Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Perez Is Right

I have never been a follower of Perez Hilton. I’ve gone to his website once, but I prefer to get my celebrity news from other locations. He is a celebrity who I’m okay with. I’m not a fan, but I’m also not someone who has anything against him.

Well, maybe I have recently become a fan after his recent actions…

Perez Hilton was a celebrity judge at the 2009 Miss USA Competition. I did not watch the competition and really don’t care about who wins. Maybe I would be happy to hear that Miss Virginia would win, because I’m one who supports the home state. Other than that, I have no stake in the competition and no interest in watching it.

This year, Miss California, Carrie Prejean, was asked a question by Perez Hilton in the question and answer section of the competition. He asked her, “Vermont recently became the fourth state to legalize same-sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit? Why or why not?”

Her response was, “Well I think it’s great that Americans are able to choose one way or the other. We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. You know what, in my country, in my family, I do believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, no offense to anybody out there. But that’s how I was raised and I believe that it should be between a man and a woman. Thank you.”

She lost the competition and overall was in second place.

Perez Hilton later stated that she did not lose because she was against gay marriage. She lost because she gave a horrible answer that would divide people. He stated that Miss USA is supposed to be someone who unites people.

I think I would put it this way. From the view of someone who is not a fan or a viewer of Miss USA, I feel that the winner should have been someone who can give an answer that would show respect towards all groups, even if they have some disagreements. The problem with Carrie Prejean is that she had certain views and she never had to publicly express her views in a way that wouldn’t seem against one group or another.

What she could have said was this, “I will admit that this is a very difficult subject. I believe that it would be unfair for me to tell different states what to do. But the great part about this country is that we are given the right within states to consider these options. I would rather live in a nation in which people are allowed to consider what they believe in their heart is right, than a nation in which they have no choice but to have the government make decisions one way or another.”

Take a look at that answer. A person who is against gay marriage can give an answer like that, promoting democracy and states’ rights, without excluding anyone from the table.

What I see in Carrie Prejean is someone who is against something. But to be against something does not have to mean against people. This is why the question and answer section is great in beauty competitions. It forces people like Carrie Prejean to be judged on something other than her looks.

To show that I’m not just a liberal hack, I’m going to take an issue where I am against something, and show how I can express my view without being against anyone. I am against illegal immigration. I do not believe that people should be able to come to our nation and work without entering legally. That may seem like I’m against a group, but I’m not. If I was in a beauty contest (which would never happen in my case) and I was asked a question on illegal immigration, here is the answer I would give:

“The problem with illegal immigration is that it creates poverty in society instead of helping people succeed. I believe that the best way to help immigrants succeed is to make sure that they come in legally, and are then given the tools to succeed. I believe that when immigrants come to our nation, they should receive training to learn English and have the proper documentation to enter any job that they are qualified for. We want everyone who comes to this country to have the right to pursue happiness. With an equal playing field, I believe everyone can have the right to pursue success in our great nation.”

That is not against immigrants. Instead, it shows that I want them to enter properly and truly be able to succeed. I am not against any immigrant, but believe that illegal immigration prevents them from truly being able to move up in careers and fully pursue the American dream.

Had Carrie Prejean thought to herself in the past how she could be against gay marriage in a way that would not seem anti-gay, then she would have won the competition. But then again, maybe she is just against gay people.

Perez Hilton was right for asking her the question and he was right for criticizing her later for her bad answer. It’s easier to be for groups of people than to be against them. I’m not saying that Carrie Prejean should be for gay marriage. I think that if she is against it, she should give better reasons for her view than using George W. Bush's talking points. Also, if she is going to be against something like gay marriage, then maybe she shouldn’t have entered a beauty pageant. Doesn’t she realize how many gay men would be involved in running beauty pageants? That would be like a member of the KKK trying to make it big in rap music.
Then again, Carrie Prejean may just be a religious, moral person who is linked to Michael Phelps, who happened to be caught smoking pot at a party last year. I would have loved see her get asked in a competition about her views on marijuana!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Jackie Chan: Against Democracy?

I want to begin by saying that I believe that celebrities should be allowed to say anything that they want. At the same time, they should realize that stupid comments can get them in trouble with fans who may choose to no longer see their movies. After Mel Gibson’s anti-semitic comments, I have chosen to no longer see his movies.

Jackie Chan had recently spoken out with comments that were critical of democracy. He said, “I'm not sure if it's good to have freedom or not. If you're too free, you're like the way Hong Kong is now. It's very chaotic. Taiwan is also chaotic. ... I'm gradually beginning to feel that we Chinese need to be controlled. If we're not being controlled, we'll just do what we want."

There is a difference between doing anything you want and having freedom with restrictions. In the United States, you are allowed to speak out when you disagree with the policies of the government. When President Bush was in office, people spoke out against the United States being in Iraq. Now that President Obama is in office, there are people on the other side of the political spectrum who are speaking out against our nation’s current fiscal policies.

As I said on a radio show that I called into recently, protest leads to discussion which leads to democracy. I respect and encourage those who disagree with me politically to speak out. Maybe they will have some valid points on certain issues. No political party is always right.

The government of China is not a democracy. They do not allow people to publicly speak out against certain policies. When one does not have the right to protest the policies of the government, it is possible that the few will rule in power against the wishes of the many.

What if the government of China decided that action movies were inappropriate for the people in China to view? What if that meant that Jackie Chan’s action movies were banned in China? Would he still believe that democracy may not be a good choice for nations?

In the United States, maybe our freedom has led to people not making the best choices in their own lives. Freedom means that people have the right to make their own choices, even if others think that those people say and do stupid things. I think it’s safe to say that Jackie Chan has definitely exercised his right to say something very stupid.

While I believe that it was a stupid thing for Jackie Chan to question if democracy is the best solution, I think he should clarify what he truly means. If he is against democracy, say so. If he prefers democracy, say so. If he is not sure if democracy is a good or a bad thing, then give some examples. I think that he was trying to appeal to a group that is also against democracy. What Jackie Chan should learn is that sometimes the opinion you take can actually cost you fans. Trying to be Mr. Nice Guy to those against democracy may not have been the best choice for him to make. Maybe it would have been better had he not spoken out at all.
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