Movie Stars As Sources Of Wisdom

Why do many people look to movie stars for answers to some of life’s most challenging questions?

While we have great respect for the art of acting, as explicated from Stanislavsky to Strasberg, the latter of whom we knew well and were fond of, we have never understood how the usual snippets who decide to become actors ascend in the minds of the public from being initially generally regarded as likely ne’er-do-wells to being considered the most readily available font of insightful advice on just about every topic that troubles the frontal lobe of contemporary humanity.

Are we so doubtful of our own confidence to make up our minds that the resplendent light in which a current movie star is illuminated by his own publicity agents blinds us to the very probable vapidity of his or her own mind? After all, there is a certain disjunction between what movie stars do to win our attentions and what we expect of them once they succeed.

They bring themselves to our attention by committing to memory, or by reading off one kind of prompter or another, words devised by others. We won’t go so far as to say they achieve renown by presenting the thoughts of others, since realistic drama, in most of its contemporary manifestations, is apparently unable to present characters who might actually have an occasional considerable thought.

But, once they ascend to the starry vault that hovers over us, do we expect of them anything consonant with the ability to recite the usual inanities? No, suddenly we want these storied performers to transform themselves into the wise harbingers of original insight and exemplary advice. We even search the most mundane aspects of their personal lives for a hint or two as to how we might enhance the happiness of our own comparatively desultory lives. Or, just as often, we suppose, in the hope of finding that, despite their great reservoir of astonishing expertise, their own lives are inexplicably entangled in antics so confoundedly absurd that their shortcomings make us feel far superior in the relatively rickety guidance of our own lives.

Since we can only be sure that the lights of stage and screen will continue to be presented to us with all the wiles that can be managed through the deft employment of colorful media, as the engaging exemplars of how we should only hope to live, it appears that the only way to alter the mutual mockery is to become more realistic about what we really ought to expect from our dazzling stars-brights.

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