—July 10, 2015
What’s with this emerging trend of turning celebrities into pundits who pontificate on the economy, politics, international affairs and other important issues as if they had been spending their lives working and studying these disciplines, rather than, well, doing whatever it takes to be a celebrity? The latest such example being Johnny Rotten, who shared his worldly knowledge about Obamacare, the Greek debt crisis, English monarchy, and Confederate flag debate in a July 7, CNBC Market Watch interview. This followed a June 15 Fox Business Network interview with Kiss frontman Gene Simmons, who pontificated about the economy, national debt and 2016 Presidential election (please see my June 26 blog–Big Celebrity Headlines With Little Effort!).
For those of you unfamiliar with the name, Johnny Rotten (nee John Lydon) was the lead singer of the English punk rock band the Sex Pistols, considered by many music aficionados as the vanguard of the short-lived first-wave punk rock movement that flourished from 1975 to 1980. The band, which only produced one studio album and lasted just two-and-a-half years, was known for politically incorrect and profanity-laced lyrics, the promotion of anarchy, and for publicly offensive behaviour such as cursing, spitting vomiting, fighting and related antics, especially during live shows.
While panned by most music critics has having limited to no musical talent, the band drew a massive cult following, their album enjoyed robust sales, and the Sex Pistols and Johnny Rotten became known around the world. Since the band’s break up in 1978, Rotten has been a member of the post-punk band Public Image Ltd, written two memoirs and performed with the surviving members of the Sex Pistols on a few reunion tours. Other than that, his only other real claim to celebrity is an appearance on the British reality show I’m a Celebrity…Get Me out of Here!, and bit roles on a wide variety of shows, including Judge Judy.
And now, apparently, Mr. Rotten is a wise sage, with intricate knowledge about the Greek debt crisis, Obamacare and the controversy over the Confederate flag. Just like Mr. Simmons, has apparently become a respected pundit, well versed in both economic and political issues.
Now if these gentlemen had been pontificating on these issues in a celebrity magazine, such as People or Hello, we wouldn’t bat an eye. But, CNBC Market Watch? Fox Business?
What, these media giants couldn’t pull in Warren Buffet? Couldn’t find someone who actually is directly involved with these important national issues?
What’s next, A CNN interview with Paris Hilton, in which she weighs in on the collapse of the Chinese stock market, or perhaps proffers advice on how to curb Russian President Vlad Putin’s Ukrainian ambitions.
Maybe Bloomberg can get a Kardashian (shouldn’t be too hard). No doubt that any one of them could provide crucial input about how to resolve the impasse between the West and Iran over its nuclear program.
And we’re sure Eva Longoria can wax poetic on how to subdue the Islamic State while at the same time toppling Syrian Dictator Bashar al-Assad, all without causing any additional chaos in the region. Who’s up for this interview? New York Times, perhaps? CNN? Anyone?
–Originally published July 10, 2015 in Hash It Out!