Dark Bilious Vapors

But how could I deny that I possess these hands and this body, and withal escape being classed with persons in a state of insanity, whose brains are so disordered and clouded by dark bilious vapors....
--Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy: Meditation I

Home » Archives » June 2005 » The best analysis I've read on this whole fiasco....

[« Gem o'the Day:] [Today's Quotables: »]

06/29/2005: The best analysis I've read on this whole fiasco....

Over at his blog (for indeed, that's what it is) ReelThoughts, James Berardinelli has some interesting things to say about the recent Tom Cruise meltdown (note, Berardinelli is apparently managing ReelThoughts by simply using an HTML editor, and not any sort of blog management software, so no permalink seems possible. Use the drop down listbox at the top to find "June, 2005", and look for the post on the June page dated "June 29, 2005" and titled "Cruise Control" if you want to see the source):

A certain degree of eccentricity is expected from celebrities. After all, considering their offbeat career choices (they spend their time pretending to be someone else) and stratospheric salaries, it's unreasonable to think they'll be "just like everyone else." But, with his much-publicized antics during the past six weeks, Tom Cruise has exceeded the curve. He has gone from being one of War of the Worlds' biggest assets to one of its biggest problems. There are two sayings in Hollywood that almost everyone subscribes to: "No publicity is bad publicity" and "There's no such thing as too much publicity." The Cruise situation may prove both sayings to be apocryphal.

When Cruise and Katie Holmes made a public spectacle of their whirlwind romance, it was cute but inconsequential. Little did we know, that was only the beginning. Since then, Cruise has entered a scorched earth mode in which he has taken on all comers. Step aside, Oprah! Watch out, Brooke Shields! Heads up, Matt Lauer!

Most people have religious beliefs, so few can criticize Cruise for his, or for professing them publicly. Opinions are one thing (and you know the saying about them...); the problem is, Cruise doesn't have his facts straight, and when he starts mouthing off about "established historical" incidents that are anything but that, one has to begin wondering where he's getting his information from, and why he isn't checking its veracity beforehand. So, as the truth emerges, he comes across looking like a dolt who believes every urban legend he has been exposed to. A few people have called his recent attacks on psychiatry "dangerous." I disagree. Anyone who looks to Tom Cruise for advice about how to handle a psychiatric problem deserves what they get. What those comments are accomplishing, however, is to make him into a laughingstock.
Berardinelli then speculates that Cruise's latest antics may torpedo Mission: Impossible 3 (apparently burning in Development Hell even as we speak), and make him seriously unbankable for projects after that. But, given my interest in religious affairs (and Cruise's commitment to Scientology puts this whole dog-and-pony-show into the religion category), I was interested in this comment by Berardinelli:
There are similarities between what's happening with Cruise and what happened with Mel Gibson around the time when The Passion of the Christ was released. After all, both situations involve popular movie icons emerging as preachers for a religious cause. But there are differences as well. Gibson may never act in another blockbuster movie, but he has directing to fall back on, and that appears to be what he's interested in doing. Cruise, on the other hand, has never crossed behind the camera (although, like Gibson, he has a successful production company). And Gibson's doctrine represents that of a mainstream religion (albeit a splinter sect)- Catholicism. Scientology, on the other hand, is viewed by many as either a cult or a "fake" religion. Fundamentalist Christians flocked to The Passion of the Christ. Every living Scientologist alive could see a Cruise movie and it wouldn't make a blip at the box office.
I'm in a dilemma meself. As a general rule, I don't like putting money into the hands of shills for movements (religious and otherwise) that I don't approve of; that was a factor (but only one) in my decision not to see The Passion of the Christ (though the main factor was Roger Ebert calling it the most violent movie he'd ever seen--remember, ol' Rog has seen movies like both iterations of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre as part of his job), and it was a big disincentive to go see Battleground Earth (though, of course, the fact that that one sucked so badly means I'd have never gone to see it even if John Revolta weren't a Scientologist). So right there, War of the Worlds comes with a big black mark against it for me. On the other hand, we're talking a huge, action packed mindless brain-drain summer movie (and I enjoy the hell out of spectaculars like that) that appears to be getting good reviews (in this morning's email from Rotten Tomatoes, the Tomatometer is standing at 91% FRESH--meaning that 91% of the critics that Rotten Tomatoes tracks are giving it good reviews).

So I'll probably go, but I'll probably wince a few times when I see Tom....

Len on 06.29.05 @ 08:41 AM CST

[ | ]

June 2005

Archives of Blogger site
Archives: May '04-Feb '05
Archives: Feb-March '05

Powered by gm-rss

Len's sidebar:
About Len (The uncondensed version)
Memorial to a dear friend
Frederick W. Benteen
The Web of Leonards
The St. Louis Cardinals
The Memphis Redbirds
The St. Louis Browns
The Birdwatch
Hey! Spring of Trivia Blog
BlogMemphis (The Commercial Appeal's listing of Memphis blogs)
The Guide to Life, the Universe, and Everything
George Dubya Bush Blows
Taking the Fight to Karl
Kraftwerk: Chicago, 6/4/2005
My Chicago: Part One
My Chicago, Part Two
Millennium Park
Miscellaneous Chicago
Busch Stadium Tour and BoSox/Cards Game: 6/6/2005
St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum

Len's extended blogroll:

Brock's Sidebar:
About Brock
The Agitator
Boing Boing
Brad DeLong
Crooked Timber
The Decembrist
Dispatches from the Culture Wars
Flypaper Theory
Heretical Ideas
John and Belle Have a Blog
Jon Rowe
Julie Saltman
The Language Guy
Literal Minded
Marginal Revolution
Matthew Yglesias
Oliver Willis
Orin Kerr
Political Animal
Positive Liberty
Signifying Nothing
Unqualified Offerings

Karen's Sidebar
About Karen
The Ig-Nobel Prizes
The Annals of Improbable Research
The Darwin Awards
EBaums World
Real Clear Politics
U.S. News Wire
Foreign Affairs
The Capitol Steps
Legal Affairs
Nobel Laureates for Change
Program On International Policy
Law of War
Sunday Times
Media Matters
Is That Legal?
Andrew Sullivan
Literal Minded
Jon Rowe
Freespace Blog
Thought Not
Publius Pundit
Blog Maverick
Rosenberg Blog
Crooked Timber

The Rocky Top Brigade:

Rocky Top Brigade Sampler

A New Memphis Mafia

The liberal alternative to Drudge.

Get Firefox!

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

Len supports:
Operation Yellow Elephant:

"Because ranting is safer than enlisting"

The Rebel Alliance of Yankee Haters
Blue Squadron (NL)
Babalu (Marlins)
Leaning Toward the Dark Side (Mets)
Ramblings' Journal (Cubs)
Mediocre Fred (Brewers)
Len Cleavelin (Cardinals)
Red Squadron (AL)
Obscurorama (Red Sox)
Frinklin Speaks (Mariners)
Steve Silver (Twins)
Steve the Llama Butcher (Red Sox)
Rob the Llama Butcher (Rangers)
MoatesArt (Red Sox)
Rammer (Tigers)
JawsBlog (Indians)
Ubi Libertas (Blue Jays)
Oldsmoblogger (Indians)
Mass Backwards (Red Sox)
Industrial Blog
Cry Freedom

How many visitors are here:

Blogrings/Blog indexes/Blog search:
« ? Verbosity # »

Listed on Blogwise
Blogarama - The Blog Directory
Popdex Citations
Blog Search Engine

Greymatter Forums Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com
template by linear