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Fallen Heroes, Following Zeros
by Jeff Winston

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Could be worse, It could be Nick Nolte's mugshot

Could be worse, It could be Nick Nolte's mugshot
Unless you live under a rock, you've seen the implosion of some noted celebrities in the last few months. Implosions that have turned many people against actors they used to love and enjoy. I speak primarily of Mel Gibson, Tom Cruise, Michael Richards and Lindsay Lohan. All of these actors are pretty gifted at their craft, even Lohan, who, while young, even cliché, pulls off what many actresses her age can't, a pretty even and convincing performance.

There is no need to concern ourselves with how good or how bad these actors are at their chosen craft, what we do need to concern ourselves with is did we enjoy what they did before recent events gave us cause to alter our perceptions of them.

If your attitude towards these people, even one of them, has been altered by their actions or choices in the last few months, or years, there's only one thing to say, that's pretty pathetic.

I used to love the video game Lemmings, that's the game where the characters are all so brainless they simply walk around the game stumbling into walls and walking off cliffs unless you somehow solve a maze and direct them to the correct path towards salvation. The lemmings are so dumb they do not actually see anything or think about anything. They are off in their own little world following the rest of the clueless pack and walking into their own oblivion.

Hollywood media takes away your God given right to use the brain he gave you as they force feed you the responses you're supposed to have, usually, a least in this case, with abject horror and an overwhelming desire to now suddenly hate these people for what they have done.

First off let me say, I think that these four people have made mistakes in their life, and most of them have made bad choices, but these choices do not define them, are not who they are. A person is more than an incident of bad judgment or a phase of their life that they are going through which is completely normal for people of their age. A person is a complex individual who should be judged on the whole of their life, their intentions and the whole of thier interactions with others.

Mel Gibson is a devout catholic, and like anyone in his life, has battled with some kind of dark force at one time, or still. Alcohol has been Mel's vice for many years. Now I don't know about you, but I find it way more interesting that Mel has been as successful as he has been while fighting this demon and keeping incidents, like the one he was caught for this past summer, at bay. He had one bad day, but he had thousands of good ones while fighting this problem, that many believe is a disease, a disease of choice, but a disease nonetheless.

Mel gets drunk one night and gets behind the wheel of a car, that's right, he gets behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated, and what is it that enrages the public, that he gets caught by the cops and goes into an anti-Semitic rage. It doesn't bother us that he sat down in a 2000 pound vehicle that might as well be a battering ram in his altered state, we aren't concerned with the fact that he could have taken out a family on their way home from a movie while in his stupor, but Hollywood expects us to be aghast at the fact that he called the cop a "Jew." Everyone has freedom of speech, but he's still in the politically correct jail for the comments, and the fact that he was driving drunk isn't even a blip on the radar. Course it doesn't matter, celebrities get busted driving drunk all the time, all they have to do is
Medicate Children! They tried with me, but i didn't need em!

Medicate Children! They tried with me, but i didn't need em!
apologize and give a couple fur coats and cars to charity and they are off the hook, and are able to do it again the next night. After all, in Hollywood minds, its not necessarily about what right, it's about not getting caught, and kissing ass if you do.

Now I got off on a rant there, and while I think drunk driving is a serious issue, it's not the one that concerns me here. I think celebrities should be dealt with more harshly when they break this law like "normal" people, but that isn't about to be changed anytime soon, and until we get stronger with that issue in all situations, I can not fault celebrities getting away with what non famous people get away with everyday too.

Mel made a stupid decision, twice, that night, but this does nothing to change the fact that he has spun out some pretty good flicks, ones that you enjoyed before he was caught by the police that night. It's a pretty sad comment on how the media can control your decisions when you decide you will not go to see APOCALYPTO because Gibson offended you by an action he made under the rheum of intoxication.

It's a sad extension of logic that states Any Mel Gibson movie you once enjoyed, or future ones you may enjoy, are suddenly relegated to trash because he made a dumb comment while he was drunk.

Tom Cruise is a little weird, he always has been. He's got a funky little laugh, an odd face when he does laugh, and he's always had an unbridled amount of energy. He has some odd little beliefs on religion, when compared to the historical religions that have dominated our culture, but who's to say he's wrong? I've never seen God, I've never seen Allah, or Jehovah, or Yahweh, and even if I did, and I asked him his name I doubt he'd care to correct me on which religion got him right, he'd likely just ask me if a belief in what those religions told me about him guided my actions and made me strive to be better.

Tom Cruise is a scientologist, a religion that ignores the need for a God and seeks alternate explanations for the existence of man. Good for him, he believes in something and he has a strong conviction to that belief, that's more than you can say for many of his fans who have jumped off his bandwagon after jumpied on a couch, or after having the guts to voice his controversial thoughts on child medication on a talk show.

I do not believe in everything he says, in fact, I disagree with most of what he says. I am proud of the fact that he believes it so strongly, and that he has used his thinking ability and personal freedom to come to the beliefs that he has, and that they work for him and make him happy. Tom Cruise's religious or medical beliefs do nothing to affect my life personally, and I do not care to concern myself with them when I decide to put in a copy of A FEW GOOD MEN for cinematic enjoyment.

Michael Richards, I can not say too much about. He apologized and he seemed sincere about it. I wasn't there, and I don't know what got him to the point of that rant on African Americans. But, what I do know is that I had never heard of him saying anything about that particular race before that night, and I have no reason to believe that he harbors those particular feelings in general. He was on stage, he was getting bugged, and he went off. I've gone off on people for less, and said some stupid things in the heat of the moment. I am thankful there were no video cameras around to chronicle any of these poor judgments and to haunt me for the rest of my life as, if that
I'm sexy, I'm Cute, I may puke on your boots.

I'm sexy, I'm Cute, I may puke on your boots.
one incident was a commentary on who I am.

I do not find it necessary to punish Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis Dryfuss, Jason Alexander, Jerry Stiller, and others, by getting rid of Seinfeld seasons I have purchased, refusing to buy others in the future, or to stop watching their show on television. SEINFELD has been labeled the best comedy of its decade, maybe ever, but apparently that fact is changed when one of the characters drops the "N bomb" nine years after the show went off the air while being verbally abused by a guy who came to be entertained by him.

Lastly, there is the matter of Lindsay Lohan, the misguided party girl, the selfish and spoiled rich kid who does not take any responsibility for her actions and does not think about her consequences. Well no duh people the girl's twenty years old, a kid, and one who's been acting on the big screen since she was twelve. She hasn't learned to be responsible or how to grow up and take responsibility, she's learned how to look good and how to put on better performances for the camera. It's hard to learn to take responsibility when she has undoubtedly never been given much in her lifetime. It's hard to expect her to know how to control herself when others have been controlling her life for her since she was young. Its hard to expect her to act like an adult when she's doing what any girl her age has been doing for decades, having a good time and experimenting, good choices and bad, learning from mistakes, but more importantly, making them, so that she will learn how to handle herself better in the future. I will say it again, the girl is twenty, you can complain about her actions if she's still doing all this crap when she' thirty, for now we all need to lay the hell off and let her do her thing.

Listen folks, we've all had our low points, we've all had moments we would like to forget, whether it be as a result of a short fuse, under the influence of a mind altering substance, or simply because we forgot to stop and think. We would have no friends and no one to comfort us if everyone who cared about us cut all ties because they didn't want to be associated with us after we had done them. We deserve more than to be brushed under the rug because of one moment of stupidity, and destroying your faith or love of a celebrity because Hollywood is milking its latest sound bite is pretty sad.

I may not ever meet these celebrities in my lifetime, and to be honest, I care so little about what they do in their life because it doesn't concern me in the least. I care too much about my own integrity to write off someone else's entirely because the media tells me everyone else is doing it. I care too much about my own intelligence and ability to make decisions for myself to have the Hollywood media do it for me. Lastly, I don't want to be a lemming who blindly follows the pack to my own oblivion.

Make your own decisions people, if you choose to dislike a celebrity for what they do then fine, dislike the celebrity, I'm not trying to convince you that you shouldn't. I'm trying to convince you to not let others make that decision for you, and to think about the situation before you judge. If you start boycotting every celebrity because they are caught in compromising situations in the media, your video catalogue will get quite small, quite fast; and you will miss pretty decent movies like LOVE ACTUALLY because you were too busy snubbing Hugh Grant for getting his silverware polished by a prostitute ten years ago.

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Mouthing Off
Every other Thursday

Mouthing Off is the no bull, tell it like it is column on various issues in the Hollywood arena. You want PC, then keep on moving, you won't get it here.

Other Columns
Other columns by Jeff Winston:

The Money Pitt

Movies of South Korea

I Vant to Suck your Blud

Aren't Getting Their Due

Finally Getting Their Due - Underrated Actors

All Columns

Jeff Winston
I am a part time writer and full time teacher. I am currently stationed in the middle of nowhere, northern Alberta, Canada. I love movies, and I love to vent, I am happy to have an outlet to incorporate both here on Matchflick.

If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Jeff Winston by clicking here.

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