plumber doesn’t give a rat’s backside whether I agree with his opinions or think he’s charming as long as I pay my bill. I could not care less if he worships a three-eyed alien god and voted for Elmer Fudd as long as he can keep the water running in my house for a reasonable price. I feel the same way about the people who entertain me; dress up, make me smile then go away.
For the record my plumber is sort of a good-looking guy, as long as you don’t look at him from behind while he’s under the sink, and he tells pretty funny jokes. Still, I won’t be posting his picture or thoughts on my Facebook page.
Remember celebrities are like fear and telemarketers; if you don’t pay attention to them, they eventually go away.
Rick Seley is an award-winning humor columnist. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.