Letter of the Day

From the RTD:

Preachy Entertainers Don’t Entertain

Editor, Times-Dispatch: I understand Bruce Springsteen is rounding up his friends to put together a Bush-bashing concert tour in October. In an interview he countered complaints about Hollywood involvement in politics by stating that he was a citizen, too.

Well, I agree. However, there is a feeling among most Americans that entertainers should, as some have said, shut up and sing. Springsteen fans go to his concerts for the music, not to hear political speeches.

Hollywood already has power over the American culture through the various media. We willingly give Hollywood that power and in return we expect entertainers to entertain us, not seek additional power through political involvement. Most Americans resist putting too much power into the hands of an elite class of people. That’s not the way America works.

The values of Hollywood and the rest of the entertainment media are, by and large, not shared by the average American in “flyover country.” If they want to get involved in politics, they should jump in with both feet. Many have done so, to their credit.

What really galls me is when they preach to the rest of us about how evil we are, in regard to the protection of the environment or how we treat the poor and disenfranchised, for example. Then they go home to their multi-million-dollar mansions, summer homes, or winter resorts, in their limousines, luxury cars, or SUVs. Worse still, they fly off in their gas-guzzling private jets to foreign countries and then trash America some more.

Ben Affleck in 2008 anyone? He might as well try something else; his movie career is done. Ryan Peede. midlothian.

Partisan politics only serve to divide and conquer. When entertainers take sides, they cheapen their art. If it’s woven into the art and done out of overt protest (the protest singers of the 60’s, for example) and billed obviously as such (Hail to the Thief, Radiohead’s last album is another example), then I consider it a good expression of freedom of speech, but the political message shouldn’t be force fed to people just looking to listen to some good music. In other words, if I’m showing up to what I think is just good ol’ fashioned entertainment, it shouldn’t turn into a political rally. If I want to show up to a rally and there are protest singers involved, that’s a different story. Truth in advertising is all I’m talking about.


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