Just to be clear: actors act like people who do things. In other words, they depict the heroes and the risk takers that change the world, they aren’t the ones who change it. Phillip Seymour Hoffman, didn’t write Breakfast at Tiffany’s or In Cold Blood, he portrayed the legendary Truman Capote. Likewise, the late Paul Walker of the Fast and Furious films, was also an actor that portrayed an FBI agent, he did not go undercover in a dangerous situation to catch bad guys.
Ironically, after they “act” like the people who risked everything, they are then awarded gold trophies at luxurious affairs where the real people who actually do things aren’t even honored. Instead, the person who acted the part is heaped with great admiration for his or her work mimicking the real person. (Are you following me.) Consider the adulation steeped upon Tom Hanks for merely portraying Captain Phillips. The American captain who really lived through the hijacking of his ship, the MV Maersk Alabama by Somali pirates, was honored privately by President Obama, but it was Hanks that earned all the credit and outpouring of incredible love and respect for pretending to be Captain Phillips.
Which brings me to celebrity deaths. Heath Ledger, Cory Monteith, Paul Walker and now Phillip Seymour Hoffman all left indelible marks when they died, engaging in reckless, even selfish behavior. Newspapers and morning shows dedicated space for these celebrities paying tribute to their work and talent. Their stories saturate online news and their names trended on twitter with heartfelt condolences to family and friends. Flowers and candles were placed near the spot of their demise.
What lies within this story is a bigger, more tragic tale of millions of Americans more willing to weep for the man on the screen than the real thing.
Just weeks ago seven soldiers gave their lives. Their chosen profession didn’t seek fame or fortune, but it should. U.S. Soldiers and Marines work around the clock in places all over the world to preserve the one thing that Americans take for granted – our Freedom. Can any American name even one of the seven men who died in January?
I’ll tell you about them: Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Edward Balli, Army Spc. Andrew H. Sipple , Army Sgt. Daniel T. Lee , Army Chief Warrant Officer Andrew L. McAdams, Army Sgt. Drew M. Scobie, , Army Sgt. First Class William K. Lacey , and Marine Sgt. Jacob M. Hess.
There’s just something about American society and their blind patriotism that finds it easier to worship the flag than the men and women that carry it on their uniforms daily. It’s time we stopped eulogizing the people who only act like heroes. These are not actors and they didn’t die by their own hand. They died protecting you. What are you going to do about it?
I’m boycotting the awards shows beginning with the Academy Awards, not because I don’t like movies or being entertained, but because sometime in the last Century, we put celebrities ahead of the real people who should be honored.