Celebrity Opinions & Praise For Liam Neeson (EP.105)

Celebrity Opinions

Summary

The term “celebrity opinions” is neither an oxymoron, nor is it a signal that we are about to hear the truth. “Expert opinion” is different. A celebrity is clearly qualified to give an expert opinion in their sport or art, but that’s it. Kanye West and Robert De Niro can give a legitimate expert opinion on rap or acting, respectively, but their opinions on finance or politics, are about as valuable, as, well, my opinions on rap and acting.

For the next 10 minutes, we will unpack the difference between opinions from experts, and opinions from non-experts who have all the credibility on the subject matter at hand as, well, the guy in front of you in the line for coffee or movie tickets. (And I have not forgotten about Liam Neeson.)

Transcript

The term “celebrity opinions” is neither an oxymoron, nor is it a signal that we are about to hear the truth. “Expert opinion” is different. A celebrity is clearly qualified to give an expert opinion in their sport or art, but that’s it. Kanye West and Robert De Niro can give a legitimate expert opinion on rap or acting, respectively, but their opinions on finance or politics, are about as valuable, as, well, my opinions on rap and acting.

For the next 10 minutes, we will unpack the difference between opinions from experts, and opinions from non-experts who have all the same credibility on the subject matter at hand as, well, the guy in front of you in the line for coffee or movie tickets. (And I have not forgotten about Liam Neeson.)

Even celebrities like the Kardashians are experts in their field, this “field” being getting rich over being famous for being famous. Like Zsa Zsa Gabor before them, that’s what they do. And elements of our society have rewarded them handsomely them for it.  

Why is it that we not only listen to celebrities when they hold forth on topics like politics and economics, but we take what they have to say to heart? I want to hear what a starting running back in the NFL has to say about the sport in general, and specific topics like the need to set up the running game to bolster the passing game. I enjoy listening to experts, and I could very easily learn something. I am happy to listen to him talk about politics, but I would give his thoughts on that subject about the same weight as he would my comments about how best to plan and execute a winning NFL running game. Politics is not his expertise, and football is not mine. We should both listen to each other as individual non-experts, entitled to our opinions. But no more. Yes, we can each hope to be heard as we recite our own story, our personal view of the subjects, but as legitimate as those stories are, they are just that: one person’s story. These stories are highly anecdotal, with no statistical significance at all, and no expertise being used to advance the thinking on the matter at hand. All of that seems obvious.

So why do we do listen to celebrities when they are talking outside of their expertise?? Do we believe that actors who play successful politicians in a movie actually have political expertise? Did we believe that when Robert Redford played in “The Natural”, that he had could have been a superstar baseball player? Do we believe that a singer who has a hit song about how things should be, actually knows about how to change the world along the lines of the way things should be? I don’t think any of these things are true. Do you?

Today’s Key Point: With the decline of critical thinking, both in education and in the public debate, we no longer have that critical thinking as a standard by which to filter and judge the validity and worth of what we are seeing and hearing. This leaves a gap, and we have substituted popularity and notoriety in its place. We have traded critical thinking for having our opinions given to us by “celebrities.” And here the word celebrities includes not only athletes and artists, but voices on the radio and talking heads on TV.

This abandonment of critical thinking as a way of sorting out our thinking in life, including in politics and finance, has resulted in a lazy, thoughtless and, well, irresponsible ways of coming up with our stances, our beliefs, on critical political and financial issues. We get our thoughts and “facts” only from sources that we agree with. While whose sources may be diversified when it comes to technology, e.g., social media, TV, radio, etc., those sources are not diversified when it comes to the more important area; thought diversity. We must all regularly do things that we do not gravitate toward, things like getting the same news item from thought-diversified sources. Go to online and other electronic sources that don’t agree with our current beliefs. Speak, calmly, with people who hold different opinions. We must open our minds. And it is only then that we will find the truth. And it is only non agenda-based logic applied to that truth that can lead us to thoughts and opinions that are worth anything. That are valuable enough to be shared, voted on and acted upon.

Oh, yes, Liam Neeson–a celebrity. Here’s another case where the media are using Mr. Neeson’s celebrity to forward their agenda. This time by spinning the celebrity’s words and blaming him, rather than lifting up the celebrity’s words for high praise. Neeson is a actor who was being challenged by the director in his new “revenge” film to “get in touch” with examples of revenge in his life to make his acting seem more realistic. He publicly recounted an incident from 40 years ago where a female friend of his had been raped by a black man. He went on a tear for four or five nights, wanting to see a black man acting inappropriately, so that he could attack him. Fortunately, an opportunity never arose for Neesom, and he eventually came to his senses, shaken to his core that he could have thought and acted that way. He repented, and he learned. And he passed along his learning. Bravo.

The media have spun this to make Neeson look as much like a racist as possible, even to the point where they were very selective in how they quoted him. Some of this may be based in the historical major injustices done to black men, punished for similar crimes which they did not commit. They were falsely accused, given sham trials–if that–and executed or simply lynched.

Liam Neeson had nothing at all to do with any of that. He is living in a vastly different time, and came forward voluntarily with these thoughts and actions. No one dug this up and hit him with it. He hit himself. He repented, and shared his actions, repentance and learning with the world. That’s not at all racist. That is a human, overcoming the dark side in himself–and we all have dark sides–and coming out all the better for it. Wouldn’t it be a better world if we all faced and dealt with the dark parts of ourselves? The last thing we want to do is attack people who do the right thing–doing the right thing is hard enough in the first place.

All of this ties to the core, driving principles at Revolution 2.0, which are:

  1. Personal Responsibility; take it, teach it and,
  2. Be Your Brother’s Keeper. The answer to the biblical question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” is a ringing, unequivocal “Yes.” There is no other answer.

If we apply those two core principles simultaneously, never only one or the other, we will always be on the right path. Depending upon what we face, one principle or the other may appropriately be given more emphasis, but they are always acted upon together.

The Founders, Revolution 1.0, were declared traitors by the British Crown, and their lives were forfeit if caught. We risk very little by stepping up and participating in Revolution 2.0™. In fact, we risk our futures if we don’t. I am inviting you, recruiting you, to join Revolution 2.0™ today. Join with me in using what we know how to do–what we know we must do–to everyone’s advantage. Let’s practice thinking well of others as we seek common goals, research the facts that apply to those goals, and use non agenda-based reasoning to achieve those goals together. Practice personal responsibility and be your brother’s keeper.

Let’s continue to build on the revolutionary vision that we inherited. Read the blog, listen to the podcast, subscribe, recruit, act. Here’s what I mean my “acting.”

  • Read the blogs and/or listen to the podcasts.
  • Comment in the blogs. Let others know that you are thinking.
  • Subscribe and recommend that others subscribe as well.
  • Attach links from blogs into your social media feeds. Share your thoughts about the link.
  • From time-to-time, attach links to blogs in emails that mention related subjects. Or just send the links to family and friends.

Revolution 1.0 in 1776 was built by people talking to other people, agreeing and disagreeing, but always finding ways to stay united and going forward. Revolution 2.0 will be built the same way.

Join me. Join the others. Let’s grow this together.

And visit the store. Fun stuff, including hats, mugs and t-shirts. Recommend other items that you’d like to see.

Links and References

Liam Neeson

America’s Unqualified Voters

Northum? “Off With His Head!”

Contact

As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the blog with comments or questions about this podcast or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. And you can subscribe to the podcast on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google, or Stitcher.

Now it is time for our usual parting thought. It is not enough to be informed. It is not enough to be a well informed voter. We need to act.  And if we, you and I, don’t do something, then the others who are doing something, will continue to run the show.

Remember: Knowledge by itself is like running a winning race, then stopping just before the finish line.

Will Luden, writing to you from my home office at 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.

Will Luden
Follow Me

Will Luden

I am your host, Will Luden, former long-time high-tech CEO and Board Chair. I had no idea when I started this podcast that it would become the highest calling of my professional career. Lincoln famously hoped that a government, “…of the people, by the people and for the people…”, would not perish from this earth. My hope, the reason for Revolution 2.0 ”A Booster Shot”, is that a government based on common goals, achieved by applying non agenda-based reasoning to core facts, will allow us to continue to build on our mutual inheritance of a legacy of dedication to seemingly impossible ideals, a legacy that also includes a history of achieving them.
Will Luden
Follow Me

Latest posts by Will Luden (see all)

Facebook
Google+
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to Revolution 2.0

* indicates required

Recent Posts

Scroll to top
X
Skip to content