Rolling Stone’s Mark Seliger has a piece on George Clooney, Confessions of a Dirty Mind, that’s worth a read. Since you can only read select quotes if you don’t buy the magazine, I plunked down some cash so I can explain it in full.
Who does this sound like?
“Look at him now, sitting in his house high up in the Hollywood Hills, off white khakis, matching socks, spotless tan desert boots, natty blue polo shirt, dreamy, chocolately-brown eyes, broad shoulders, a straight line of white (but not too white) teeth, hair graying distinguishedly, legs crossed confidently, the easygoing smile and the aura of calm assurance. He is talking about something or other – maybe the failure of politicians these days…maybe the atrocities in Darfur…In truth, it’s exceedingly difficult to hear anything over the blare of how perfect everything is, both him and his entire orbit.”
My God, replace “in his house high up in the Hollywood Hills” with “in his house in our nation’s capital” and you would have thought Seliger was talking about Barack Obama! Years ago I couldn’t help but think that media used Clooney blueprints to build Barack Obama’s image. The desire was there to apply them to John Kerry (and don’t think that efforts weren’t made), but the vehicle just wasn’t capable. It’s hard to make use of smoke and mirrors when your magician keeps crashing through the props…
For the moral relativist who wants to redistribute wealth, George Clooney is a dream come true. He’s partied hard – “mainly booze, some coke and many quaaludes (“I thought quaaludes were the greatest drug ever made!”)” – but doesn’t show the wear and tear. In fact, he’s incredibly handsome. He comes from a good family and subscribes to a religious faith, yet it’s not a driving force in his life (i.e., it’s important like regular exercise is important). He’s a motivated man who settles for nothing less than success, yet he advocates public policy positions beneficial to those who are equally motivated in their quest for mediocrity (i.e., entitlement programs on steroids).
The other great thing about George Clooney—and here’s where Obama falls short—is that he’s promiscuous. Instant cool! Correction: He’s only beds beautiful women. He’s a Sean Connery character vivified! JFK knew the deal, but Obama went for the more family-friendly route…
Just as with Barack Obama, however, the real story is in the media’s ability to ignore facts that belie the narrative, even when they’re the ones poking holes in it!
[Clooney’s] not keeping secrets. It’s just that some parts of his life have nver really been looked at or examined. His angry-George period, for example…He’d get angry at other drivers on the road, “the f**king idiots,” and roll down his window to yell, “You f**king a**holes!” He’d break his golf clubs and throw them in the lake. He’d smash his tennis racket. He’d fly into jealous rages—“horrible rages where you drive around the girl’s apartment, ‘I know she’s with this other guy!'” Offended by some acquaintance, he’d draft a letter that featured words like “c**ksucker” and “flaming a**hole.” It was bad.
Odd, just earlier in the story Steven Soderbergh notes, “He only picks fights with people who are as powerful as he is, and that’s rare in this business.” Seliger refers to him as, “the definition of class.” So which is it? Is he the definition of class, or the guy who yells “you f**cking a**hole to the mom who was drifting in her lane along the highway because her three kids were arguing in the backseat? Is he the guy who only picks fights with those who are as powerful as he is, or is he the one who writes “c**ksucker” Christmas cards to acquaintances who needled him on his politics? All we do know is that some parts of his life “have never really been looked at or examined,” (kind of like Barack Obama!).
My favorite part of the piece is a story about George’s youth. Struggling to make it in Hollywood, his dad tries to convince him to go back to school. He tells his son to get something to fall back on. George’s response: “If I have something to fall back on, you know what I’ll do? I’ll fall back.”
Amazing, amazing quote. Embedded it is a conservatism Clooney would deny—but it’s there. In essence, Clooney is always moving forward. Failure is not an option. He’s singularly focused on one goal, and once that’s accomplished he’ll move on to the next one. (His only mistake is that it appears he applies this philosophy to women.)
Question: So why is it when George Clooney devotes himself 100% to a cause he believes in—without a fallback safety net—and it “nets” him millions of dollars, that it’s okay, but when a businessman does it he’s pejoratively referred to as “the 1%”? We don’t know, because like George Clooney and Barack Obama it’s something that has “never really been looked at or examined.”
Before we idolize stars or put them in office, it’s important to put their past in context. If this was done to George, perhaps his “rage phase” could have been avoided; if this was done to Barack Obama he probably would not be in The White House. It’s up to conservative bloggers to pick up the slack left behind by our liberal counterparts—so get writing.