Tuesday 25 June 2019

Celeb heads... Only a proper Charlie demands to see the US President

So, here's the deal. You're rich, famous, have access to the kind of things the rest of us can only dream about -- and you are pissed off. Extremely pissed off.

In fact, you're so annoyed you want to set up a meeting. With the American President.

That's the latest development from the strange, parallel universe that is inhabited by Charlie Sheen, an actor as famous for his prodigious prostitute habit and heroic drug consumption as he is for any of his thespian skills.

And today, as we mark the eighth anniversary of what remains quite simply the most shocking event of our lifetime, Sheen wants to meet Obama and get answers on what he calls "a fraud".

Yup, Sheen is a long and distinguished member of the so called 9/11 'Truthers Movement' and says "the official 9/11 story is a fraud ... the attacks served as the pretext for the systematic dismantling of our Constitution and Bill of Rights".

It's standard fare from the usual collection of cranks, but it is always interesting to see just how dislocated from the real world fame can make people.

Speaking on the Alex Jones Show -- a complete and utter mentaller and conspiracy buff -- he made the usual claims that Bush and Cheney were behind the attacks "to provide a pretext for the invasion of Iraq" and he is convinced that Obama, as POTUS, now has the full story.

Eight years and one day ago, the favourite conspiracy theory was that each President would, on arrival, receive a Pentagon briefing on the existence of aliens.

Now, instead of aliens, we have a far more obnoxious theory -- the incoming Prez is given the true facts of that day.

It's rubbish, of course, and on a purely practical political level, it's hard to imagine that someone like Obama, who truly loathes Bush and his team, would not take the opportunity to utterly destroy Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the entire Republican Party for the foreseeable future.

Sheen is just one of a host of celebrities who think that because they are well known, they are therefore obligated to share every little thought -- and their thoughts are generally very little indeed -- with the public, the media and, in this case of rather remarkable hubris, the very President of the United States of America.

It's a classic example of a celebrity suffering from a terminal case of delusions of grandeur.

As the Janeane Garofalo puppet said in Team America: World Police: "It's our job to read the papers and then say what we read as if it was our idea" -- before being promptly and graphically killed.

Predictably for one of the world's unfunniest, dour and strident comedians, she didn't see the funny side, complaining that Trey Parker and Matt Stone were "douchebags" for what they did to her.

And proving that she had completely and spectacularly missed the point of a movie taking the piss out of celebrities who take themselves way too seriously, she moaned: "What am I getting my head blown off for? For speaking out against an immoral, illegal, and unjustified invasion and occupation? What they did was cowardly. To try and get yourself off the hook by saying we're equal-opportunity offenders, it doesn't mean shit to me" -- and in that one, self-righteous, pious outburst, she proved exactly the point that Parker and Stone were making, ie, most celebrities are a bit thick and they are all completely consumed by their own self-love.

Parker and Stone have, in fact, been consistently skewering politically motivated celebrities for over a decade.

When Sean Penn went to Iraq before the invasion, and proved himself to be a useful idiot for Saddam Hussein, they promptly depicted him as an astonishingly humourless, self-regarding idiot. Penn responded in a famous letter, saying: "You guys are talented young guys but, alas, primarily young guys. It's all well to joke about me or whomever you choose. Not so well to encourage irresponsibility that will ultimately lead to the disembowelment, mutilation, exploitation and death of innocent people throughout the world. F*ck you."

When asked what they thought of Penn's response, their reply was simple: "Jesus, he just doesn't get it, does he? People were actually asking us if we had written it because it's so ridiculous."

We're seeing the Irish equivalent here with various different pro-Lisbon groups enlisting famous Irish faces. And, to be honest, if you need Eamon Dunphy to tell you which way to vote, then please stay at home.

The hypocrisy and cynicism, as well as the incredible arrogance, of this kind of campaign reached its ridiculous peak during the last election when a Rock The Vote campaign was launched.

At the time, I suggested to one journalist mate of mine that getting pictures of Katy French wearing a Rock The Vote t-shirt was hardly the most sophisticated piece of political analysis you were ever going to see, he shrugged his shoulders and said simply: "But young people are stupid. You have to come up with this kind of shit to get them interested."

Our Irish Sean Penn is undoubtedly Jim Corr, the man whose main achievement in life was to wreck the Corrs' career in America with his assertion that 9/11 was an inside job.

This was because he had seen the conspiracy movie Loose Change, which trawls through all the conspiracies and which has been thoroughly debunked. But then, Corr seemingly has never met a conspiracy that he didn't like, and his latest jape is the notion that swine flu is actually a bio-terror weapon designed to depopulate the earth.

Or maybe to make money from sick people, he doesn't seem entirely sure.

Sadly, for Jim and Charlie and the rest of the conspiracy nuts, there are two uncomfortable truths for them.

Firstly, the Bush regime proved itself to be one of the most incompetent presidencies in living memory, and the idea of them being able to mastermind the crime of the century and keep it covered up is laughable.

Secondly, and this is the theory they themselves hate and fear more than anything else -- life is just a bunch of stuff that happens and you just deal with it.

Sorry, it's not as exciting as the alternatives, but as Occam's Razor points out, when all the possibilities have been explored, then the more likely answer is the right one.

iodoherty@independent.ie

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