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Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Hollowness of being "Brave" and "Courageous"

Sometimes at A&G we write on things that really are not economics/finance related and have no impact on dollars and cents.  We don't know if our audience is interested or receptive but its a means to get things off our collective chests as to what is going on in the greater society

And quite frankly, who wants to read a blog providing repetitious meanderings about the daily doings of the morally and ethically bankrupt who govern over this nation and how the vast majority are oblivious

So we pose some questions to start..

What is 'Bravery?  What is 'Courage'
Who is 'brave' or 'courageous' -- A first responder (police, fire-fighter, etc) or an actor who plays a first responder on a TV series?

Who is brave or courageous  --  Someone who stands up for a principle or belief that is unpopular or the one who accepts the majority view?

And who is brave or courageous --  A normal everyday man or woman who comes out of the closet to the world as gay or a celebrity who makes their living in the Extremely supportive community of Hollywood or Broadway?

Seems every other day a famous person is coming out and saying they are gay which is really no concern to us either way..
And the media uses such hyperbole as "Brave" and "Courageous" to trumpet such pronouncements and most people want desperately to be politically correct so instead of simply nodding and saying 'good for you' its treated as if they won an Olympic medal.

It is both ridiculous and asinine..

Coming out as gay in the entertainment world is as 'brave' or 'courageous' as admitting your Jewish at a Bar Mitzvah..

Let's take the most recent celebrity to come out.. Ellen Page.
A lot of you may be going 'Who?'   Yes.. exactly.  She's an actress known mostly for indie films and was nominated for an Academy Award for the film 'Juno'.

But in terms of being a household name or someone the tabloid press would give a fig about following, she's pretty low on the totem pole.

That said, speculation was rampant for many years she was lesbian and she'd always deny even though really its a bit obvious to see..

So a woman who is obviously gay chose to publicly say she's gay at a time Everyone and their sister is saying they're gay, and the media calls it 'Brave'
This is what the media does.. It controls through word-choice the public discourse and manipulates how the masses think..

Remember now that for the last 5-6 years how the collective media refuses to call our economy a recession or small-d depression.. The operative word is 'recovery'..  And all those cutesy terms used like 'green shoots' and 'dead cat bounce' and 'rough patch'

If we had a loved one in the hospital this long while experiencing 'recovery', we'd have been bankrupt from the bills years ago..

So if you disagree the actress is 'Brave' or 'Courageous' you are a homophobe..  that's the implication.   You are expected to celebrate or shrug..anything other and you get branded..
Here's why she and other celebrities are Not brave yet those who are everyday people who come out of the closet deserve the title..

1)  Most people who come out do not have a large support system.  If very lucky, the parents, siblings, etc will embrace the person as will friends.  Often its not that simple and when things fracture, it can be traumatic..

Celebrities have countless people to turn to because as we said before with the exception of Broadway, there is no industry where there's a higher concentration of gays to offer support, encouragement, etc for someone coming out than Hollywood.

You will not be shunned there..
2)  In present-day Hollywood you will not find your career suffering in any way.

An openly gay woman, Ellen Degeneres has a very successful daytime talk show and will be hosting the Oscars for we think the second time.. Prior to her another lesbian, Rosie O Donnell was Queen of Daytime talk..   At least 2 of the top 20 TV shows currently on depict gay relationships as central themes...

Now the real world..

No one ever comes out and fires another because of their sexual lifestyle because that would be illegal, but you can always do it subtly..  Pass over someone repeatedly for promotion until they quit or let a gay employee go for something a bit trivial and tolerable in another..

Or simply don't hire someone gay and in this job market where an employer gets 500-5,000 resumes for one job opening, how would anyone know..
3)  Celebrities are wealthy.

Money means power to make decisions and have true control over one's life..

Do you think a celeb coming out of the closet has to worry about a parent kicking him/her out of the home and finding a place to live among friends or on the street like what happens to some gay teens?

Do celebrities really deal with everyday people or hire assistants to get their morning lattes and pick up the dry cleaning?

Real people who come out have to deal every day with real people, some who don't wish or feel like being politically correct.  So to come out, you have to have toughness to you that you will fight (physically if need to) for your right to exist on your own terms..
A celeb?  Ehh.. They get their PR people and handlers and lawyers to fight their battles while on safe movie sets relaxing in their trailers between scene takes.

So there is a great disconnect between the life a normal person lives after coming out vs Ellen Page or any of those other insulated ilk.

We didn't read the tweets where the President and First Lady congratulated 'Joe Schmo', deli owner from the Bronx as an inspiration and called 'Jane Plain', florist from Boise, Idaho 'courageous' and 'brave'..   Yep, missed those

The words 'Brave' and Courageous'..  the media and by extension society are using them too cheaply and disrespectfully and if you speak up, you're falsely labeled.
So we end with a few more open questions to think and ponder on the two terms..

Is it 'brave' or 'courageous' to simply be in the military or must one actually partake in combat and be at risk?

Who is brave or courageous -- the one who wishes to think the majority point of view or the outspoken contrarian?

Who is/was brave or courageous --  Ellen Page or Billie Jean King?     Maria Bello or Gertrude Stein? NFL draftee Michael Sam or Oscar Wilde?