For years, there has been a culture of arrogance in Hollywood, with celebrities leading the way. Like adolescents, they get stuck in their bubbles and think they know everything.
However, they don’t—not at all—and Denzel Washington just proved it in a fantastic way. He ripped those who noted the “difficulty of making a movie” and put things into perspective. Washington noted how it doesn’t even compare to the prospect of sending one’s child into war.
Washington’s comments offer a microcosm of two different schools of thought within the acting industry. They could not be any further apart from each other.
One school of thought is that acting is just a career where “someone can play pretend like a nine-year-old” for a living. On the other side of that coin, there are those who believe acting is the most important job in the world.
Neither one of these designations is true. While acting in a movie can often change our perspective on an issue, at the end of the day, the actors go home to a comfortable, air-conditioned house and get ready for their next day on stage or in front of the camera.
Soldiers, on the other hand, have no such luxury. They do not get any creature comforts, especially when they are getting deployed. Have you ever wondered why basic training is such a difficult endeavor to pursue? Have you ever wondered why those drill sergeants are so difficult to get along with?
It is because they are preparing these young soldiers for the reality they will face on the ground. When the drill sergeant wakes the trainees up in the middle of the night, he is testing them just like the enemy will. He is trying to figure out how they would react if they were in their makeshift barracks in some foreign land and were attacked in the middle of the night.
While celebrities have every right to share their opinion about a given issue, at the end of the day, they are just actors and actresses in a movie. In this culture, we have devolved into a welfare state that needs entertainment, much like the “bread and circuses” of the Roman Empire’s downfall.
But we are putting the wrong people on that pedestal. The veterans who, as Denzel Washington said, have risked “getting shot in the face” just to preserve freedom are the ones we should truly emulate.
This is why it is a huge travesty of justice that any veteran has been denied the care they deserve. It is a travesty of justice that these veterans are often homeless.
We pay millions to see these actors and actresses, but we cannot be bothered with a man who stormed the Viet Cong. It is pathetic, but I am at least thankful that someone with Denzel Washington’s status gets it.
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