The news from “movie land” is in New York at the moment. First the Woody Allen allegations from an estranged “family,” and then the death by heroin overdose of a very busy actor, Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Why, I wonder, do millions of people “live” as if they are in any way dwelling in the same circles with “stars”? The private lives of others are nobody’s else’s business and belong to the central characters in the drama. I wish all the “tweeters” who do not, or did not know the people they gossip about would please stay in their own lives and confine their stupidity to their own families and friends, please.
Some people really need to get a life of their own, and if their lives are boring they need to stop being angry. Yes, boredom is a kind of anger.Of course, social scientists may think it is a good thing to keep the masses tweeting to each other with banal homilies, faulty faith, haughty gossip bordering on slander, and worst of all, digital megalomania: “Look at ME instantly even though I speak in little “pops” and even though we’ve never met– you are my friend.” How dumb is that? Is this new age of digital “friendship” a plot to keep people from thinking?
What egomaniac would tweet Miley Cyrus and think she cares? Small minds are teeny enough without adding a dimension of fantasy-friendships; I suggest the tweets only show a paucity of thought, an empty head, a great waste of time and sometimes more than a hint of jealousy and desperation.
Hateful children often make false accusations; molestation is a common charge today, according to the courts, often among welfare mothers who will not work and are so desperate they know this accusation is the heaviest stone they can heave at whomever has stopped the handouts. (No,I am not against welfare mothers, but we all must know someone who “marries the State” in order to avoid “earning” a living.) A child molester is a monster and should be punished, but condemning an innocent person should also have consequences. Character assassination is a kind of murder.
This same heinous character assassination all but ruined Zora Neale Hurston’s reputation as a writer. Time healed the wound as it always does. “Living well is the best revenge.” Still ignorance is the worst sin and there is nothing we can do about it, is there?
The media will continue to cater to the ignorant, the true under-world. With education comes reason. Anyone can point a finger, throw rocks, bully and crush reputations. The heft of the weapon determines the damage. My fifth grade teacher, Sister Ann Mary wrote this on the blackboard, “We criticize in proportion to our ignorance.” My mother’s most serious condemnation was always, ‘ignorant.” One must have mentors to grow out of illusion, delusion….Socrates: “The unexamined life is not worth living.” That doesn’t mean watching someone else’s life, only one’s own.
And let’s not forget, shadenfreude. Is anyone thinking maybe secretly that it’s a good thing they never tried heroin? 38,000 people die each year from heroin overdoses. Knowing what heroin is like, the haters “say,” why would anyone try it?
And, I cannot end my diatribe against the media, without acknowledging I am using it now to blog my own thoughts on the matter about those who use it to preach pseudo-Christian messages to people they will never truly know. More than a few unlucky parents have received more than one hurtful accusation by telephone and tape, emails without going viral, whereas the famous are smeared across the public media, alas. When I see the famous faces on TV, I feel sorry for two extremely talented people who have given me many hours of imaginary excursions, one a genius story teller, and the other a wonderfully generous actor. However, the media enriches itself like Midas by giving the hateful space to swim in virtual reality passing judgment on those they have never known, and “tsk-tsk” with righteous indignation the misfortunes of the famous. Thank God we can turn it all off while we still can. The gossip-mongering, conjecturing, dissecting. Does anyone in some small seaside village thousands of miles away from Beverly Hills think Britney Spears cares what they think about her private life?
I feel lucky to have Seymour Phillip Hoffman’s perfect performances on DVDs to enjoy, and I feel very sad that he suffered so in real life and left a family to suffer now, and Woody Allen’s current problem makes me commiserate with all parents who have been excluded from the lives of their children for any reason, the most common being greed when the giving stops.
Shakespeare says it best in King Lear, at the end of his life when he cries out: “”…how sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child.”
He means it as a curse, and it is. Great writers have written much on the subject: Balzac, Dante, Dostoevsky, Salinger, and more. Sadly, it happens in the best of families, in this Keno game called genes.
One cannot help notice how some people “talk” on social media about famous and the infamous as if their voices are ever heard, relevant or even sensible. When you think about it, this virtual, non-impact blather is ridiculous. It is, however, also interesting because of the revelations about the tweeters, those who think in little bytes like dog-barks or fly balls at Dodger’s Stadium.
Away from the noise: Enjoy some peace!