Celebrities, Labels and Other Nonsense

I just finished reading yet another article about another celebrity identifying as this label vs that label.  It’s a pair of pet peeves of mine also, sooooo time for a rant… or two mini rants.

Celebrities:

Is the public EVER going to face the cold, hard reality that being an actor, singer or model does NOT make one a rocket scientist? 

Quite the contrary in most cases.  Dedication to their craft means they haven’t spent much time at all studying physics, critical thinking, etc…  In fact, Brian May of Queen fame is the only legitimate rocket scientist (astrophysicist to be specific) that I know of in the category of celebrity performers.

In my observation, the less a celebrity knows, the more likely they are to loudly voice an opinion on everything too.  I’d say it comes from a deep-seated psychological insecurity from knowing they contribute little to society beyond an ability to amuse and entertain.  Broad generalization?  Absolutely!  I could cite several easy examples though, such as the entire gaggle of Kardashians, or Kyrie Irving (and Shaq).

Think for yourselves, folks.  You don’t need somebody in a gated Hollywood mansion or a multi-million dollar Manhattan penthouse who travels in closed circles, and has zero clue what the real world is like telling you what’s right for you, how to think and how to live YOUR life.

Labels:

On to the main rant.  Need I say that this is something that makes NO sense to me.  Labels are a way to categorize people and put them into a box.  Liberal, Conservative, Straight, Gay, Disabled, Black, White…

OK, I get it to a degree.  Our brains are designed to categorize things to make processing information easier.  Let’s face reality though; everybody is unique!  Racial identity, sexual orientation, religion, etc… should mean FAR less than the content of a person’s character.  Said judgment about THAT should also be made only after making an effort to truly understand the other person.

A huge part of the reason our political process is completely toxic now is because people blindly apply labels they can’t even properly define, and then make gross assumptions about the people thus labeled.  True on both sides, period.

Sometimes I REALLY wonder if people even think about the labels they mindlessly switch in order to feel “enlightened”.  Take handicapped as a perfect example.  George Carlin did a great couple of jokes about the way that term got substituted with several others such as “handicapable” and how it sounded like people were trying to BS themselves into believing the issue didn’t exist (in order to avoid facing it).

FINALLY, years back, the term “Disabled” was somehow settled upon as more enlightened and compassionate.  But is it really?  Handicapped, by definition, means that a person can do something but is at a disadvantage doing it.  Disabled…  That means it can’t be done at all.

So, which is really more compassionate and uplifting to people stuck with the condition and label?

Yes, sometimes labels are abused by unthinking members of the public.  “Retarded” being a great example.  By it’s proper definition, the term isn’t demeaning at all:

Occurring or developing later than desired or expected; delayed.

I’d argue that with many of these abused labels, it’s NOT the label that needs to be changed, it’s the people misusing them.  Forcing a change in labels is not going to change the condition NOR human nature.

I’m going to go WAY out on a limb here (at least as far as some will be concerned) and talk about labels in the LGBTQ community, as it seems to be a particularly contentious area regarding labels anymore.

In my opinion, the community has gotten FAR too obsessed with labels anymore.  One of the things I think the gay rights movement did right years ago is that they didn’t overtly stress over most labels.  In fact, if a label wasn’t completely derogatory (such as ‘fag’), they’d outright own it, and turn it around into a symbol of pride.  That’s what happened with ‘gay’ and ‘queer’, for example.  I believe that legitimately helped advance the cause also.

NOW, the community is not only more militant in going after others, but it’s turning in on itself too, as every little variation in sexual preference has to have a unique label.  Is it really that hard to just accept that bisexuality comes in a spectrum, as a major example?  Instead there’s more contention over that than I see on twitter over what qualifies somebody as a “real” writer.

The militant attitude in general there, AND displayed by other groups, isn’t helping anyone either.  You can’t beat somebody into accepting you, much less liking or embracing you.  That’s a process that involves mutual courtesy.  Also a rant for another time.

So yeah… Is “lesbian” or “queer” any more valid than the other?  I could point out that “lesbian” merely identifies a sexual orientation, where as “queer” means strange or abnormal.  The real answer should be “Who Cares?” though.  Again, it’s a person’s character and actions that should ultimately matter, not their gender, race, orientation, etc…

Just be a good PERSON, and the rest will fall into place.

19 thoughts on “Celebrities, Labels and Other Nonsense

    1. Silk Cords Post author

      Oh yeah, definitely some exceptions. 🙂 I did say I was speaking in generalizations in the post after all, lol. 😀

      You notice you never see Dolph Lundgren out in front of a camera preaching at people though? Kind of proves my point there. 🙂

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  1. Re-Farmer

    Oh, you hit on one of the things that has flabbergasted me for some time!!!

    Though I was born near the end of the 60’s, I was well aware of the whole 60’s attitude of youth rejecting labels placed on them. As I was growing up, I somehow picked up that rejection of labels (though even then, I did recognize that certain labels were, in fact, useful).

    When I had my own children and we were homeschooling, I was part of a national online Canadian support group. Many of the parents shared my desire to not force labels on my kids. As crazy as it sounds, back then, I even said that I was raising my daughters as “gender neutral”. What that meant was that I didn’t force them into gender *roles*. It meant that, if they wanted to play dress up and wear makeup, they could wear makeup – I just made sure it was real makeup, and not the cheap “toy” makeup that had who-knows-what in it. They had dolls, and tool sets. If they wanted to wear dresses, I made sure they had suitable coverage under their skirts, so they could climb trees and not accidentally expose themselves. I often bought clothes for them in the boys section, because girls clothes – especially shoes – were terrible in quality, restricted their movements, or were just plain inappropriate for children, but if they wanted to wear frilly dresses, they could do that, too. We made sure they learned out to cook and clean – and how to use weapons (or just their own hands and feet) in self defense. They learned how to sew, and how to use power tools, etc.

    Now, “gender neutral” means something else entirely! Gender itself is being forcibly re-defined.

    Many of my fellow homeschooling parents claimed to reject labels as well, but something changed dramatically over the years. The same parents that didn’t want their kids to be forced into gender roles or stereotypes were suddenly defining their kids based on those very things. Suddenly, all these families had to have their token gay child – the boy they always “knew” was gay, because he was “different” and liked girlish things, or the girl they “knew” was a lesbian, because she like “boyish” things. It wasn’t as bad as what I was seeing within the school system, but it still got pretty bad. Especially when gender dysphoria and what evolved into today’s trans ideology reared its head.

    Now, it seems like people are not just accepting labels, but are trying to find more and more labels, and ever smaller boxes, that they can cram themselves into – and those labels are what they use to define themselves as human beings, and their worth as humans.

    Somehow, in just a couple of generations, we went from “don’t stick your labels on me!” to “I’m sticking all these labels on myself, and you’d better accept them, or you’re a hatey-hater-McHatey!!!”

    I just don’t understand it.

    Liked by 2 people

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  2. The Hinoeuma

    I like your rant posts. You always hit nails on heads.

    I never have been able to figure out WHY people were paid so much money to act like someone else nor could I figure out why OTHER people treated those over-paid make-believe artists like gods. I can remember being stunned at co-workers getting into arguments over these “actors.” They were arguing over the parts they played, not the actual people. It was mind-boggling.

    Labels. Every time some announces they are something, I automatically think of Dr. Seuss’s Sneetches.

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  3. joanne the geek

    Professor Brian Cox, who is now a physicist, started off as a musician in Flight of Seagulls, or a similar band of the era, so Brian May isn’t the only one…

    I think our society is too fixated on celebrities. I have very little time or interest in following the affairs of actors, models or singers. I think too many people obsess about them and it stops us talking about things that we should be talking about.

    If we’re going to label groups of people, maybe call them what they want to be called. I know many autistic people and none of them would be happy with being called retarded, autistic is a term they are fine with.

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      1. Silk Cords Post author

        I knew which band you meant. 🙂 I actually liked them and thought it was a shame they didn’t go farther. Apparently going from musician to physicist is a Brian thing too (May, Cox…) 😀

        Sometimes I’m amazed how much writing feedback I can pull from the comments section of my blog too. In the case of my mentioning the term ‘retarded’, what I was TRYING to say is that the term never should have been allowed to take on such a toxic connotation. Instead of standing up against the name calling though, people changed the label instead. I’d agree at this point though that the term has become far too toxic to be attached to mental development.

        Closely related to that however was the “label” crowd deciding they were equally offended by the term “Jerry’s Kids” and raising so much hell about it that the got Jerry Lewis’s labor day telethon to help those kids shut down. The “cure” was worse than the imagined problem.

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