Are Cami and I really thinking about boycotting Tom Cruise and Stephen Spielberg’s newest sci-fi horror remake The War of the Worlds? Let me tell you – it’s crossed our mind.
This is kind of a weird thing to proclaim. Particularly in the light that I am a fairly large Spielberg fan and had begrudgingly come to respect Cruise as an actor in the last few years. I enjoyed what he did with the character of Frank T.J. Mackey in Magnolia. I thought the intensity he brought to Vincent in Collateral was layered and made a lot of sense. Hell, I was one of like, FIVE people who really enjoyed The Last Samurai.
But in light of his progressive meltdown taking place in front of any camera he gets in front of, Cruise has repulsed me to the point that I don’t much feel like supporting his latest effort.
I know, big deal, right? As if my paltry 8 bucks is going to make a difference in the grand scheme of things? War of the Worlds is one of THE tent pole flicks of the summer. A sure-fire blockbuster that brings together one of America’s most popular actors and one of its most popular directors.
At this point my disgust really has nothing to do with his laughable “engagement” to Katie Holmes. It has nothing to do with his beliefs as a Scientologist. It has nothing to do with the highly misinformed sparring matches he’s having with the press over the practice of psychiatry. At the end of the day, it comes down to one thing: Cruise is a smug bastard who DESERVES to be taken down a few pegs.
There seem to be very few people who can break the meniscus of Cruise’s very small world and let him know what everyday people think about him. His level of denial is deeper than a Nuremberg war criminal. It doesn’t help much that most people in the media continue to kiss his ass because he’s “Mr. Hollywood” and is good for ratings.
I think the other shoe dropped when Cruise appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman last week and Dave crawled so far up his ass I could barely see that gap-toothed grin.
It all had to do with the recent events in London where Cruise was squirted with water from a disguised microphone while at the UK premiere of War of the Worlds. Letterman applauded Cruise for not beating the crap out of the offending prankster and showing true composure.
Okay, points there. Because if he had taken a swing at the guy, it would have looked bad. But in all honesty, I got a real kick out watching it all go down. In turn, watching Letterman effuse his admiration of Cruise resulted in me losing a lot of respect for him. This was the guy who is ALL ABOUT taking celebrities down a few pegs with a few cutting remarks when they’re sitting right in front of him. All of a sudden he goes soft?
Then I realized it wasn’t Letterman’s fault. It’s the Culture of Celebrity. Cruise is high-profile right now and not just because of the movie. If you can snag him while he’s on his promotional rounds, that’s gonna bring great ratings because you don’t know what he’ll say or do next. Don’t piss him off or else he might not come back next time. NBC should FTD Cruise a basket of flowers for all the attention he brought to The Today Show after his spat with Matt Lauer.
But kissing Cruise’s ass doesn’t solve the problem, it makes it worse. Because it continues the notion that his public outbursts are acceptable. Getting sprayed in the face with water was the public saying “No it’s not.”
Don’t get me wrong. The implications of the water-squirting incident are really scary for a public figure. Because if someone can get that close to you and humiliate you that thoroughly, what are the odds the next guy will be a real nut who might try to take you out?
By no means do I wish any harm to befall the guy. Because despite how loony tunes he appears in public, no one deserves to have their safety threatened.
But at the same time, you can’t jump on couches, deride psychiatry, get engaged to someone after 10 weeks under questionable circumstances and not expect some kind of backlash.
The water-squirting incident was benign enough as to not frighten people while simultaneously being the utmost effectiveness tactic in knocking Cruise down a few pegs. It’s like throwing a cream pie at Ann Coulter or Bill Gates. It clearly communicates, “We don’t like what you’re doing. You’re abusing your status as a celebrity/commentator/entrepreneur/whatever.” It’s a way to punctuate the contrary opinion that isn’t being absorbed within the target’s circle of influence.
And, in its own way, reserving my entertainment dollar and saving it for something other than War of the Worlds is my cream pie in the face of Tom Cruise.
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Furthermore, I appreciate everyone’s patience right now. Things have been really hectic for me as I’m packing everything up and preparing for our move into a new home on July 12.
Remember that I still need guest strips for that week, so if you have a comic and would like a little extra exposure, I’m accepting all submission! E-mail me with your creations. JPG format (if possible) and no wider than 525 pixels or else it will break the layout of the site.
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