Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Actors, Unequal Amplification, and the Inability to Hold Onto One's Shit

No, this is not one more blog post about Harvey Weinstein.

In the week following the first two episodes of Star Trek: Discovery, I featured an Instagram photo shared by Discovery’s star, Sonequa Martin-Green. In the photo, the cast and crew kneel in solidarity with the NFL players who are kneeling during the National Anthem when it is played/sung prior to football games.

I had thought about skipping both Discovery and the NFL, but I changed my mind and decided to watch the TV show; I have to say that it’s great.

Especially compelling is the character of Captain Gabriel Lorca. Trek fans have never seen a captain like this dude before -- not unless he/she is a guest star who, at the end of the episode, is going to end up dead, imprisoned, or disgraced in some other way. Part Kirk and part General Chang, minus the joie de vivre of either -- as yet, anyway.

On Twitter, I started following actor Jason Isaacs, who plays Lorca, not long after the episode debuted. Isaacs is far from the first actor I’ve followed. I keep track of several others because I like their work and/or some entertainment project of theirs.

Of course, we all know that the entertainment industry is filled with liberals and leftists and, because of Social Media, we often get to read what their liberal/leftist opinions are. It’s something to be expected and when an actor puts forth a liberal/leftist opinion with which I don’t agree, I generally keep scrolling unless it’s an area in which I have specific knowledge.

With Isaacs being a very outspoken liberal, I expected to have to keep scrolling a lot and I do. But the following caught my eye.

FTR, Isaacs is a British subject.

Not only do I have a lot of liberal friends, but a lot of liberals in the family (hello? I’m black) and I’m connected to many of them via Facebook; many of them hate President Trump with the fire of ten thousand suns. And then there are all the conservative NeverTrumpers. On top of that, there are the Trump Worshipers who, also, fly into a rage should someone have the temerity to offer the most benign criticism of DJT – like maybe he could be more selective in choosing his opponent when starting a Twitter war.

I keep scrolling for most of these, too. Unfortunately, many don’t do me the same favor and will cut off communications if I don't roll over and agree.

Many in the categories specified in above are very good at doing this one thing:

Losing their shit.

But most of my friends and acquaintances are not entertainment professionals and, therefore, don’t have the voice that the latter do. Entertainment professionals – especially actors – have far greater amplification than do most of us normal people. Huge numbers of people follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for the same reason I do -- respect for their ability to entertain.

Don’t get me wrong. This post isn’t about fairness. Of course, the amplification imbalance is not fair, but I, for one, think fairness is overrated. I point out the imbalance to say this one thing:

Amplification size does not equal truth.

I do wish that more actors, regardless of their politics, would take the time to flesh out their opinions, but we all know that’s too much to ask for most of them, with some notable exceptions. Mostly it’s all about whipping up the mob and pumping up the ego by soliciting “right-ons” aka “likes” – something I’m not above doing, but as fans of baldilocks already know, it’s not all I do.

So, I’ll keep scrolling over outrage mongering of any variety and hope for a few more measured, reasoned voices even if they belong to liberal entertainment professionals. And I’ll keep watching Star Trek: Discovery. The NFL, however, can go fly a kite.

And, remember:

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