The 2012 presidential campaign has begun, and it's already shaping up to be a historically contentious fight. The stakes are high.
Some of our nation's celebrities won't be content with simple endorsements and appearances this time around. They'll have no choice but to threaten to leave the country if the election doesn't go their way.[...]
Empty threats? Perhaps. But, by definition, all threats are empty until they aren't. We've already lost Gwyneth Paltrow to Europe. What if the next person is someone the public will actually pay to see in a movie? No, these threats are exactly that. Threats. Existential threats that strike at the very heart of America's economy and geopolitical standing in the world. It's time we take them seriously.
Celebrities are America's greatest natural resource. And because celebrities care more about the environment and other important things than the rest of us, they actually make the world a better place by their mere existence. They are like the trees in the rainforest, filtering out the bad stuff and filling the world with good. If they disappear from America, we'll suffocate. We must act now to make sure celebrities are unable to follow through on their campaign threats. [...]
There was a time when America made things like, well, things. Today, we make Snookis and Kardashians. It's what we're good at. And we simply can't afford to let the same thing happen to our entertainment industry that happened to the automobile industry. In some ways, it's already begun. Every actor like Johnny Depp who leaves America creates a vacuum that is often filled with a Russell Brand. Our celebrity infrastructure is already eroding.
Chilling, isn't it?
Can you imagine the fallout from a sudden exodus of America's best and brightest citizens--or, wait, from a sudden exodus of America's celebrities, who should not be confused with the former? Well, can you? (And wipe that grin off of your face.) I can imagine just some of the terrifying consequences, listed here in no particular order:
1. Movies would have to have actual scripts again. Yes, as terrible as it is to contemplate, Americans would stop going to movies to see the latest greatest hottest most interesting/controversial/frequently divorced stars, and would start going to movies expecting to be...entertained. Sure, CGI explosions would help to make up for the loss, but sooner or later somebody would have to write a movie script containing a plot, dialog that didn't rely solely on grunting, cliches, or expletives, and at least some plausibility factor. It would be hard, and difficult, and our heroic would-be scriptwriters would have to make many painful sacrifices, such as actually learning to write--but none of that would help if movie producers and directors didn't buy well-written scripts, continuing instead to look for shoddily done "star vehicles" despite the absence of stars.
2. TV, too, would be impacted. Gone would be the plethora of shows focused on detailing every aspect of a celebrity's life, from the outrageous to the ridiculous to the get-outta-here. Gone, too, would be those shows that exist solely to show off how well the lead (who could be doing/has done films and/or Broadway) can mug the camera and upstage the minor characters who serve only to set him or her off. Since that would remove about 75% of all current programming on the major channels, there would be a lot of dead air time until TV execs figured out what to do about it all.
3. American businesses would suffer. Without celebrity tweeting about an Italian designer's limited-edition stuff being sold at a big-box store, for instance, would people have been mobbing said store yesterday trying to get the stuff before it was all gone, in the kind of cultural display of elegance and good manners last seen when panicked citizens were fleeing Pompeii? And that's just one tiny example of celebrities doing what they do best--helping Americans realize that we just can't live without a particular item so that we rush right out to buy it. Why, we might forget to shop for anything but food and essentials, instead of drooling over gadgets and gizmos and toys and overpriced handbags! It would be terrible, and would certainly not help the economy any.
4. The magazine industry, already tottering on the Cliff of Irrelevance which overlooks the Dustbin of History, would be given its final push. If a magazine is published using the trees of a forest, but no celebrities appear within the magazine, was it ever really published at all? Enough said.
5. Our formerly American celebrities would take up residences in various parts of the world, meaning that traveling Americans might run into them when they are trying to get away from it all. Or, worse, the various parts of the world might try to send our celebrities back...
Clearly this next election is fraught with piles of hidden peril. The sudden upswing in the use of words like "fraught" is a minor peril compared to the loss of our priceless celebrities, who do so much good for themselves that the trickle-down effect means that they eventually do good for us all. And the danger that they will all go off and be replaced by C-listers is too hideous even to contemplate.