‘Demand a Plan’ actors part of problem?

My favorite celebrity Twitter follower, Adam Baldwin, brings my attention to the above video, which is an answer to the below video, in which various Hollywood types demand a plan for ending gun violence.

Ouch. As a demonstration of just how pervasive gun violence is in our popular culture, the answering video packs a lot of punch…

20 thoughts on “‘Demand a Plan’ actors part of problem?

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    Of course, my very favorite Adam Baldwin role was Jayne Cobb on “Firefly,” a guy so in love with his favorite gun that he named it “Vera.”

    But he has never wrapped himself in self-righteousness and pretended to be something else, either…

    Of all the actors in the video the most ironic to me was Jeremy Renner. The only movie I’ve ever seen him in in which he wasn’t wielding a gun was “The Avengers,” in which his weapon of choice was bow and arrow…

    Reply
      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        You mean “Jayne hat.” If you go around saying he has a girl’s name, Jayne will get all indignant and offer to show us his “man parts.” And none of us want that…

        Reply
  2. Bart

    Do as I say, not as I do. These actors make a living going before the cameras and performing acts of violence and then have the gonads to point their fingers at us and “demand” that enough is enough?

    Maybe they should be made to read of list of the number and names of the characters they shot and/or killed in every movie they made or had a part in making. Then, they should apologize to us. When they do that, then I will listen.

    Reply
  3. Mark Stewart

    So guns don’t kill people…actors do. Hmmm, I always thought people kill people – and have found that more sophisticated weapons do it easier than the old methods. Actors on the whole seem not very lethal to me; or “real”.

    Reply
    1. Bart

      Mark,

      Compliment coming – you are by all indications a very intelligent person, blessed with great cognitive skills, an understanding of what is and is not real, and most likely, not one to be easily influenced by what you see in a movie, video game, or other programming mediums.

      Unfortunately, there are potentially thousands if not millions who are the polar opposite of you when it comes to actors being a strong influence and helping to form their opinions and shaping their lives.

      Isolated I know but do you recall the real life shoot-out on the streets of Los Angeles years ago that emulated the movie version of the same event based on the movie, “Heat”?

      One of the main true life characters in the shoot-out was obsessed with the movie and apparently he intended to do in real-life what he saw in the movie. Result? The two gunmen were killed and several wounded civilians and law enforcement officers.

      I have found it fascinating over the years the degree of attention, obsession, and influence actors have had on people who tend to be easily led. When an actor portrays a fictional character whose violent actions create the same reaction by these audience members, sometimes they can and will act them out in real life. The same can be said about violent video games.

      You are correct in that actors are not “real” but their influence on others when they portray a killer can be very “real”.

      Reply
  4. Brad Warthen

    And that’s sorta kinda why I’d just as soon NOT see actors projecting themselves into political policy discussion. They tend to be seriously lacking in gravitas, even when they have the ability to PLAY gravitas.

    And I say that as someone who is sorta kinda an actor myself.

    I remember being shocked, many years ago when I first acted in plays, to see the extent to which people who were VERY talented, and could seem wise and charismatic and even dazzling onstage, really didn’t have cognitive skills that I took for granted. I remember, for instance, actors not knowing how to pronounce fairly basic words that they encountered in their scripts.

    It’s pretty silly that I ever thought otherwise, but it was actually a revelation to me that people who were brilliant onstage weren’t brilliant in other ways. It seemed counterintuitive. I guess I thought that the kind of subtle perception and empathy and control over voice and expression that allowed a person to seem to be something and someone he was not was an indication of cognitive abilities that would translate well into other areas. But that was definitely not always the case…

    Reply
  5. Bryan Caskey

    Awwww man! I was all set to buy an Ed Brown Executive Carry, but the cast of “Parks and Recreation” told me not to. What’s a guy to do?

    If it wasn’t for drama majors who play “make believe” everyday, I just wouldn’t know what to think about serious issues.

    Seriously though, why is it that every time Celebrities endorse either a policy or a candidate the commercial is the exact same: each person saying one or two words, that word repeated by multiple speakers with minor variations, etc.? Aren’t these the creative folks?

    Reply
    1. Steven Davis II

      Excellent liberal arts educations… I sense an oxymoron in there somewhere.

      Just because they’re on film, why do they think their opinion matters more than say an NFL football player’s? What does Cam Newton or Sydney Rice think about a gun ban? Nobody cares.

      Reply
      1. Silence

        Athletes are just as bad as actors, pundits or other celebs when it comes to using their bully pulpit to espouse their ridiculous opinions.
        Paging Mr. John Rocker. Please meet your party on the 7-train…

        Reply
        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Here’s the thing about actors, though… people who put together such videos as this do so because they believe Americans’ fascination with movie stars will give them an influence that far exceeds any rational considerations.

          The terrible thing is, I think there’s some truth to that. It works, to some extent — at least, in grabbing attention.

          And I suspect that a large portion of the American public has NOT figured out that people who can ACT like they know what they’re talking about don’t necessarily know ANYTHING about what they’re talking about…

          Reply
          1. Kathryn Fenner

            So what, if you are a well known actor, you’re supposed to keep quiet and not espouse any causes? I guess lawyers shouldn’t say anything, either, which some readers here would agree with, and maybe journalists should use their superior advocacy skills and platform….

            Reply
          2. Steven Davis II

            @Kathryn – So what you’re saying is that we should listen to what actors say… and lawyers. Apparently, actors like the guy who plays the cook on Two Broke Girls and Atty. Bill Green know more about politics than anyone here.

            Reply
  6. Doug Ross

    Well known activist actors:

    George Clooney: college dropout
    Ben Affleck: college dropout
    Matt Damon: attended Harvard, did not graduate
    Sean Penn: high school graduate
    Barbara Streisand: high school graduate
    Alec Baldwin: college dropout, returned at age 35 to get a BFA at NYU
    Ted Danson: BFA, Carnegie Mellon
    Jane Fonda: college dropout
    Richard Gere: college dropout (majored in gerbil science)
    Woody Harrelson: BFA Hanover College, IN
    Robert Redford: college dropout (asked to leave)
    Tim Robbins: Two years at SUNY
    Susan Sarandon: Four years college, not clear if she received a degree…

    I don’t hold their lack of education against them having opinions. It’s just that I’m not sure we should care what Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High thinks – although I do appreciate him actually DOING things to help versus talking about it. Most of the above do commit themselves to their causes.

    Reply
  7. Mark Stewart

    Think of it this way, someone (or some numbers of people) produce the ads and campaigns in which actors are fronted as spokespeople.

    This is a democratic republic; there will always be string-pullers, influencers and leaders. And there will always be followers. Society is spin. That is what we have. It is unfortunate that more people choose not to bring insight, nuance and cognition to the conversations that envelop us all; but there you have it.

    The more one attempts to project an outlook or position upon a wider audience, the more one owes it to everyone to offer something with some meat. To often gristle is proffered. Both the NRA and the actors asked us to choke on that this past week.

    Reply

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