or I guess he still does, but needs to see his 1300 kids leave home before pursuing it with abandon.
I have no interest in Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes news, but I’m still pretty fascinated with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
The other day I heard Quentin Tarantino talking about smoking hash with Brad on the Howard Stern Show. I shook my head a bit wondering if I really heard what I thought I heard. The next day I found out that Pitt had just a few days earlier been on Real Time with Bill Maher discussing his former drug use. When I saw the clip, there was Maher regaling Pitt with respect for his joint rolling capabilities.
This has to have been a conscious choice by Pitt to discuss legalization. I don’t care how wild and crazy you think Bill Maher is, you don’t just start discussing Brad Pitt’s drug use with him on your live television show unless he’s well on board with the agenda. Pitt told Maher, that he’d stopped smoking marijuana once he became a father, but seemed pretty prepared to shake people up. In the span of maybe 20 seconds, Pitt declared himself anti-religion, pro gay marriage, and for the legalization and taxation of marijuana – an agenda he referred to as the “Bill Maher going straight to hell campaign.”
I loved it. He sounded like a calm Bill Hicks. You either understand freedom or you don’t. I was pretty impressed with the entire interview.
My find of the day though was this quote about the old Pitt lifestyle.
“It has been previously and widely reported that Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston were “hooked” on marijuana. As reported by the tabloids, the Pitts’ idea of a perfect night is getting high together at home. They allegedly smoke every day, and are open about their marijuana use and are happy to smoke in public or at parties. Rumor has it that the pair were stoned when they met with then-President Bill Clinton.”
Now that to me is the life. If I had that, and you told me that I’d leave that for someone else, I’d laugh in your face. The person who tops that would have to have superpowers or something.
I’ve been into Angelina ever since I saw Hackers, which is still my favorite of her looks. The Billy Bob thing seemed sort of creepy, but wild and entertaining. At that time, I’d ask myself, “is she just seriously messed up or just that full of wild, freaky sexual abandon?”
Since then she’s somehow morphed into a world crusader and super mom, all the while keeping her acting market value in peak condition. She sort of seems less fun, but she at least seems sincere and grounded.
The people who loudly proclaim that celebrities shouldn’t use their fame to make bold political statements are as you would probably expect, usually merely people who disagree with that celebrity’s politics.
You didn’t hear those guys saying that Ronald Reagan should have stayed in Hollywood and kept his mouth shut.
Celebrity is power. The establishment types will do their best to tell actors and athletes not to wield it, because then all the power stays with those who have money and influence and those people merely care about staying moneyed and influential.
Celebrity is an equalizing wild card and can come from anywhere. Elvis Presley grew up about as poor as anyone ever did and it’s that randomness that can shake things up.
Rich people want you to be like Tiger Woods. Never have an opinion stronger than “Charity is good” and keep earning.
Elvis actually spent a lot of time trying to figure out what to do with that power, and actively and laboriously wondered why he’d been chosen to wield such power. Essentially, other than giving away a ton of Cadillacs, he never did figure it out.
John Lennon was the one who seemed to be the first and best pop star to understand that power and what to do with it. The lengths that the Government went to shut him up (and they were successful for the most part) are as scary as anything in U.S. History. (Search: COINTELPRO).
Maher acknowledged that Brad Pitt seems to have a free pass to say whatever he wants, because America seems willing to always forgive him, but I really respect him coming out and speaking his mind, because in the long run that can only hurt him financially.
I long for the day when people understand that the celebrities, who cynically smile their way through commercial endorsement after commercial endorsement without an opinion in the world other than how great Diet Coke is (and it is), are the ones that deserve our scorn not the ones willing to have the courage of their convictions.