Posted on: Sunday, April 20th, 2003 by Nina May
I was having a hard time deciding whether to comment on Tim Robbins temper tantrum at the National Press Club on April, 15, or change my shelf paper. Neither are really necessary, both are tedious, and no real impact is made on life as we know it, if neither is done.
Tim, who is actually a very good actor, tried to stretch his thespian abilities by donning the demeanor of righteous martyr for all oppressed victims. He sounded more like he was trying out for a modern version of a Greek tragedy. It was almost as though his mother had written the speech and forced him to deliver¯ it, because when it came to the softball questions, handed to him with talking points attached, he seemed unsure of himself, almost as though he forgot the impassioned speech he had just, moments before, delivered.
It was such a huge relief too, to find that after his speech, warning the world that, A chill wind is blowing in this nation . . . being sent through the White House and its allies . . . [that] if you oppose this administration, there can and will be ramifications,¯ that he wasn't carted away in handcuffs. For a guy who claims there is no tolerance for opposing views and free speech any more, he sure got a lot of play time. I heard him mentioned on every channel I turned to on the radio and TV. Even C-SPAN carried his entire speech, and the objects of his derision, Fox News, et al, responded in kind.
But a question I would have asked Mr. Robbins, or his mommy, waiting in the wings, would be . . . Where was he when Clinton was bombing the Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Serbia, without any UN resolutions or Hollywood's approval? Where was his opposition to the torching and murder of innocent people in Waco, Texas? What did he think about Janet Reno's Commandos, breaking into a private home in Florida, to return a terrified little boy to a dictator 90 miles away? Has he ever spoken out against THAT dictator, OR Saddam Hussein, as vehemently as he condemns his own president? Does Ruby Ridge ring a bell? Where has he been when abortion protesters have been jailed for praying peacefully in front of abortion clinics in the hopes of saving the lives of unborn children and their mothers? Where is he when school children are told they can't pray in school, bring their Bibles, gather around flag poles, or wear T-shirts that declare their faith? Where was he when the Boy Scouts were castigated for upholding their constitutional rights to freedom of association? Where has he been when Christians are portrayed as idiots, perverts, and psychopaths in Hollywood while decadence and debauchery are elevated to art forms?
The envelop please. Your performance was lacking not only in sincerity, but in consistency. Your self-righteous diatribe against everyone and everything that doesn't continue to worship at the alter of the liberal elite, and Hollywood in particular, conveys a more transparent reason for your speech. You guys are no longer on the unchallenged pedestal of public approval. You have been replaced by real men and women who believe in something greater than themselves. People who will actually give their lives so others might have freedom . . . yes Tim . . . even freedom to make public fools of themselves. The new heroes are people who will challenge political status quo to do what is right morally, while potentially hurting their political careers, or risk being described as heading a regime.¯
And this new position of irrelevance that you and several other actors now occupy, was not caused by the vast right-wing conspiracy,¯ which you claim, "fill the airwaves everyday with warnings, veiled in unveiled threats, spewed invective and hatred directed at any voice of dissent.¯ Which is, ironically, what you were doing to Dale Petroskey, by saying he belonged "with the cowards and ideologues in a hall of infamy and shame," after Petroskey canceled a scheduled Cooperstown salute to your baseball movie "Bull Durham." What caused this fall from the iconocentric dynasty, was when you and your Hollywood buddies started moonlighting in political adventurism and America has responded by saying . . . Don't give up your day job.¯ We love the fantasy of seeing you as just another multimillionaire, beautiful person we can all hope to emulate. That doesn't mean you don't have the right to say what you think . . . and Tim . . . you know that. We just don't HAVE to listen. It's sort of like American Idol . . . where everyone is a critic and no feelings are spared in slicing and dicing those who really think the world wants to hear them warble Blowing in the Wind.¯
And as for Cooperstown, gee, it looks like their instincts were right. You have only proven their point that you and your "mom" are lose cannons without an ounce of discretion and dignity and will throw globally televised tantrums to try and prove that you really are relevant. I am, I am . . . listen to me . . .I am really important and have something really, really important to say.¯
In fairness to your claim that you are being silenced, I can totally understand that type of discrimination and arbitrary silencing so I ask you as a fellow victim . . . will you give me a part in your next movie? No? Well, aren't you silencing me? Isn't that a chilled wind of oppression blowing in my direction because you would be denying me the right to perform for the world? Just because I think I am worthy, good, talented and have something meaningful to share with society as an actress, real professionals know that I don't.
So next time your "mom" makes you give a big boy speech that makes you sound like a whiny little boy, you need to suggest that maybe you both go change some shelf paper, take a few deep breaths and . . .get over it, because you are the only ones putting an expiration date on your professional shelf life . . . not the millions who choose to switch channels
Articles by Nina May
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