Friday, September 15, 2006

Acting Politically

Is Sean Penn the worst actor in America because of his face? Or is he the worst actor because of that contrived explosive-emoting thing he does over and over?

Is Sean Penn the worst lefty-spokesperson because of his face? Or is he the worst lefty-spokesperson because of the contrived explosive-emoting thing he does over and over?

Not only does Penn look like a greasy angry troll, he behaves like one too, reminding the world that his last moment of genuine expressiveness came in 1982 while acting the part of a stoner.

I tried to watch Sean Penn on Larry King last night as he snorted and snarled and grunted his way through a litany of personal efforts and alleged global compassions on the part of oppressed people everywhere, but by the time he got to pushing his unattractive way through Iran, I had to shut the whole painful process down.

There was simply never a flicker, not one moment, of humanity in the dude's face. Penn’s contorted, Rumpelstiltskin-like visage betrayed not a moment of genuine compassion or concern for whatever he was spitting and snapping about. He seemed an ugly, affected bundle of scorn and contempt for not only the current administration, but for life in general.

The face is where human beings wear their humanity, should we be inclined to have some. Thank goodness then that Ugly Penn was followed by George Clooney's quietly urgent and considerate comments to the U.N. and to John Roberts of CNN (no longer CBS) on behalf of the crisis in Darfur.

Now there’s a face that can radiate the beauty and depth of a man's convictions and concerns. There is a genuine quality of honesty in Clooney's eyes. No doubt there is a small chance that I am dulled and dazzled by Clooney’s sheer physical beauty, by that classic timelessness he radiates with the rugged tan, glossy black hair and proper suit, but it's pretty damn hard to fake genuine compassion. Then again, he gets paid the ludicrous bucks to do just that - to act. (All this remind you of anyone? Hint hint. As in a former White House res/pres???)

The problem with celebrity causes is that they're so extreme they give the impression that one must have Hollywood-levels of resources to even get on the helpful-radar. Do you need Gulfstreams full of cash and influence to do anything about Darfur? The horror in Sudan seems oblivious to money and influence. Indeed, it seems oblivious to George Clooney. Who are the people who can really "do something," and does the average American even factor into the assistance equation?

I think Clooney, by appearing before the U.N., is telling us that the U.N. can do something. In fact, he said, "If not the U.N., then who?" But what about the audience watching at home? What about the celebrity spokesperson's fans, the people who might want to actually do something to help? What is it that these celebrities are trying to tell them when they appear on TV?

Honestly, I don't have a clue. Once you rally the troops, what do you do then? A few email addresses or wwws could be a start. Or maybe they left that part on the edit room floor.

No comments: