Celebrities: Caught between the 1% and the 99%

Sigh.  This is why I love me some David Archuleta. He has a fabulous way of keeping quiet about his politics and religion.  Other pop stars are always looking for their next photo op.

For example, here’s an ironic photo of hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and Kanye West joining the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City:

Just gag me already!  Seriously, how do they even remotely represent the “99%” movement?  Occupy Wall Street is about protesting the rampant greed of the 1% who have brought our country to the brink of economic collapse.  These hip-hop artists pretending that they still represent THE STREET have sold out THE STREET a long time ago just so they could make some “bling.”

Maybe the Occupy Wall Street folks on the ground need to better articulate their political agenda because celebrities like these (and no, I don’t include folks like Michael Moore, who’s been calling for these kinds of protests for a while – see his Capitalism: A Love Story documentary) have the tendency to trivialize such movements.

Russell Simmons, a poster boy for everything Wall Street, wants to march with the 99%? Get outta here with that mess!


Posted on October 11, 2011, in current events. Bookmark the permalink. 35 Comments.

  1. Catching up on the discussion from the last thread. I had my own brief experience (albeit unwittingly) with a cult. I was loving abroad and got to know a person my age who invited me to church. The service seemed ok enough, but little by little things did not add up the further I got to know my friend.

    I found out slowly that my friend was a member of the International Church of Christ (ICOC), which is listed as a cult. You can read abotu them (and former members’ stories) online. To make a long story short, I had to get very nasty with them to get them to stop contacting me. The level of control and isolation of members from their families is terrifying.

  2. One thing I can say is that I have learned more about Mormonism than I ever dreamed I would with my involvement in David’s fandom. It’s made for some very interesting conversations. Most people I know know very little or almost nothing about it. It has been very interesting to learn about what I believe is another culture, down to recipes that have come from their experiences.

    • Definitely the same here. It’s jump-started my thinking on these issues regarding the presidential race, that’s for sure. When intelligent, personable candidates (or inspiring, adorable singers) actually believe in disappearing golden plates and such, it really gets me thinking about how much it should affect my opinion of them, if at all.

      Huntsman intimates that he’s not a literalist about his church, and I can buy that, but how do we trust Romney to make good decisions about scientific issues, when he claims beliefs that defy science, archaeology, and history? Same goes for Perry, when he issues proclamations asking God to save Texas from the drought, while denying climate change and evolution.

      • The same concern could be raised about any religion. Christians believe Jesus raised from the dead. The Jewish and Christian faith believe God parted the Red Sea so the Israelites could pass safely. I am less familiar with other religions-but I am sure they have miracles based on faith. I doubt anyone would admit it, but an Atheist or Agnostic candidate. may be best for you.

      • And 2 billion Muslims are expected to believe that Mohammed rode a winged horse to heaven. It’s definitely a tough question of where to draw the line when it comes to people’s faith. Mark Twain said, “Faith is believing what you know ain’t so.” I like to think of faith as confidence and positivity, but “miracles” are another thing. I was raised in a faith that didn’t use doctors, so I know all too well the ins and outs and pros and cons of having a strong belief.

        According to the poll I posted in an earlier thread, 49% of Americans wouldn’t vote for an atheist–so there won’t be one of those candidates any time soon.

      • The difference is in the books that these various religions believe in and adhere to. The Bible is an ancient text. Historical and archeological findings have shown that the Bible is the truth. Of course there’s a strong aspect of faith attached to it, but that doesn’t negate the historical and even scientific truth of it. It’s the difference between believing the truth and believing the vain imaginations of men.

  3. I agree with you hg as did many others based on the articles I read today about Kanye’s and Russell’s attendance at the protest. It was a good press-op for them. Apparently Kanye was “draped in gold chains, flashed a brief smile with a gold grill, and showed off a Givenchy flannel shirt” according to an article I read. lol I wish I could march with the protesters on Wall Street but I am with them in spirit. Michael Moore’s documentary on capitalism is very enlightening.

  4. I have mixed feelings–it does seem hypocritical for Kanye and Russell to attend, but on the other hand, having celebrities does help draw attention, which is a good thing.

  5. off topic here but david didnt go home for his sister jazzy birthday yesturday, he stay in LA?? if that is true that doesnt seem like david to do that? i read one tweet that he called her?

  6. if david was in LA, mosty likey he was with girlfriend charice all day yesturday?

  7. HG, amen to this post. And don’t get me started about those “hip-hop artists pretending that they still represent THE STREET”. 🙂 They remind me of some wealthy politicians who pretend they can speak to the needs of the poor.

  8. This was a quote from one of the articles about them being at the protest. I thought he had a good point: “But one has to wonder, were they there to support the “99%”, or the 1% that they represent? According to the Web site Celebrity Net Worth, Kanye West is worth $70 million. Russell Simmons has a net worth of about $325 million. OK, have I missed something here? Is being wealthy acceptable if you’re a pop music icon? Can someone get me the rule book; this is becoming a little confusing. Shouldn’t this group be protesting in front of Russell Simmons’ home first?” I guess their being there did bring some attention to the cause but it is confusing. lol

  9. Well late for the party so perhaps I could make up for the lateness. Really how long are people not going to listen to David when he says that he is doing his mission through his singing and in the places that he travels? Who here does not see the good that he is doing worldwide when he visits the sick or needy people of the world? What, do you think that he should trade in the perfect opportunities to be seen and heard on stage and in the media just about anywhere that he goes? Really? When he smiles he lights up the room, any room including a sick room in a hospital, a room in a senior’s home, a room in a mud shack somewhere, anywhere. He won’t be doing just a two year mission like the programmed ‘two year mission’. In fact he has exceeded the two years already and is moving on after that. So how many others on their missions think that washing the feet of the lepers does not signify commitment and devotion as a humanitarian? How many people on a ‘two year mission’, washing the feet of lepers, even have it reported as a humanitarian effort? Would you like to see him leave this mission for any other really? For some reason I keep wanting to use the word ‘envious’.

    Every once in awhile, there is a person who comes along into our lives who exceeds our expectations of a fabulous individual and that is reality, like it or not. But hey, just keep looking for the loop holes, it is challenging I suppose.


    • Matthew 5:15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

      So why put David in a place where only a few can see the light that shines from within him?

      Good points, SB!

    • I have mixed feelings about this ‘music is my mission’ thing. It feels like there is an alternate agenda in singing and creating music, too much emphasis on ‘message’. The more Mormon centric his music is (i.e. Glad Tidings) and venues are (Arizona, Idaho, Utah), the less interested I am. There are other celebrities who believe in things that I would classify as weird, such as Tom Cruise/John Travolta, but that wouldn’t prevent me from enjoying their art, nor does it seem to matter to many others. That’s why I think D should concentrate on making great music. Great music speaks to everyone… just look at how Adele is doing.

      • Great Points Gita. I agree with them all. The focus should be on making great music for everyone not a “message”. The Kabbalah beliefs that Madanna/Demi Moore and other celebrities follow is also different to me. But it does not seem to effect their careers.

      • Well, the thing here is that we have to stop thinking and deciding for him and we have been slow learners on the subject. Perhaps society should slow down and smell the roses and be happy that we have his voice in our midst at all. There are reasons why things are the way they are and no matter how much we insist to have it the way we want, it isn’t going to happen. I like the word ‘rejoice’, kinda rhymes with voice…sorry, haha.


      • Yes, I agree. Well said.

      • That was in reply to Gita.

      • I agree, Gita, I would love it if David concentrates on making great music, and maybe he is already in the process of it. The problem is very few will hear it with the current management situation. I think that’s a big reason for the limited venues. If David views music as his mission, why preach to the choir all the time? The Christmas tour is reaching a few more areas, but that’s because they are working with AEG on that.

      • I always took the meaning of the mission comment to infer that David felt his “music career” was his mission and assumed he meant the total endeavor, including how he conducted himself.

        I took a young mother and her children to David’s first concert in VA Beach. I remember the mother saying repeatedly “what a great role model for the children”. His ability to influence others positively by just being true to his values is far greater then his likelihood of converting others in anywhere near the number.

        I suspect he would be traveling to more places and do larger concerts if he could afford it .

  10. off topic here again, david’s singing career is lacking, i am really concern about him because he is such a amazing singer and work really hard for his fans.

  11. HG – I can’t even come up with a comment regarding the two “poseurs.” I think you said it all.

  12. SB~ Good points. And I like the way you word it, too..Ever since David sang Imagine on AI, I knew his songs would probably be “message-y”, so no surprises there. If you think about it, all songs convey some type of message. It’s just that some songs are written to influence or cater to pop culture, and others are written to minister to individual lives.

  13. David sure got beaten down by Simon Cowell on AI for consistently choosing message songs, but those are the ones I usually like the best–as long as they’re not too cheesy–cough*DSH*cough. The ones that David feels strongly are probably going to be the ones we enjoy the most.

    On the other hand, I do get the point that when David is trying to be too “correct”, he limits his appeal to a wide audience. An example might be found in his first song, “Falling”. It was about the suicide of a relative, and I think he said it was too depressing, so he added an upbeat ending.

    In “Who I Am” he creates an interesting image about two hours in a taxi cab, but then it’s a little bit of a leap, when he sings, “But I don’t mind, I know where I’m going”. It reminds me a little of the song “Turn It Off” in the Book of Mormon musical. Got an unpleasant reality? Just turn it off. Singing “Things Are Gonna Get Better” at the Muscular Dystrophy telethon I thought was a nice choice, but it was pointed out that, no, it’s really not going to get better, since it’s a progressive disease.

    I like the message songs that seem fresh and appropriate to his own life–like “Works For Me”. I like his upbeat positivity songs, like “Zero Gravity” and SBL. But I like the relationship and love songs too.

  14. Fanscene is reporting that there are still more dates being added to the tour. I’m crossing my fingers for you mid westerners and those down south.

  15. I don’t care what David sings as long as he keeps on singing. I like his pop stuff, his message songs, his Christmas songs, his cover songs, etc. He just needs to keep recording and tour more IMHO!!

  16. Lookie here—>

    Saturday Dec 3, 2011
    8:00 PM Turning Stone Resort Casino Event Center
    Verona, New York

    VIP tickets Sold Out

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