Monday, June 19, 2017

Shut Up and Sing (unless you agree with me)

Social meeting has created a special connection between celebrities and their fans and people who like their public persona.  Some celebrities have created a social media experience for fans were they answer questions, get into dialogue and share both professional and personal thoughts, sometimes too personal.  Some celebrities like  JK Rowling, Marina Sirtis, Andrew Zimmern, Cher, Christine Teigen and Mario Batali are among some of the most outspoken celebrities on Twitter.  Often after they post something that challenges a politician there are an army of people who attack them for having an opinion.  It isn't that they argue against the opinion they posted, they tell them that they shouldn't be posting anything outside their narrow occupation.  It is as if there are those who believe celebrities are one-dimensional for their entertainment and if they act like a normal human they have personally injured them.  In a forum that is completely voluntary, people posting their thoughts means you are seeking them out.  If you don't like their thoughts, you can simply stop reading them.  It is easy.  Easier then typing "stay in your lane" or "I don't follow you for your politics".  Guess what I do.  I like reading what a man like Zimmern thinks about policy as he has lived at virtually every socio-economic status in this country.  I like how a major voice and philanthropist like J.K. Rowling formulates her thoughts on issues like refugees and hate.  These celebrities are human beings, they live under the same laws and policies that we do.  What is amazing is that many of the most outspoken have means to avoid the repercussions of policies that they criticize.  They are not speaking from self-interest.  What they are is liberal and for many conservatives, it is unsettling to them for people they appreciate to have a different world view.  I know this because they also support the voice of celebrities who agree with them.  If you look at their own twitter feeds they retweet conservative celebrities like James Wood and Pat Sajak.  So their concern is not so much that a chef is being a citizen, but that they are liberal.

Social media has allowed for a closer connection to celebrities, sometimes it makes for a cool moment when a hero answers your question or retweets your joke.  But we will also see things that we don't like.  We can chalk it up to the diversity of thought that exists or tell our heroes to shut up.  They won't and shouldn't and maybe if  you listen you will see they have something to say that might help you understand the world in more color.  But that is hard for some.  

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