Thursday, May 04, 2006

Have We All Forgotten the Real Tom Cruise?


I was going to let it pass. I had been willing to forgive and forget. I had given him the benefit of doubt and just called it a day. But, when I turned on the news today and all I could find were stories about how Tom Cruise sped through Manhattan on a motorcycle, speedboat, taxi, helicopter, sports car and subway train, well, I could no longer just sit idly by and let this pass without comment. Was there nothing more important going on? Has everything gotten so out of hand that this was the most important event in our lives?

Does He Deserve Our Attention?

I ask you. Is it right that we should pay such attention and homage to someone, who in my opinion has no longer earned the right of our attention or respect? Should we just drop everything we are doing for some publicity stunt and forget all that he has done and said over the last year just because he has a movie coming out? We all know that this film will only make him richer, more powerful, and will just give him more opportunity to push his "opinions" upon us in the future. Isn't he rich enough? Does he need more power? Is this really what we, as the public, as Americans, want to reward him with for all the good he has done for us?

Don't get me wrong. I have no problem with someone expressing his or her opinion. In fact, it is the whole point of this rant. He is entitled to his opinion, as I am entitled to mine, and as you are entitled to yours. That is what makes our country special. We are all free to express our opinions. But I do have a problem when someone uses his or her position irresponsibly to push his or her own agenda or beliefs. That is something entirely different. That is wrong. If the President did this, then it would be called abuse of power, and we would not stand for it. Why should the rules be any different for a movie star? Should a movie star be exempt just because he or she is a star?

Abusing His Power For Self Interest

The reason I have a problem with this abuse of power is because while we are all busy with our everyday lives, we may just miss the fact that the very freedom of speech and choice we all love could be in jeopardy simply because we were not paying attention. This has happened before and it could happen again, even here in America. So, when I watched all the coverage today, I thought to myself, have we all forgotten? Did we forget that this was the same man that told Brooke Shields that using medication to cure her post-partum depression "is dangerous and damaging to her career"? Has he given birth? I ask this because only women who have given birth actually suffer from post-partum depression. So, what direct knowledge about the subject could he actually have? What do these comments mean? Were they responsible comments? Or were they simply to push the agenda of his religion and personal beliefs?

Shortly after he did the same thing again with Matt Lauer calling Matt "glib" because he was expressing his opinion on the drug Ritalin. Has the movie star ever been prescribed Ritalin? Not likely with his views on prescription drugs. What message does this send to people taking the drug that may actually been helped from its benefits? After all, this is a movie star - he has influence - people listen to him.

South Park - Censoring What We See

But for me, it wasn't these events, or the Oprah "couch jumping" incident that set me off. It was South Park. We all know the rumor. He didn't want the episode about Scientology played on Comedy Central. The episode poked fun at both him and the religion. So, allegedly, he called a meeting with key executives of Viacom, the parent company of Paramount Pictures who produced Mission Impossible 3, and also owns Comedy Central. The rumor claims that Cruise threatened not to promote MI3 if Viacom would not pull the episode down. We all know what happened, the episode was not aired. Later, Cruise claimed he knew nothing about the incident.


Well, does his statement seem true? Why would Comedy Central suddenly pull down an episode of South Park for no good reason? Does this make sense? Or was there someone who influenced Comedy Central's decision? Was there someone who would have cared about people seeing that episode? I think that it is obvious who cared enough to make sure that we didn't see that episode. If it is true, then, what happened was a gross abuse of power and something far, far worse.

If he used his power to stop South Park from being aired. Then, he censored what we, as Americans, had the right to see. If it is true, he stopped us from being able to enjoy the episode freely, and form our own opinion about his religion. He infringed upon our rights, our freedom to choose. He decided for us. He did not let us decide. Can we allow him or anyone else in a position of power to alter so greatly what we see or the opinions we form. If we do, then we will loose what is most precious to us - our freedom. And, if we don't pay attention, if we forget so easily, that is exactly what we will do. The scariest thing is we almost let him get away with it. We almost forgot and got so taken up with all the excitement of the land and sea journey through Manhattan and the release of his film. Almost.

What Can You Do?

So, you may be asking well what can I do? He's Tom Cruise. He's a big movie star and I am just a regular person. Well, remember, he's only a star because we made him a star. Without us, he is just a regular person. He's just like us. So, if he has abused the power that we gave him, then we can take it away by using our right as people to choose. Just like an election. We can decide what will happen to him. But, there is only one time that we can make a difference to him. Only one time when him, and others like him will care and be reminded that if they ever try and take our freedom away, we will be watching and we will act. For him, that time is this weekend. When his film opens tomorrow. When he needs to make money for his boss, the film studio. When he has something to loose. When he really cares.

Now, people have said boycott his film, sign a petition against him, and come up with many other worthy ideas. All of these are good, but if we really want to make a statement, if we really want to show our power as the people, we need to make it count. We need to do something that matters to him. Well, here's how we make a difference this weekend.

We make it count with the price of our movie tickets this weekend. That's right, less than $10. Now, I am not saying that we should not go see his film because I don't think that we should change anything we actually want to do for him. If it is M13 that you want to see, then see it. You shouldn't change anything you want to do for him. What I am saying is that if you were planning on seeing his film (MI3), then go...

...BUT WHEN YOU BUY YOUR TICKET THIS WEEKEND, PAY YOUR MONEY TO ANY OTHER FILM PLAYING AND SNEAK INTO HIS FILM. JUST ASK FOR A DIFFERENT FILM. THEN, HE DOESN'T GET THE MONEY.

That's it. Change nothing for yourself and change everything for him. This one small act, our $10 each, which we were spending, anyway this weekend, will make a huge difference to him. It will make all the difference to him. This weekend, our $10 makes us as powerful as him and has the power to change his life. With this one act, done by all of us, we are choosing. We are bringing the power back into the hands of people and making them stand up and take notice. We are showing him, and others like him that we matter, we are important. We matter. We choose.

All we need to do is REMEMBER, and remind our friends that we are going with to buy a ticket to another film. There are lots of new one's. That's it. But, we need to do it this weekend. This is the only time that we can really make a difference.

Forward This To Everyone You Know

We need to send this rant to everyone we know as soon as we get it. We need to tell them to forward it to everyone they know. We need to act quickly because we need as many people to do the same thing this weekend. We need to be united and act as a group, because it is by our doing the same thing at the same time that will make the difference. The more of us that do it, the more of a difference it will make.

This Weekend You Can Make A Difference

So, I have said my piece. I have expressed my opinion and let you know what you have the power to do to make a difference this weekend. To be heard. But, unlike others, I am not telling you that you have to do this. I am leaving the choice to you. The choice is yours. I hope that you make the right one.

Welcome To Vox Populix

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