The knives are out and the carving has become a bloodbath –– and I’m not talking about the latest horror in the cineplex.
The American presidential election and all of the pundits who have nothing nice to say have not only become fodder for Fox News or CNN, the message they espouse is finding its way into pop culture –– and I’d wish it would go away.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s room for politics in music and art –– just look to the songs of Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan or the rap of Lupe Fiasco –– but nowadays, those politicians who try to appeal to a younger generation by being “hip” just make my eyeballs ache.
Case in point: Celebrity gossip show Entertainment Tonight recently ran a story on how Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s wife, Ann Romney, loves the TV show Modern Family.
The media and political campaigners were smacking their lips on how a Mormon and staunch conservative would love a show that tells the tale of a modern-day family that includes a gay male couple who adopt a young girl.
My thought was that’s nice, but who cares. Now what’s your take on same-sex marriage, lady?
And why is it every time American “journos” talk about Michelle Obama they have to mention what designer she is wearing. Ya, she looks good, but what is her husband going to do about the mission in Afghanistan and the joke that is free trade with our country?
The politician, or his/her spouse, as a celebrity figure has gotten out of hand. And it’s not just in America. It’s happened in our country and it’s about to happen again.
Whether he was giving the finger to detractors on a train passing through Salmon Arm, or showing up at a gala with Barbra Steisand on his arm, our late PM Pierre Elliott Trudeau was more than just a politician. He tended to show up on the pages of celebrity magazines as much as he did in the news pages. I don’t think this was his choice, but nonetheless, photographers still gobbled up his every move on the dance floor.
There’s even a site on the Internet detailing all of the women Trudeau dated after his marriage to Margaret Sinclair. (And it’s quite the list. Rumour has it that Bianca Jagger was one of them.) Speaking of Margaret and (Mick) Jagger. Who could ever forget her tryst with The Rolling Stones??
The Trudeaus were the Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, the Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, of their time.
And now we have their kin, Justin Trudeau, heading in the same direction. Yes, Canada is about to have another celebrity named Justin (groan).
Let’s face it; Justin is, how do I put this, hot. And now that he has announced his candidacy for the federal Liberal party, it should be a real dog and pony show. Expect to see Justin’s gleaming mug on eTalk, hosted by another former prime minister’s son, on your TV set in the near future.
Pretty soon we’ll know what shampoo he uses, who his favourite band is, and what his wife is wearing when they walk up the red carpet at the Toronto International Film Festival in the pages of Hello! Magazine.
And hopefully when warrior woman Marg Delahunty (a character comedian Mary Walsh invented when she was on This Hour Has 22 Minutes) comes after him, and she will, he’ll not run for the hills as Toronto’s shamed mayor Rob Ford did. He’ll lap it up. It’s good for the image, y’ know. And politics should offer a little entertainment once and a while.
But really, I think it’s time we get down to some serious issues when it comes to the state of our union, don’t you think? And this is coming from an entertainment editor. My take, put the politician as celebrity at the back of the Inside Edition and showcase what they really think, not what they wear.