Author Topic: Celebrities in Politics  (Read 870 times)

Demolition Squid

  • Outlandish
  • ***
  • Posts: 6600
  • Bank?! OH SHIIIIIIIIT!
    • View Profile
Celebrities in Politics
« on: March 02, 2015, 01:07:43 pm »
Martin Sheen has come out with a few big hitters lately. After a blistering documentary about the Chartist movement which hit back against modern politicians he has stepped up and delivered an attack on both the right and left wing in a speech at a St. David's Day March:

Quote
“No one says they want to get rid of the NHS, everyone praises it ... But for decades now there has been a systematic undermining of it [the NHS’s] core values. This is beyond party politics. The Labour government arguably did as much damage to the NHS, as any Tory or coalition led one. In today’s political climate, where politicians are careful, tentative, scared of saying what they feel for fear ... all political parties drift into a morass of bland neutrality and the real values we suspect are kept behind closed doors. Is it any wonder that people feel there is little to choose between?

Do we want to be a society that is exploitative, that sees people as commodities, as numbers, and mere instruments of profit? Or do we want to be a society where each person is recognised, where all are equal in worth and value – where that value is not purely a monetary one?”

With this and Russell Brand - who, although I dislike for a lot of reasons, has also been throwing his weight around in the political sphere... it seems like celebrities are becoming more commonplace in political discourse, speaking directly about the system rather than their traditional role - shining a light on particular issues or becoming politicians aligned with one of the major parties directly themselves.

I suspect that this is because celebrities are - despite all appearances - people too, and they are in a unique position to capture media attention with a single coherent message where other organized attempts to do so (looking at you, Occupy) have utterly failed to do so. As dissatisfaction grows, and the traditional opposition fail to articulate an alternative narrative, the media looks elsewhere for one - and celebrities are a friendly, familiar face who also have the benefit of already knowing the ropes when it comes to press coverage.

This just seemed interesting to me. I really can't stand Russell Brand personally, but it seems like this isn't going away any time soon. I suppose it makes sense - the media demands that politicians play the part of actors to a greater degree than ever before (with soundbites, photo ops, and staged debates) - it shouldn't be too surprising that the professionals step up when they feel the urge.
Vast and Roaring Nipplebeast from the Dawn of Soho

MMIX

  • Доктор мом
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 16620
  • FUNEX? S, VFX. FUNEM? S, VFM
    • View Profile
Re: Celebrities in Politics
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2015, 01:28:34 pm »
Martin Sheen has come out with a few big hitters lately. After a blistering documentary about the Chartist movement which hit back against modern politicians he has stepped up and delivered an attack on both the right and left wing in a speech at a St. David's Day March:

Quote
“No one says they want to get rid of the NHS, everyone praises it ... But for decades now there has been a systematic undermining of it [the NHS’s] core values. This is beyond party politics. The Labour government arguably did as much damage to the NHS, as any Tory or coalition led one. In today’s political climate, where politicians are careful, tentative, scared of saying what they feel for fear ... all political parties drift into a morass of bland neutrality and the real values we suspect are kept behind closed doors. Is it any wonder that people feel there is little to choose between?

Do we want to be a society that is exploitative, that sees people as commodities, as numbers, and mere instruments of profit? Or do we want to be a society where each person is recognised, where all are equal in worth and value – where that value is not purely a monetary one?”

With this and Russell Brand - who, although I dislike for a lot of reasons, has also been throwing his weight around in the political sphere... it seems like celebrities are becoming more commonplace in political discourse, speaking directly about the system rather than their traditional role - shining a light on particular issues or becoming politicians aligned with one of the major parties directly themselves.

I suspect that this is because celebrities are - despite all appearances - people too, and they are in a unique position to capture media attention with a single coherent message where other organized attempts to do so (looking at you, Occupy) have utterly failed to do so. As dissatisfaction grows, and the traditional opposition fail to articulate an alternative narrative, the media looks elsewhere for one - and celebrities are a friendly, familiar face who also have the benefit of already knowing the ropes when it comes to press coverage.

This just seemed interesting to me. I really can't stand Russell Brand personally, but it seems like this isn't going away any time soon. I suppose it makes sense - the media demands that politicians play the part of actors to a greater degree than ever before (with soundbites, photo ops, and staged debates) - it shouldn't be too surprising that the professionals step up when they feel the urge.
Michael Sheen, but yes it was a cillingly excellent documentary
If the answer is Donald J Trump then it must have been a fucking stupid question.
Trump cultists; "and some, I assume, are good people"
Collusion??? ~ "If it truly was a nothingburger, there’s nothing here, why not open the kimono?”

Demolition Squid

  • Outlandish
  • ***
  • Posts: 6600
  • Bank?! OH SHIIIIIIIIT!
    • View Profile
Re: Celebrities in Politics
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2015, 02:21:06 pm »
Martin Sheen has come out with a few big hitters lately. After a blistering documentary about the Chartist movement which hit back against modern politicians he has stepped up and delivered an attack on both the right and left wing in a speech at a St. David's Day March:

Quote
“No one says they want to get rid of the NHS, everyone praises it ... But for decades now there has been a systematic undermining of it [the NHS’s] core values. This is beyond party politics. The Labour government arguably did as much damage to the NHS, as any Tory or coalition led one. In today’s political climate, where politicians are careful, tentative, scared of saying what they feel for fear ... all political parties drift into a morass of bland neutrality and the real values we suspect are kept behind closed doors. Is it any wonder that people feel there is little to choose between?

Do we want to be a society that is exploitative, that sees people as commodities, as numbers, and mere instruments of profit? Or do we want to be a society where each person is recognised, where all are equal in worth and value – where that value is not purely a monetary one?”

With this and Russell Brand - who, although I dislike for a lot of reasons, has also been throwing his weight around in the political sphere... it seems like celebrities are becoming more commonplace in political discourse, speaking directly about the system rather than their traditional role - shining a light on particular issues or becoming politicians aligned with one of the major parties directly themselves.

I suspect that this is because celebrities are - despite all appearances - people too, and they are in a unique position to capture media attention with a single coherent message where other organized attempts to do so (looking at you, Occupy) have utterly failed to do so. As dissatisfaction grows, and the traditional opposition fail to articulate an alternative narrative, the media looks elsewhere for one - and celebrities are a friendly, familiar face who also have the benefit of already knowing the ropes when it comes to press coverage.

This just seemed interesting to me. I really can't stand Russell Brand personally, but it seems like this isn't going away any time soon. I suppose it makes sense - the media demands that politicians play the part of actors to a greater degree than ever before (with soundbites, photo ops, and staged debates) - it shouldn't be too surprising that the professionals step up when they feel the urge.
Michael Sheen, but yes it was a cillingly excellent documentary

Chillingly, but yes it was good.

Although I was a bit sick of the envy politics by the end - I wound up thinking that actually, they were doing their overall cause more harm than good. Most of the best points were made in the first 15-20 minutes.
Vast and Roaring Nipplebeast from the Dawn of Soho

MMIX

  • Доктор мом
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 16620
  • FUNEX? S, VFX. FUNEM? S, VFM
    • View Profile
Re: Celebrities in Politics
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2015, 03:29:21 pm »
Yes, I think you are right. It felt like it had been stretched to fit the timeslot rather than made to highlight the content.
If the answer is Donald J Trump then it must have been a fucking stupid question.
Trump cultists; "and some, I assume, are good people"
Collusion??? ~ "If it truly was a nothingburger, there’s nothing here, why not open the kimono?”

Cain

  • Alea iacta est
  • Chekha
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 105003
    • View Profile
Re: Celebrities in Politics
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2015, 05:33:12 pm »
I would have preferred Martin Sheen doing a documentary on the Chartist movement.

Also, yes.  When you reduce politics to specatcle and celebrity, it should be no surprise that celebrities involve themselves in politics.  Personally, I don't think it's a good sign, but that could just be my general opinion that while, when averaged out, most people are sensible, most individuals are lunatics, and the more egocentric the individual, the higher the chances of lunacy.  It reminds me of Surkov, and his "managed democracy", only without the hierarchical template.  A whirling, postmodern playground for those with the shamelessness, media access and money to get in.  Brand poses as a revolutionary, while Cameron poses as...whatever the fuck he is posing as this week, and both are equally false and equally void.

Which is not to say celebrities cannot have political concerns etc.  Only that when it becomes an established part of the political culture, it's a sign of a fundamentally unhealthy political culture.