One of things I miss most from my life before becoming a certified Internet Person is how little I used to know about celebrities and artists I liked. If I wanted to know something about their personal life, I had to seek it out. Can you even remember such a time?
We know everything about celebrities. We know way too much. Between Twitter and endless promo tour interview circuits, we know everyone’s thoughts, their politics, the specifics of their sense of humor. And just like with all the people you meet in life, when you see that much of everyone’s brain, there’s no way you’re going to actually like them, not all of them. And depending on just how much you come to dislike a celebrity, that can have a big impact on how tainted their work might be for you.
There are a lot of people whose minds I wouldn’t wish to un-know. I don’t care how much I miss being able to just sit back and watch Annie Hall or Rosemary’s Baby without ever thinking about the men who made them; those are people I wouldn’t want to just obliviously support.
These people, though? Well, some of them I wouldn’t mind knowing a whole lot less about.
Sarandon was pretty much the impetus for this entire list. She might have given us a glimpse into the Bernie or Bust bumper sticker factory that is her brainspace before, but over the last year, she just opened the door wide. She’s the poster child for white feminism and white privilege, yelling her “Trump will bring the revolution” bullshit from her Hollywood tower.
I miss not knowing any of that while watching Rocky Horror Picture Show or Thelma and Louise. It would have been nice to be a bit more torn between knowing whether to root for Bette or Joan. But I can’t go back.
Remember when Chris Pratt was just awesome, lovable Andy Dwyer? Remember how proud we were when he made the jump to blockbusters, with all the abs he unveiled in the process? Then remember how we learned not-great things about the way he and Anna Faris treat their pets? And then he started defending the also-not-great rape culture plot points of Passengers and bordering on white men are the true oppressed in this country territory? (And yes, he apologized for the stupidity of that last comment. Which maybe just means he doesn’t have a great filter. It doesn’t make his thoughts any more welcome in my ears.)
MCU interviews aren’t quite as fun anymore, now that we’re living with the knowledge that at any moment, Hawkeye might make some joke about Black Widow’s perceived promiscuity, or refuse to talk about the pay gap in his chosen profession, no matter how strongly the public eye may be requesting a basic acknowledgement of the issues..
We’re in a great era of problematic characters. Who doesn’t love a good anti-hero? But when those characters too closely resemble their creators, it can be hard to just sit back and enjoy their faults. I know a lot of you don’t like Girls, you never liked Girls, and you can’t wait to tell me how much you don’t like Girls. I do like it. But I liked it a lot more back before I’d heard Lena Dunham say enough ignorant things to fill Hannah’s diary.
I wish I didn’t know anything about Kelsey Grammer’s horrible views on guns and abortion. And I wish I didn’t know about his incredibly painful past so that I felt I had to justify those views along with my enjoyment of just a single episode of Frasier.
Baldwin almost enters into Woody Allen territory. I’m not positive I’d actually want to go back to just being able to enjoy Firefly with no reservations whatsoever, but I’m not sure it would be worth it. To forget that Baldwin was a Gamergate pioneer, to forget all the harassment he engages in and encourages online — that’s an awfully big omission to allow.
Oh the other hand, Firefly.
There are a lot of words I wish I’d never heard spoken aloud, but the top four are definitely “It wasn’t rape rape.”
The Roseanne revival was announced this week, and it sure would be great if my excitement for the return of a hilarious, poignant, game changing (not to mention woman-created and woman-driven) show wasn’t tainted with having access to her pro-Trump, anti-trans, Black Lives Matter-bashing Twitter feed.
Ugh, why couldn’t she have just gracefully disappeared into obscurity after Clueless?