Monday, May 14, 2007

irrational prejudices

Is it just me, or does anyone else form irrational prejudices for or against certain celebrities? I don't judge a large amount of actors/musicians on their superior/inferior skill, but by random, arbitrary criteria which makes me feel very cynical about the state of the world and the way in which clever marketing can make anything seem talented. All the same, my prejudices are not exactly shaped by marketing but my personal idiosyncracies.

1) Charlotte Church. My parents bought her CD ‘Voice of an Angel’ which was recorded when she was, say, ten-ish. If you haven’t heard of her, she’s the sort of child-prodigy who sings songs like Danny Boy and Pie Jesu and then grows up to become a trashy singer of bad pop songs. I don’t really have an opinion about the songs on ‘Voice of an Angel’, but I do know this: she always reminded me of Laura S*****, the nasty girl at my primary school who stole my best friend. Laura’s dad was a policeman, which she never ceased to milk – “If you don’t do X, my dad will put you in prison” – and she made up a mean racist song about a later best friend of mine, who was Chinese. Charlotte Church looks exactly like Laura, as I remember her, and therefore, cannot be trusted.

2) Tom Hanks. This is the only celebrity featured here for whom irrational reasons actually improved my opinion of him. Simple reason: he has always reminded me of my brother. Especially before my brother gave into the receding hairline and shaved it all off (which looks much better, I think). Russell's a bit thinner than Tom Hanks, and he has slightly different features, but everything else looks similar. He even has a similar voice, in my opinion. Therefore, I was shocked and slightly offended this week when one of my lecturers mentioned how much they hate Tom Hanks' acting style. It has just never occurred to me to seriously critique him, because he looks like Russell.

3) Bic Runga. She is a singer from New Zealand who is actually pretty good. I even have one of her CDs and I really can't justify having anything against her, especially as a fellow Kiwi. All the same, one thing weighs against Bic from the start (here it comes): she went to high school with two of my sisters, and she beat one of them in a singing competition. What was she thinking?! How dare she challenge one of my sisters? (Is that a really pathetic reason to be biased against someone?)

4) John Rhys-Davies, who played the dwarf Gimli in Lord of the Rings. Two things are stacked against Mr Rhys-Davies. Firstly, in an interview I saw on TV, he was asked how Kiwi girls compare to girls in other countries. He sort of grimaced and presumed to intimate that Kiwi girls aren't actually very pretty but hastened to add that men don't necessarily need supermodels to keep them warm at night. Note the fact that I did not include a picture of him, mainly because he himself is so unattractive that my webpage would lose pretty-points. In terms of the second issue, I should apologise for turning myself into the moral police here, but really I don't feel at all apologetic. Mr Rhys-Davies' wife has Alzheimer's Disease (at least, I think she has died now), and so she stays holed up in Wales while he travels the world with a young, blonde 'companion'. Admirable behaviour! I hope his new wife treats him the same when he succumbs to old age.

5) Brad Pitt. This is a really, really stupid reason, but he just isn't a good enough actor for me to make more of an effort to dispel it. I happened to hate his character in the movie Troy, which is one of the worst movies I've ever seen. It consisted basically of Brad Pitt doing Zoolander poses. I could have recovered from that, had I not heard a rumour soon after that he was going to play Mr Darcy in the Pride and Prejudice that came out last year. The vision of Brad Pitt trying to take on the subtleties of Mr Darcy, trying to outdo Colin Firth, soon after murdering the character of Achilles... let's just say it made me feel slightly nauseous, and although there was never any truth in that rumour, it has put me off him ever since. Which is very unfair on poor Brad Pitt. Although I don't feel that bad, because he is actually not at all poor and it's not like he needs more fans.

6) Orlando Bloom. I'm sure this is a little unfair because he could hardly help it - but the long blonde hair as Legolas has absolutely destroyed his image for me. I could never understand why people saw him as a posterboy for Lord of the Rings. The hair just did not work. And although that is doubtless a very silly reason, I would like to point out that it did work on other elves in the movie, so it is something to do with him in particular. It probably didn't help that the problem was compounded by really bad lines; ie, "A diversion!" (you remember?) or "the sky is red; blood has been spilt" or something else equally terrible. Unfair, perhaps - but inescapable.

Does anyone else have any irrational prejudices?


JenKneeBee said...

I never really understood why all of my friends went crazy for Orlando with his long flowing blonde locks. You're right, it just doesn't work. He looks way better in Pirates, although I still don't think much of his acting chops.

Trish Ryan said...

I agree with you. And omigosh, the idea of Brad Pitt as Mr. Darcy almost made me lose my lunch. Unthinkable.

(and to answer your question about irrational prejudices against certain, no. Of course not. What makes you ask???)


LEstes65 said...

Brad Pitt - I don't get the "gorgeous factor" here. His face is horrid - his nose is out of line. I liked him in Legends of the Fall but most other things, I just don't see the pretty boy people swoon for.

Orlando - I actually thought he was a totally hot elf and would TOTALLY hit that. But once I saw him "act" in other roles...ruined. The man is not "all that". And he's way too skinny and wimpy to carry off a leading man or the image of machismo. Just doesn't do it for me.

Irrational prejudice - there is this fantastic actress - very pretty. Her character was recently killed off of my favorite show Heroes. But every time she came on the screen, I honestly got a pit in my stomach. The reason - she looks WAY too much like my future ex's new girl thing. Gack.

Bonsai said...

well, i would say that the best friend wasnt worth that much to let herself be stolen by Laura S.
but i know, it doesnt stop it from hurting.