Celebrities pulling for the left often preach to crowds of other celebrities who already believe as they do, creating a clubhouse mentality with information and opinions originating from brighter minds, such as Noam Chomsky.
The press hogs
It’s impossible to turn on the television or read the paper without having one of these famous faces barking out their beliefs and convictions. This elite group of liberal celebrities consists of Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins and The Dixie Chicks. Sarandon is always crusading for some cause, and with this election she has taken every possible opportunity to share her political views. Penn and Robbins both were recently awarded Oscars for Mystic River, but the two are also using their star power to influence the voting public. Penn sent Trey Parker and Matt Stone (creators of South Park) a letter expressing his disapproval of their political satire Team America: World Police, but the letter fell on deaf ears. Former country stars and supposed political rock stars, the Dixie Chicks are far from the latter. A rude comment about the embarrassment of Bush’s being from Texas was published in Europe and eventually news hit stateside. The Dixie Chicks were branded outlaws in the conservative world of country music, with DJs refusing to play their songs and fans burning the Chicks’ records. Now the Chicks, shunned from their musical genre, have chosen to embrace their label and dive headfirst into efforts to prevent Bush’s re-election. It’s great to see celebrities standing up for a cause, but when the public is continually bombarded with their political agendas, it’s a bit much.
Rapping against Bush
Eminem and Jadakiss have taken to their objections with this administration and put them on wax. Jadakiss has made a rather bold statement in blaming Bush for the Sept. 11 catastrophy in his single “Why?” In the song the rapper asks “Why did Bush knock down the towers,” and subtly points an impressionable audience to Kerry with that single indictment. Dick Cheney, his wife Lynne, Christina Aguilera, Giovanni Versace, Ja Rule and his own wife Kim have been victims of Eminem’s lyrical beatings. The Detriot rapper is setting his sights on the White House and expresses his distaste for the Texan president. “Let the President answer on high anarchy/Strap him with AK-47, let him go/Fight his own war, let him impress daddy that way/No more blood for oil, we got our own battles to fight on our soil/No more psychological warfare to trick us to think that we ain’t loyal/If we don’t serve our own country we’re patronizing a hero/Look in his eyes, it’s all lies, the stars and stripes/They’ve been swiped, washed out and wiped/And replaced with his own face, mosh now or die,” serves as the second verse to his latest single “Mosh,” bringing hip-hop music back to social commentary rather than the bling-obessesed mess it has become in recent years.
Hard to guess
Looking at Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston and Kirsten Dunst, political activist doesn’t come to mind. But these sugary-sweet leading ladies have all aired their disappointment with the Bush administration, and managed to dodge the political stigma that has become a part of many Hollywood stars’ identities. Roberts is known for her charismatic personality and million-dollar smile, but this Pretty Woman has nothing nice to say about this president. “He’s embarrassing. He’s not my president. He will never be my president,” Roberts told The Drudge Report. Former Friends beauty Aniston bluntly told Rolling Stone “Bush is a f@$#ing idiot.” It’s hard to picture those harsh words coming from Aniston, who created “the Rachel” a haircut that has since become the most mimiced celebrity cut since “the Farrah.” Dunst has the squeaky-clean act down to a tee. But the sweetheart is one of many tired of Bush. “I was old enough to vote last time, (but) I didn’t. I am going to vote because anyone is better than George W. Bush,” she told WBEX. This just goes to show us that even the sweetest packages have something to say about this election. Whether it’s for or against, Hollywood is making itself heard.
— Compiled by Pablo Saldana
Celebrities on the right are certainly part of what is usually the “quiet minority.” Ironically, some of the loudest who advocate conservatism are the ones we’d least expect — Vincent Gallo, Johnny Ramone and James Woods.
The unlikely Republican
With sentiments like this one: “If I didn’t know me, my dream would be to meet me,” in magazines ranging from Vanity Fair to Sleazenation, Vincent Gallo is not so much the underdog everyone loves to hate, but simply the guy who uptight people hate. Gallo, who once lived with William Burroughs and played in a band with Jean-Michel Basquiat, is easy to view as a hip guy. However, the banter between he and Roger Ebert is just one example at which his critics point. Ebert called Gallo’s latest film, The Brown Bunny, “The worst movie in the history of the Cannes Film Festival,” more than a year ago. Gallo responded by calling Ebert “a fat pig who has the physique of a slave trader,” and later wished cancer upon Ebert.
Shockingly, Ebert was pronounced with cancer shortly thereafter, yet the two have apparently resolved their differences.
It’s no surprise that Hollywood hates Gallo, who masochistically revels in bitterness. At first glance, it would seem his open support for President Bush is just more of Gallo’s brand of self-promotion. But interview after interview, shows that he is not kidding, and goes as far as to claim he and best friend the late Johnny Ramone used to attend the Rush Limbaugh show, although Linbaugh never acknowledged him. Suffice to say, Republicans are a bit slow to embrace Gallo as a progressive quasi-conservative. Secretly, however, they can’t deny that swelling of pride when Gallo says things like, “What’s radical about saying you are for the poor?”
The first punk Republican
Johnny Ramone, co-founder and guitarist for The Ramones argueably the first ever punk band died last month as a lifelong conservative. Described as “a rebel in a rebel’s world” in a Washington Post article this year, Johnny Ramone, whose birth name is John Cummings, praised Bush and America at his induction at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.
The 1960 election between Nixon and Kennedy made a big impression on the rock legend as a young boy, who couldn’t understand why people voted for Kennedy just because of his good looks. The banter between Johnny Ramone and his liberal contemporaries was a point of pride for the guitarist, who especially irritated the late and famous Creem magazine personality Lester Bangs, who couldn’t believe Ramone’s prediction in 1979 of Reagan as the next president.
The Republican advocate
James Woods doesn’t like to look at politics as a partisan issue. Though he claims to be a registered Democrat in an interview more than a year ago at Salon.com, he prefers “common-sense responses to each individual scenario.”
For a registered Democrat in Hollywood, however, Woods’ response to Bush’s critics has had label-pushers confirming his conservatism. Woods, with an IQ of 180, considers the president an intelligent man with good intentions.
In the Salon interview, Woods likens Bush’s troubles in Iraq to that of Tiger Woods. “Even Tiger Woods gets a triple bogey but still goes on to win the U.S. Open,” and then posits the moral merits of the U.S. involvement in Iraq.