Celebrities and Political Opinions

music box.jpg

So, on my feed on the Book of Faces there was a link to this article.  In the article (which was two years old, but that I hadn’t seen before, the country music couple of Tim McGraw and Faith Hill called for more gun control, saying “it’s not about the 2nd Amendment” (as if it can be about anything else).

Look, when I was a small child, my grandmother had this box.  When you opened the lid a little ballerina figurine would spring up.  Inside there was a clockwork mechanism that would cause the ballerina to turn round and round while a small metal cylinder inside would rotate causing bumps on the cylinder to pluck at tuned strips of metal producing musical notes.  The spacing of the bumps would, in this way, pluck out a simple tune.

I didn’t go to that box for political opinions either.

People seem to have this strange idea that celebrities are people of importance who should be given credence in matters of politics, economics, and, yes, gun control simply because they are celebrities.

Actors?  They play pretend for a living.  That’s hardly an endorsement for deep thought in politics.

Athletes?  The ability to run fast, jump high, or more a ball around a field in prescribed ways doesn’t make them experts in world affairs.

Models?  Human clothes racks by profession.  And, once again, no endorsement of deep understanding of economics. (Note even “able to manage a business successfully”, which many models do–their own personal business–is not the same thing as understanding economics.)

Writers? (And I am one.) Telling lies for a living, even entertaining lies that no one is expected to believe is real, does not gift them with particular insight into law enforcement.

And musicians?  Being able to carry a tune or pluck on a guitar does not make one an expert on the crime, violence, and gun control.  It just doesn’t.

This is not to say that some celebrities might not have valid arguments on any of those positions or any of many more.  They can, just like anyone else.  But it’s not their celebrity status that would make those positions “valid”.  It’s the arguments themselves, and the facts and logic behind them.  But that’s not how celebrity positions are presented.  They’re simply stated and we’re supposed to accept them because of who said them.  The truth is that in most cases they don’t even understand their own positions.  They don’t recognize the existence of, let alone are able to understand, counterarguments to their position.  They rely purely on their fame to lend weight to their position.

This is the very essence of the argument ad hominem writ large:  trying to claim truth or falsity of a proposition based on who said it rather than its own content and correspondence with reality.  The term is usually used when people belittle an argument because the one making it is “bad” in some way but its equally fallacious when one tries to shore up an argument because of the supposed virtue of whoever made it.

And it’s utterly and completely ridiculous to make that support because of not even virtue, but simple fame.

8 thoughts on “Celebrities and Political Opinions”

  1. I thought it funny years ago when the same people who applauded an entertainer for their political view, would sneer at President Reagan as “just a former B-Actor”. 😈

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  2. — People seem to have this strange idea that celebrities are people of importance who should be given credence… —

    Well, yes, some do. But it’s even more disturbing that CELEBRITIES think they’re people of importance, etc. — and that the major media do their damnedest to slather us with those celebrities’ political, economic, and social opinions.

    Supposedly the whole thing started with Edward R. Murrow’s interview of Frank Sinatra, but I incline to the view that we should never have paid anyone for singing, dancing, acting, or throwing, catching, or hitting a ball in the first place. It only encourages them, y’know.

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  3. I have to chuckle. Recently, someone replied to an argument I was making with something about how my multiple degrees not including one in history, and another of her friends somehow also lacking the credentials to make a claim, but another friend… oh, she works for the government, and wouldn’t we be amazed to find out what office! (She never did say.) I told her that her argument was an ad hominem, and that a degree in history isn’t required to know that nations that have tried socialism have more often than not slaughtered millions of people, and failed miserably in building a nation that can survive.

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  4. I don’t look to entertainers for anything other than entertainment usually. Some of the few exceptions would be Peter Weller on art and Larry Correia on firearms, since they have actual experience in those fields. The rest are just like everyone else, but with higher public profiles.

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  5. Yes to all. Well written. I have nothing to add but to let you know that your work is being read and enjoyed.

    On that note, I found Oruk Means Hard Work difficult to get engaged in. I picked it up because I liked the title and the blurb but didn’t get all the way through. Would you recommend any of your books above that one as a starting point for your work? I like high fantasy, sci fi, mystery, and combinations of all three.

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    1. High Fantasy, you might like The Hordes of Chanakra (novel) or the shorter piece set in the same world (a couple of years after The Hordes of Chanakra) “The Kinmar”. SF: Most of my FutureTech series. Shorts like EMT or Rainy Days and Moon Days, novel like Survival Test.

      If you like MilSF, there’s Shiva’s Whisper (also part of the FutureTech Industries series, although there’s no direct connection in that book…but planned to be in future books). It ties into the earlier “Live to Tell” (which also does not make explicit the connection within the book).

      If you like your MilSF with a dose of giant monsters and Lovecraftian horror, there’s Big Blue. My daughter once said, when I was picking her up from daycare some years back, “someone should write Godzilla vs. Cthulhu” (How she knew about Cthulhu I do not know). The result was this book.

      Alchemy of Shadows and The Unmasking are both urban/contemporary fantasy novels. The Unmasking is really dark in places. I don’t consider it quite horror because it lacks the nihilism in most of what I’ve seen of horror, but the monsters are nasty.

      The Thunderer is a collection of three shorts: one contemporary fantasy, one a retelling of myth, and one actually science fiction. Connecting theme is that all involve the Norse god Thor (or at least what someone thinks is Thor).

      The short, Lurker in the Water is horror, the only actual horror I’ve ever written.

      The Chooser is my most recent release. It’s more or less contemporary fantasy in that it takes place in the present day although most of the action occurs in Valhalla (with brief side trips to Helheim).

      Everything of my own that I’ve released is available free to read on Kindle Unlimited so if you have that, you can try them without needing to spend any money beyond the KU subscription itself. And no need to feel guilty about shorting me in doing so either. I get paid for pages read by KU. So, feel free to indulge. I can’t say that for the anthologies I’m in–I have no control over distribution on that.

      I’ve also got a sequel to Oruk Means Hard Work nearing release. Although a sequel my beta readers say that it does stand alone well.

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