Robert Brotha Blaze Murray AND THE WINNER IS...POLITICALLY CHARGED
I know what you’re thinking. I once thought as you do...at least as far as award shows are concerned. You spend your hard earned money to support an actor’s work. You identify with their characters and concepts. You welcome them into your living rooms and into your lives. So much so, that you are personally vested when they are nominated for a prestigious award. They are entertainers and that’s what we expect from them when they win...entertain us. What we don’t want is for them to stand on a soap box and deliver an unwelcomed political rant.
Most of us are staying up well past our bedtimes, sacrificing the pain of that early rise for work the next day, just to witness their moment. Now we have to suffer this garbage. The nerve of them.
Let me recapture the moment for you.
You sit in your favorite chair with a drink in one hand and the remote in the other. The nominees are announced and your favorite actor is named. When their face is shown on the screen you root for them with fingers crossed. You are nervous for them. In your mind, they deserve this award. Lo and behold...they win. You cheer as they make their way to the podium. The applause quiets to a hush as they begin to speak.
This is the part where we expect them to thank god, their loving family, the loyal fans and the academy. Things don’t always unfold the way we expect them to, do they? Instead, and much to our disgust, they ramble about saving the whales, global warming or bringing home the troops. No, the channel didn’t turn to CNN. It’s still the award show.
You like your television so you talk yourself out of sling the remote into it. Prayerfully you urge on the music cue to drown him or her out. This is supposed to be an award show. It’s not a personal forum for their politics or religion. Why, oh why, can’t they just say thank you and sit their grandiose ass down somewhere?
Oh yes. I know what you’re thinking. I once thought as you do.
Before we point a finger of blame at Meryl Streep for making references aimed at Donald Trump at the 2017 Golden Globes, let’s first understand that this isn’t a new trend. Earlier in the same program Golden Globe winner Hugh Laurie also fired shots at Trump and the Republican Party. 2016 Golden Globe winner Leonardo DiCaprio utilized his moment to bring attention to the recognition of indigenous cultures and first nation peoples. 2015 Oscar winner Patricia Arquette flexed her girl-power to highlight the wage gap and gender inequality.
These ‘political’ sightings are fairly recent. Let’s travel further back.
Next stop is the talented 2009 Oscar winner Sean Penn who defended gay rights. Let’s not forget 2007 Emmy Award winner and lovely lady Sally Field. Her anti-war speech albeit brief, was censored. Apparently a country like ours that is always in conflict or war, is highly sensitive. I’m sure it came as no surprise when 2003 Oscar winner Michael Moore bashed George W. Bush. You saw that coming a mile away.
We’ve covered some throwbacks. Now let’s go old school.
1975 Oscar winner Bert Schneider read a telegram from the North Vietnamese ambassador at the Paris peace talks. Now why did he do that? The powers that be turned up the heat so much that the show’s host, poor Ole Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra, later apologized for ‘any political references on this program’.
Last but not least is your favorite actor’s favorite actor, 1973 Oscar Best Actor winner Marlon Brando. He didn’t even bother showing up. Mr. Brando sent Sacheen Littlefeather in his place to inform the world that he refused to accept the award because of the treatment of American Indians by the film industry, on television in movie reruns and because of Wounded Knee South Dakota. So the academy made him an offer that “The Godfather” refused. That’s a shame. He always remembers the favors of his friends.
I know you’re tempted so go on and say it. I don’t care how celebrated, popular, or talented an actor/actress/director they are; their personal politics and opinions don’t belong in my living room.
I once thought as you do...then I trained as an actor.
That’s when I realized the extent to which I had been conditioned by my loved ones, teachers, programming; to fit me into ‘civilized society’. The brainwashing begins in childhood. The objective is to take an individual soul who operates under nature’s law and indoctrinate the being with the desired standard of the time. So we are told to stop crying, walk this way, talk this way, this like this and most of all, comply or be disciplined. There is always a need to control what is natural in a human being.
Studying characters and their psychologies forces one to take a serious self-inventory. You are in essence putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and that someone else is an alternative you, for you cannot be anyone other than yourself. It’s an eye opening experience where you gain sympathy for other people and situations.
It made me think. Do I make my own decisions or do I simply choose from a list of options that was handed to me as acceptable? Why do I do what I do? Am I adhering to nature’s law (my innate god- force) or man’s law, which is but a system of control?
If we are honest with ourselves we will admit that we have been controlled all of our lives. Some more than others, and most for the purpose of conforming to the power structure. Actors study nature, movement, the human dynamic, philosophy everything under the sun and dedicate years of their lives to finding truth and creating reality. It is this truth displayed that captures us and makes the
performances genuine. I understand this and don’t blame anyone for giving the control system a harmless middle finger by using the shining moment of their labors to live in their personal truth. Nor do I have to agree with it. It’s their truth and that has just as much right in our living rooms as the lies the control system feeds us in the news.
I know what you’re thinking. I once thought as you do. Now I think truthfully, with people in mind over societal norms.