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Celebrity Endorsement

Why do they do it? Why do celebrities endorse political candidates? They like all of us have opinions and have every right to share them with others, but is it a good idea? When I saw that Elton John is holding a fundraiser for Hillary I had to smile. You see my good friend Michael is a Elton John fan. No, I mean a real Elton John fan. When Elton is in the country Michael will travel, following him from town to town to watch him perform. Michael is also an Obama supporter and I'm curious how Elton's Hillary love will affect him. Will he like a commenter in the post article "NEVER listen to Rocket Man again!" No, I think Michael will find a way to accommodate what I'm sure he'll view as only a very slight flaw in the Music Man. I know that I've let celebrity endorsements influence my opinion of actors who I've discovered don't share my politics, but if they're willing to take the hit that making their politics public cost them, then I think they should go for it. Have you had a favorite celebrity that you have quit admiring after you learned their politics were different from yours? What do you think of celebrity endorsements? Oh and Michael, I think I can get you some tickets for Ophrah's show.



Whether celebrities endorse a candidate is up to them, and it's sort of silly to judge them much for doing that. There's a few things worth noting:

1) If someone admires a celebrity, they (hopefully) do so for because of the quality of their work, rather than their political opinions.

2) If you punish people for sharing unfavorable opinions, especially if you do so more than respect the validity of their beliefs, you make it hard for people to talk sincerely with you. This sort of isolation can cause you to have inbred ideas, and while they will probably still be more acceptable than those of the current administation, they will still leave a lot to be desired. -- Granted, this doesn't have so much to do with celebrities, per se, but it does reflect sort of a way you can think more narrowly if you react to negatives more than positives, and since the original post didn't mention anything about coming to like celebrities because of their politics, I'm assuming the negative-orientation is at play.

3) Even for people obsessed with the opinions that celebrities have, many such people are not so attached to a candidate that they make strong judgments about celebrities who make unfavorable endorsements. Measuring the merit of beliefs a person has is far more valid when you survey people across a broad range of clear topics (religion in society, education, military policy) that can draw a broad range of answers for each topic, rather than just reacting to whether someone says McCain, Clinton, or Obama.

4) Many people don't really care about celebrities anyway. Personally, I generally find it a waste of time to get angry at celebrities (individuals), because most of the things people freak about are things millions of other people also do (or would also do) when put in the same situation.

Okay, that's sort of my initial reaction to this post, but I suppose it's also a result based off of other media fixating on celebrities.

What do you think of celebrity endorsements?


To answer Norm's question, yeah.

I used to be a fan of Dennis Miller. He was funny, politially savy, sharp as a tack. The kinda celebrity you want to follow for years. Then 9/11 happened and suddenly Dennis was a 'bomb them into dust' Bush fanatic. The change was shocking to me and my friends. Perhaps I hadn't seen the real man before, or perhaps 9/11 effected New Yorkers in a different way. I personally didn't smell the burning buildings for months afterward as did he.

Either way, I can't watch him now.

Celebrities are interesting. Hollywood is kinda freaky. People here have too much time between projects. They like causes and that CAN be a good thing for the world that worships them and wouldn't take note otherwise. I admire Brad and Angelina for thier work in New Orleans. Less talk, more action. instead of saying "help this place" they move there, design new flood resistant housing and invest millions to get the houses built.

As for Elton. I think Bono once 'dissed' the man by saying he hadn't had a hit in ten years that didn't involve a dead blonde. Well, Hillary isn't dead yet, but...

[1/2 off-topic]

Talking to a writer at a local coffee shop I learned that half of my favorite Sci-Fi authors gather on Thursdays a BLOCK from my house. Niven, Pournelle, Ackerman, McCaffrey, Turtledove, Barnes, Bradbury.

walking by last night I see a parking space still reserved for Heinlein.

Sometimes you have to love this town.

Hey Norm, what happened to the "Christian Gene" video? I wanted to show it to someone...

Hey Norm, what happened

I was having trouble getting the embed code to work properly so decided to include it in tomorrow's links. But hey why wait.

I think endorsements do color my feelings about the person giving them. I don't care what Democrat they are for but, if they are a right winger - gotta say, I either think they're not very bright or I think they're greedy. (If they aren't a celebrity, I add ill-informed to the list of reasons anyone would follow the Republican path --- at least since Reagan --- maybe it was different before.) I now think less of Bruce Willis who I used to think was pretty funny - I don't like James Wood any more because he IS a smart guy so - that leaves greed. On the other hand, my opinion of Matt Damon has improved radically the last year - his political views and his video with Sarah Silverman - gotta love him :) But, I'll still go see Willis and Wood in a movie - just probably won't watch them being interviewed and --- I wouldn't see a movie BECAUSE of them which I might now for Matt Damon.

Hmmm. Let me make a distinction: there are celebrities whose work touches upon political topics of contemporary relevance, and those that don't. I follow directors much more closely than actors, but so far as I can see, if an actor I really liked, such as Daniel Day Lewis, supported someone I didn't like, it's hard to see how that would affect my view of their artistic work. On the other hand, if Bill Maher did a 160 degree about face, and came out fanatically in support of Bush, or Jon Stewart did so, I doubt I would entertain much interest in watching either of their shows. (Although of course, everyone typically comes up for criticism on them; this is different than endorsement).

Conversely, a celebrity's support for a figure I admire would not generally change my opinion of his or her work. As an Obama supporter, I must say Oprah's endorsement mattered not at all to me personally, although maybe it was helpful to Obama politically. She is emblematic for me of how hard and complex issues in our culture are often reduced to saccarrine droplets of 'Chicken Noodle Soup for the Soul' intended for mass consumption, such as the unutterably bewildering and idiotic questions she asks Cormac McCarthy in one of his rare public interviews. ('Do you like writing? Are you passionate about it' WTF, no, obvious he hates it, which is why he's ranked among the foremost living stylists of the English language!!!).

But let me expand the 'notion' of celebrity a bit to include public intellectuals. I've loved Krugman's columns for years, but I find his recent ones on the Democratic campaign often to be a merely ritual repetition of Clinton campaign talking points (including her spurious claims to "experience"). There are good arguments for Clinton but he's not, in my view, among those making them. But this doesn't diminish my respect for him, or make me wait with any less bated breath, to read his columns, esp. the ones on the economic crisis, although it gets on my nerves when a position I disagree with is not well argued, especially from a figure of his undeniable brilliance and integrity.

if Bill Maher did a 160 degree about face

180 degree. jesus christ, what is wrong with me today?

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

if Bill Maher did a 160 degree about face
180 degree. jesus christ, what is wrong with me today?

Adam, No matter, your just 88.888...% yourself today.

your just 88.888...% yourself today.

Seems that "you're" just 88.888 percent yourself today too.. ;)

Adam, No matter, your just 88.888...% yourself today.

lol. Good to have it nailed with such precision, which puts my faux pas in such a marvelous

Seems that "you're" just 88.888 percent yourself today too.. ;)

Dear god--who does not exist--yore relentless on this issue, since the days of your, this has just ben you're issue, ain't it! ;-) They're, they're, we all have our bete noirs, theres, hours, and you're's, their all over the place. Whose not stepping on who's toes, eh? eh? Alot.

If our good friend Viacom comes back for more, please feel free to interject!

which puts my faux pas in such a marvelous [light].

Shit! OK, I give up! I just can't get it right today! I might as well just lapse into Jabberwocky.

Do question marks still exist?

I don't know that I think less of a celebrity's work if s/he endorses a certain politician, but if the person s/he endorses is a numbnut or neo-con, I think less of the celebrity as a thinker.

Originally I was intrigued by "24," but then I started seeing it as this endorsement of Bush's horrible war on terror and couldn't watch it anymore, not even in passing interest.

Maybe we can bring back some talk on its and it's while we're going over apostrophes.

I think it is shallow to allow an artist's "extracurricular activities" to color one's perception of the art. (Except for stupid Scientologists. Good grief.)

Reading Robinson's post above about Dennis Miller, that is a case where the extracurricular activities directly impacted the art. So that's different.

For the most part, I support almost any celebrity taking the time to support almost any cause. Whether I agree with them or not, they are at least investing some time into making the world a little bit better. Just like Norm is with this little bloggy thingy.

It's very unlikely that a single celebrity endorsement will change a voters mind directly. But I wonder if the endorsements a candidate gets can add a flavor to the candidacy. Look at who the candidate is with--it gives them a certain excitement that might not otherwise be there. Another theory is that the celebrities can make themselves available to meet donors and other supporters. I'm a pretty big NBA fan so if I had a lot of money I'd really like to have lunch or shoot around with some of the players endorsing Obama.

"Have you had a favorite celebrity that you have quit admiring after you learned their politics were different from yours? "


I plead guilty, Rosalyn Tureck (December 14, 1913 - July 17, 2003) was an American pianist and harpsichordist who was particularly associated with the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, also, Wagner, and Heynrand, I mean Heinlein-and-Ayn-Rand (whom I took to be Ar(chitec)t(ure) (or Science) critics, and,

of course,

(epi lepsi), hoi (led) zep-polloi, Thatcherite shnockusauruses, capitalist phonies, Page-aninis without portfolio, Lizst-less Argonauts of Sargasso Seizures: hump-a-soul-embeciles (I was, an) unhappy unhippy...unpeace be upon...


whomsoever is "golden" fleeced (upon him who still, and still, and still,






to speak of a devil,

"a parking space still reserved for Heinlein."

Gosh Almighty, where do you live? Somewhere in Northern (or Southern) California, I bet. 2 degrees of separation.

done devo demo,

I live (somewhere) in the San Fernando Valley (Los Angeles, CA). You see lots of celebs and kinda get used to it. Heck, my neighbor on the corner played Chekov on Star Trek. Walter. Really nice guy. Likes to collect comic memorabilia.

I think of seeing a celeb as a bird watcher may spy a rare bird in their back yard.

We sat next to Drew Carry at Bob's Big Boy. He was eating alone, reading a novel. He is a regular (I've seen him three times myself) and the waitresses would say "So, Drew, are you gunna go to the softball tourny this weekend?" and he would say "you know, I was thinking about it, thanks for asking". Old ladies walk up and say "I love your work" and he says thanks, and then they are gone.

I don't think it is possible for a celeb to live a 'normal' life. I think they do understand that people take notice of them and that they have influence. Perhaps that induces some notion of social responsibility. If you felt this, and feel that a candidate would make the world better, why wouldn't you lend a hand?

Done Devo Demo, I often think of your posts as new wave haiku. Where do you live?

methinks you-tube, etc. is redefining celebrity, fame, degrees of separation, etc., I (theoretically) attend school in the far south of Arizona (near Mexico), and live in a dissociated pattern of activity in the prefrontal eucalyptus with extensive deactivation of dorsolateral prefrontal and lateral orbital regions with focal activation of the medial prefrontal (frontal polar) eucalyptus. Such a pattern! But my real home is (near) Baby Rocks, in the four corners area. I have also lived in the country of the Chumash*, near the Brandeis Bard-institute, ironically.



*"Chew mash", not "khuh-misch".


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