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Old 04-29-2014, 10:51 PM   #1
Steven Forbes
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B&N Week 175: Do You Really Want To Be In The Public Eye?


We’ve got another spectacular Tuesday! I won’t bore you with talk about sunshine—there’s a lot of it here in Tucson. You can literally count the number of times its overcast all day here, or how often the daytime temperature dips below 65. I love this place.

Anyway, this week’s question is, like all of them, geared to make you think: do you really want to be in the public eye?

In ‘Murica, public figures have extremely little privacy. As soon as you step outside your home, as a public figure, you shouldn’t expect to have any privacy at all. That’s just how it goes here. Your life is on display for everyone to either look up to or condemn. Just looking at the news bears this out.

The recent kerfluffle concerning Donald Sterling and the LA Clippers basketball team is a prime example. Here’s a guy who is rich enough to own an NBA team, yet doesn’t have enough sense to have a racially charged discussion behind closed doors. Yes, racism is alive and well, no matter how hard we try to stamp it out, but when you’re in the public eye, you have to be careful about what you say and where you say it.

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Old 04-30-2014, 10:21 AM   #2
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The life of an out-and-out celebrity seems hellish to me. The recent Star Wars threads here have made me feel sorry for George Lucas- that poor guy gets a whole lot of shit, and all he did is make some movies that didn't live up to fans' exorbitant hopes. If I make something that isn't as good as the thing I made previously, nobody much cares and I can quietly destroy the evidence and move on.

As far as watching your words, I'm of two minds about that. Certainly, being circumspect and not offending any part of your fan base is wisest from a business standpoint. But you shouldn't have to hide your opinions; if you are ashamed of your opinions, change them, otherwise, own them, consequences be damned.

Card believes what he believes and stands behind it. I totally disagree with his stance, and find it hard to understand how someone who has written so convincingly about being an outsider and fighting for acceptance could turn around and support exclusion and discrimination- but I still have more respect for someone like him who comes out and states his beliefs than for a "behind closed doors" bigot.

That's what makes me leery of making purchases based on my perception of a creator's beliefs, politics, personality, behavior, etc. I'm not going to do background research to find out what some creator believes or what causes he supports or how much of a jerk he is before spending my money. Card has been called out very publicly, but for all I know Creator X, whose beliefs have not been made public, may funnel all his profits to Al Qaeda, or kick blind orphans for fun. So what am I, as a consumer, to do?

I realize you're talking about how creators should behave, rather than how consumers should respond to creators' behavior, but it just got me thinking about this. After all, I don't have to worry too much about becoming a celebrity myself. It ain't gonna happen.
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:44 AM   #3
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Great article.

I don't feel any pity for Lucas! He made the new films with the aim of making money, and achieved his goal. (And it appears he cannot make a film which passes the Bechdel test...)

Living in the limelight would be hard. The media has its own agendas, very few of which are to present celebrities accurately.

But I'm going to keep reading ComixTribe articles until I get there...
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