Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sam Neill, citizen of the world

This is a response to someone on IMDb who complained that Sam Neill had voiced an opinion on US tax cuts done by Dubya and how they might not have been the best idea in the world... Original thread is here: "Another Socialist".


With all due respect, conservative he is definitely not, and he does have some strong opinions. I don't get why "socialism" has such a bad rep in the US. Are people confusing it with communism perhaps? Not the same thing at all. Socialism helped build countries like Sweden, who is on the forefront in many areas today. Sure, there are taxes, but there is also a working society. (I recommend "Modern-day Vikings" by Christina Johansson Robinowitz and Lisa Werner Carr for a more thorough explanation.)

I don't see why that quote should lower anyone's admiration of Sam Neill as an actor, as I think it shows he has a brain and is aware of the world around him - something that when I learned about it, it actually made me admire him MORE. That he's not just a brainless "look at me, I'm famous!" actor. He cares about things, such as justice and doing the right thing. I severely doubt he would think of himself as "another Alan Greenspan", as he's just not that kind of guy, nor would he claim to know more than the rest of society. If anyone were to try to pin that on him, I can almost guarantee he would refute that claim. If he lived in America and they raised taxes, because he's rich from a career in acting, he'd be hit harder than a person of a more realistic income.

Also, his views about the US are his own personal views, and has no actual influence on US politics, so I really don't see what the fuss is. Should he not be allowed to have views on what goes on in the US just because he's not American? Should he not be allowed to voice his opinion just because he's famous? There is still freedom of speech in the world. Let's keep it that way.

A lot of celebrities are vocal when it comes to politics, because it brings politics to the attention of the general public, who normally don't give a stuff, and it's actually a good thing to raise awareness of what's going on around the world, because most people don't care. People SHOULD care. The reputation of US Americans around the world tends to be that they're quite ignorant, and surely that's not exactly a merit? (To be fair, there are a lot of people who are very informed too, of course.) Anything to get people to care about the way their country is run - no matter which country that may be - instead of just the attitude "yeah, whatever, I'm sure it's okay". If celebrities can help bring issues in society to light for the "yeah whatever" (majority) part of the population, I say well done to them.

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