Clooney To Give His Body To Save National Soul

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george clooney.jpg

Just in from the newest front in the great war of Geo. Clooney vs. His Fans:

"Here is my theory on debunking photographs in magazines, you know, the paparazzi photographs," Clooney tells Vanity Fair. "I want to spend every single night for three months going out with a different famous actress. You know, Halle Berry one night, Salma Hayek the next, and then walk on the beach holding hands with Leonardo DiCaprio.

"People would still buy the magazines, they'd still buy the pictures, but they would always go, 'I don't know if these guys were putting us on or not.' "

More here.

Reason's own answer to Ron Galella, Tim Cavanaugh, debunked "the myth of the stalkerazzi" in the Los Angeles Times and pointed out that "contemporary celebrities have already reneged on every other part of fame's social contract" at Hit & Run. So they should just shut the hell up and smile, smile, smile already.

And a few years back, after watching Tonya Harding pound Paula Jones in an episode of Fox's celebrity boxing show and musing over Lou Ferrigno vs. Robert Conrad and other modern-day gladiators who participated the old Battle of the Network Stars shows, I was moved to quote What Price Fame? author (and regular presence in these pages) Tyler Cowen's observation that:

"Contemporary stars are well-paid but impotent puppets….These market-based heroes are truly meritorious in one essential way: The serve their fans rather than making their fans serve them."

Literally. If you want to get a live phone call from a Z-list celeb–the likes of Lou F., former heavyweight champeens of the world Larry Holmes and Leon Spinks, Russell Johnson (you loved him as the Professor on Gilligan's Island), Marta Kristen (you really loved her as Judy on Lost In Space) and many, many more–go here.

NEXT: Who Wants a Border Fence?

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  1. I have one thing to say to Mr. Clooney relating to his valid concerns about the unparalleled and unjustifiable abuse of celebrities by the paparazzi:

    Dance, monkey boy, dance!

  2. That strikes me more as a war on the leeches who are the paparazzi than a war on his fans. You don’t have to believe the paparazzi are a danger to celebrities’ lives in order to disdain them as wastes of life.

    On the other hand, I doubt this would have the desired effect. The people at my workplace who never tire of discussing celebrity relationships already pontificate on which relationships are “real” and which are “for show” as if they actually had something of value to add to the conversation.

  3. Forget Lou Ferrigno. Conrad was undefeated until Gabe Kaplan smoked him in the hundred yard dash.

    Sorry, dress it up all you want, but the portion of the population that buys all 11 checkout stand magazines to get the latest on whether some celebrity is pregnant or not has a problem, a measurable psychological issue. They need help, and they sure as shit shouldn’t be left unattended in supermarkets.

  4. you know you’d still rather be him… deny it!

    btw, i applaud hollywood for its accomplishments; it’s more on the cutting-edge of capitalism than silicon valley ever was 😛

  5. After George defeats the paparazzi what will the stars do when they discover that they’re not getting their picture taken often enough to keep their fans interested?

    There’s a reason a market exists for this crap – it entertains the people who buy movie tickets in between movies.

  6. It doesn’t really work when you TELL everyone your little plan, George!

  7. George Clooney’s disembodied head floating atop the page? Creepiest thing I’ve seen today.

  8. Yeah, I don’t like it either. Why don’t you replace it with Salma Hayek? I hear they’re dating, anyway, so it’s doubly appropriate.

    Not to mention that she’s a Nobel Prize-winning Austrian economist. Or should be. If she were, I daresay libertarianism would be doing a mite better 🙂

  9. It doesn’t really work when you TELL everyone your little plan, George!

    Jesus. Exactly…..kudos on chosing Vanity Fair, that well known mouthpiece for shy, publicity fearing humans.

    I have a horrible, instinctive hatred of Clooney that I can’t explain. Everything he says with that tilt of his head and down to earth, sensible liberalism sends my body into involuntary anger spasms. It’s not good. Should I ever accidentaly stumble across a red carpet premiere of a Clooney film (presumably a searing, politically explosive dramitization of the plight of Ugandan tadpole farmers told through the eyes of an honourable, harvard eduacted and good looking American doctor)I fear I will involuntarily leap over the barriers and, in front of the world’s cameras, kick him in the balls.

    And then, by a wonderful twist of irony, I may well end up on the front of Vanity Fair (more likely National Enquirer).

  10. I’m w/ Jeff P. Sorry, Nick, this isn’t a war on “his fans”, this is a war on fuckin’ wackjob batshit loonies.

    And as for the “social contract”, well, I don’t think that getting peeks at every little facet of actor’s private lives is part of any contract. Far be it from me to side with the vain glitterate, but I thought they were movie & TV actors, not public specimens belonging in a moving fishbowl museum. You can make up all kinds of bullshit about “social contracts”, but just by acting in TV and movies, they haven’t signed away their lives to serving the every fucking whim of these psycho fuckbags whose lives teeter on whether Jennifer Aniston has a pudge, or what Brad and Angelina’s spawn looks like.

    Sure, they don’t have any “special rights” not to be photographed, but you seem to be operating in extremes here. Either they have special rights to be protected from the press, or they have to dance naked down broadway if some “fan” demands it, since, after all, they exist to serve their fans. Bullshit, Nick. Bullshit. There has to be some kind of line where they are allowed to say “even though I am supposed to serve my fans, your requests are unreasonable”. This isn’t some kind of social contract between performer and fan—it’s a delicate balance between keeping people (nutjobs and sane folks alike) interested, and keeping some small semblance of privacy. I say we let each glitterate figure out that balance for themselves. If building a wall between them and the paparazzi results in poor box office draws, and a real causation can be proven, then I’m sure they gladly dance naked down broadway. Until then, it’s simply idiotic to assert that they exist to serve fans and must do anything that the tabloid market demands in order to fulfill some bullshit “contract”.

  11. Mark VIII,

    Y’all are so far ahead of us in celebrity abuse–both in paparazzi aggression and in scandal sheets–that I am staggered in admiration. I abase myself before your Old World superiority in this regard.

    If I had my druthers, paparazzi would kill off a celebrity or ten a year, just to keep them on their toes. Kind of like the crowd that kills wounded people in that Ray Bradbury story. It would also raise my respect of celebrities that can endure such abuse.

    I’d like to “fake date” Miss Hayek and have millions to spend, too. Strange how some stars seem to be able to live somewhat normal lives away from the media while others can’t. . .or won’t. Clooney does a lot to stay in the spotlight, so his constant bitching sounds more than a little disingenuous.

  12. PL: Clooney creeps me out extra because he looks just like my dad did five or 10 years ago.

  13. Clooney does a lot to stay in the spotlight, so his constant bitching sounds more than a little disingenuous.

    I think he clearly has political machinations. He was doing the UN Darfur gig a few weeks back. Oh God he’d make a terrible president – the ladies would love him……yuck.

  14. Timothy,

    Your dad was a floating, disembodied head? How cool is that? Wow.

    Evan!,

    It’s hard to know how seriously to take these paparazzi problems. On the one hand, they seem to go way past too far. On the other, the people they are stalking have more than sufficient means to deal with them. I get the feeling that many celebrities want a certain amount of this to occur–for a variety of reasons–but object to it in certain circumstances. There are huge celebrities that can stay out of the limelight, and I don’t think they do it by living in high castles.

    So, I suppose I’m reasonably sympathetic to the celebrity plight, but, honestly, if the stalking is really too much, take your hundred million dollars and quit. The media will drop you about a week later. Then you can live on Capri with your sex-slave entourage in a life of quiet contemplation.

  15. Mark VIII,

    President? No. How about Prime Minister? Do you have to be a citizen to be an M.P.? Churchill was half American, after all, so there’s some precedent.

    I’d offer to take a Brit for the White House in exchange, but we’re not allowed. Sean Connery would be a nice choice for our president–I’d definitely watch his speeches! Though he might attack England to free Scotland. Oh, well, no one is perfect.

  16. Your dad was a floating, disembodied head? How cool is that? Wow.

    I know, right? He lost his body in the war, you know, but he could still do the whole retirement-planning/corporate trust thing with just his mind…mom got tired of having to spoon-feed him, though, so when they moved to Texas he picked up a new body. Don’t ask from where.

  17. Timothy,

    That must’ve been great for discipline. Sure, lacking grasping appendages would appear to be a disadvantage, but I know that I would obey a totally creepy, live floating head.

    New body in Texas? Oh, that’s one of the other benefits to illegal immigration.

  18. I’m willing to do my part. If any of you Hollywood hotties (female only, please) are looking to thwart and confuse the paparazzi by being seen in public sucking face with some overweight, balding and otherwise unrecognizable schlub – hey, my name’s in the book…

  19. That must’ve been great for discipline. Sure, lacking grasping appendages would appear to be a disadvantage, but I know that I would obey a totally creepy, live floating head.

    The creepy factor, combined with laser vision, really kept me in line.

  20. Timothy,

    That must’ve been great for discipline. Sure, lacking grasping appendages would appear to be a disadvantage, but I know that I would obey a totally creepy, live floating head.

    New body in Texas? Oh, that’s one of the other benefits to illegal immigration.

  21. I have always said that when I become hounded by the paparazzi I will hire a crew of photographers to follow me where ever I go whether in public or not. Then I would flood the market with free photos of my self in such mass numbers to all the magazines that their market value would drop to next to nothing. Why pay for their photos when they can have photos of me watching TV on the sofa with my shirt off drinking a Pepsi with bits of Doritos all over my chest hair. Hey, I figure if I’m that loaded by doing what ever it was that got me that loaded I could afford to show the “real” me at home.

  22. Hey, I would love to get a birthday phone call from Marta Kristen (Judy on Lost In Space). She’s still hot. I wouldn’t mind getting lost in her space. $300 is kind of steep, though.

    http://hollywoodiscalling.com/

    Similarly, I have a friend who is a fan of both the new and the old Battlestar Galactica shows. And he has a birthday coming up. I’d probably pay to have Richard Hatch give him a friendly call. Not $300 though.

    And I have a question about the right-hand photograph of Paige Brooks. Although I’m digging it, I can not figure out the perspective that makes this photo work. It’s like the Victoria’s Secret catalog as rendered by M.C. Escher. And is that her butt-cleavage up in the upper righthand corner of the photo? Again, to clarify: This is not a complaint.

  23. but I know that I would obey a totally creepy, live floating head.

    Procopius reported in his Secret Histories that Justinian and his wife Theodora used to detach from their bodies and float around their palace in Constantinople that way.

    Once again, there really isn’t anything Americans do that the Romans didn’t do first.

  24. PL: Clooney creeps me out extra because he looks just like my dad did five or 10 years ago.

    my wife wants to meet your dad.

  25. mk,

    Belisarius asked me to tell you that Procopius is a lying whore.

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