Why do we idolize actors?

Mark Walberg is that rare actor who knows his place.
In an interview with Task & Purpose magazine after the historic 2016 Election, he criticized his fellow actors for speaking out on politics as if they are uniquely qualified and their political opinions are important. He said:

“A lot of celebrities did, do, and shouldn’t. You know, it just goes to show you that people aren’t listening to that anyway. They might buy your CD or watch your movie, but you don’t put food on their table. You don’t pay their bills. A lot of Hollywood is living in a bubble. They’re pretty out of touch with the common person, the everyday guy out there providing for their family.”

That got me thinking about why we regard actors as “celebrities”.
moviestars
The dictionary defines “celebrity” as:

  1. One who is widely known and of great popular interest.
  2.  Fame or popular renown.

Definitions #1 and #2 both pertain to fame, i.e., of being widely known, but definition #2 also includes “popular renown”. The word “renown” means not just fame, but having a widespread reputation of a good kind; being acclaimed or well-regarded.
Therein lies the problem. Actors, many of whom are highly narcissistic, confuse “fame” — being widely known — with “renown”. And so, in their preening narcissism, they imagine themselves to be special people whose opinions, no matter how uneducated or uninformed, merit the public’s special attention and consideration.
In fact, as Wikipedia explains, traditionally, actors were held in low regard and had low status in society. In the Early Middle Ages, actors were often viewed with distrust as immoral, pagan, and dangerous.
All that began to change in 1660 with the performance of Restoration comedies in England, which were notorious for their sexual explicitness. This period saw the introduction of the first professional actresses, and the rise of the first celebrity actors. By the 19th century, the negative reputation of actors was largely reversed, and acting became an honored, popular profession and art. That trend greatly accelerated with the introduction of the first motion picture in 1895 and the subsequent rise of Hollywood in the early 20th century, which transformed and continues to make actors into “stars” and “matinee idols”.
The plain fact is that actors are simply people who make a living by portraying a character in a performance, whether in a theater, film, radio or television. In others words, actors are people who are paid to lie — to pretend they are somebody who they are not. That does not make them specially intelligent or specially knowledgeable on anything beyond acting.
But it must be said that actors who imagine their opinions are important, do so with our complicity.
A recent example is the public’s purchase of Cameron Diaz‘s undoubtedly ghost-written book, The Body Book, in which the actress, too stupid to distinguish her vagina — a sex organ inside a woman’s body — from her pubic mound or mons veneris, advises her female readers to leave their vaginas in their natural hairy state. (See “Stupid Hollyweirdo: Cameron Diaz has a hairy vagina“)
Even worse is when Congress brown-nose “celebrities” by inviting them to testify.
As an example, in 1989, on the basis of her having played a farmer in a movie and despite her lack of any scientific credentials, Meryl Streep was invited to testify before a Senate Labor and Human Resources subcommittee against the alleged carcinogen Alar — a chemical sprayed on Washington red apples to keep them red and firm for storage.
Within weeks of Streep testifying before Congress, Uniroyal, the company that manufactured Alar, withdrew the chemical from the U.S. market, followed by the EPA ordering a ban on the chemical’s sale, distribution and use.
While Alar has been verified as a human carcinogen, lab tests found that for it to be dangerous to human health, one would have to ingest an amount that is the equivalent of drinking over 5,000 gallons of apple juice per day. But by then, the Alar scare had cost Washington apple growers $100 million in lost sales.
jason-isaacs-narcissistic-actors
You should read actor Jason Isaccs’ vicious tweets after Hillary Clinton, whom he supports, lost the election. Here’s an example:
jason-isaacs-post-election-tweet
~Eowyn

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Emery
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Emery

Why you ask? Because NO religion of Christendom teaches us NOT to engage in idolatry, and in fact they don’t teach much of God’s word at all, and NO ONE actually STUDIES the inspired word of God, cover to cover, over and over and over again. So no one knows that idolatry means enmity with God. ANYONE who engages in idolatry of ANY KIND, like sex, money, immorality, actors, flags, countries, people, politicians, or anything else means a judgement of destruction (death) from God. That’s why.

japoa
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As to the q posed , beats the crap out of me ?

Emery
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Emery

Why do you continue to CENSOR posts that you don’t agree with? Is that not dishonest, unGodly, and a good bit absurd?

stevor
Guest

I’ve NEVER idolized them and I don’t understand it either (as with pro athletes and such)

filia.aurea
Guest

Clearly, Hollyweirdos have lost the ability to recall who they really are. This is possibly an irreversible condition. Their lives are so immersed in deception that they’re unable to bring themselves to the surface. One has to wonder what role they slip into even when alone… In fairness to Diaz, many people use vulva/vagina interchangeably and incorrectly. Precision is probably not top of mind when speaking of genitalia.

Mark S. McGrew
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Mark S. McGrew

All they are is over paid professional liars. All they know how to do is pretend.
Look at the hands. The tough guy actors all have soft, smooth girl hands.
I’ll shut up now before I get banned from this site.

Mark S. McGrew
Guest
Mark S. McGrew

Speaking of hands……anyone else ever notice how many of them have a crooked little finger? Look at the little fingers when they hold onto something.
I’ve seen that in movies that go back to the 1930s. Some have a “broken” little finger and some don’t. But a high percentage do have that trait.

DCG
Admin

Never heard of this Jason dude before. Come to find out he’s a Brit. Bet he’s still got butt hurt over Brexit, too. Hahahahaha!

sunaJAeon
Guest

Excellent article Dr, our society should give up their addiction to celebrity status

Youghn
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Scratch an actor and you’ll find a scumbag.

Longknife 21
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Longknife 21

Who is the “we” that “idolize” those arrogant but silly “girly-men”? Gun-hating wussys that make millions playing with guns in front of a camera. And total sluts that preach about Feminism and the Oppression of Women, but trade on their sexuality worse than a common Third World street-whore.The whore is more honest, at least she does her job to give some temporary satisfaction, these play-actors are totally artificial, “strutting their moment on the stage, full of sound and fury (and mostly BS), signifying nothing.” (Sorry ’bout that, Willy.) And we are supposed to listen to them like they are great… Read more »

Rocky
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Rocky

The Middle Ages had it right about actors. Life was lived closer to the bone so people were more in tune with nature and could spot a phony from a mile away. They also sensed that spirit was the basis of reality so they could better distinguish truth from falsehood. Modern man has inversed the natural order, no wonder we idolize actors.

josephbc69
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Rocky, you are spot on when you wrote “… that spirit was the basis of reality.” This was what Dr RIchard Weaver wrote about in his classic of conservative philosohy [and religious thinking as well] in his 1948 short book “Ideas Have Consequences”. Our culture has suffered rapid decline after WW2, and we older folks can see & feel the consequences [I was born in Chicago, 1943]. Dr Weaver points out that in the battle for people’s hearts and minds, the ‘New Age Order’ of the materialists won out over the transcendentalism of the Church. Ironically it was Roger Bacon… Read more »

YouKnowWho
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YouKnowWho

i find some of the notable performers to be very entertaining. If they’d just shut up about left wing liberal crap. just sing act and tell jokes. otherwise SHUT UP.

vistabee1
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vistabee1

?

Glenn47
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Glenn47

I don’t idolize any actor, but If they ride the same horse as Tom Selleck, then they have my respect.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Team America (intercut with real actors whining the same way) got it right:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbuVa6GEJUg

joandarc
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joandarc

Thank you Dr. Eowyn for this brilliant post. Getting the opinions of “celebrities” on political and moral matters is like going to a hospital to get your hair styled. Stupid. Lord, please give us strength.

TrailDust
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TrailDust

Great question Dr. Eowyn, “Why do we idolize actors?”
I went to my thoughtful spot, and thought.
Think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think.
But could not think of any reason to idolize actors.

That's Right, Gary
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That's Right, Gary

Actors and Actresses give an escape from our daily lives, entertain, and even perhaps inspire us (John Wayne or Braveheart, come to mind). But that’s where it ends. The are, in reality, living marionettes to do and say what others tell them to do or say. Their accomplishment is to the extent that the make believe convincingly. Beyond that, there is no accomplishment. We have confused celebrity for greatness. Fiction for great deeds. Those who have served, and particularly, those who have served in combat, don’t like being called heroes, nor to be given awards for bravery, since combat vets… Read more »