Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Joining the Tom Cruise Fray

More comments on the world's number one movie-star

Everyone knows Tom Cruise was fired and/or quit from Paramount Pictures. I would be remiss if to not comment, not least because the story touches on some topics of Workers; culture, fame, psychology, finance and mass-hysteria.

Cruise just signed a deal with a venture capital fund (the cornily named First and Goal Fund) owned by the Washington Redskin’s Danny Snyder - he of the exorbitant prices and monopoly gauging fame. Also a deal with Bill Gates - he of the world’s richest man and world’s largest philanthropist fame and whose software has enabled making the internet a universal construct.

Science fiction writer Robert Heinlein in one of his books said that human relations are like the pyramid on a dollar bill; the longer you live the higher-up the pyramid you go and the smaller the world becomes. Heinlein also coined the phrase “there is no free lunch” in one of his lesser books. Snyder is kicking in $3m per year to fund Cruise’s production company and both Gates and Snyder have options on Cruise’s productions.

People are commenting on whether or not Cruise is either an idiot or a genius of publicity. If you saw the film Collateral you know he is no idiot. To me he is kind of like Ronald Reagan, when I was 20 I thought he was a bad president, when I was 30 I thought he was a good President for his dismantling of some parts of the State-Capitalist system, eventhough with his Central America policy he was a murderer. So I have heard, I wasn’t there. But have not been the leaders of most Nation-States ? Both Cruise and Reagan kind of grow on you, good Americans both ha ha.

Tom Cruise was criticized for insulting Brook Shields for taking psychoactive drugs and for promoting his religion; fame makes you crazy what can you say. Cruise mentioned Thomas Szasz in his critique of the mental illness and drug challenge, which also shows he is no idiot. Szasz has written prolifically, if unjustifiably obscurely, about the crutch of mental illness.

In summary Szasz says that there is no such thing – we are all “ill” to a certain degree and it is only how this illness then affects others which is important. And that even with illness we are sentient beings with free-will and that we should be held responsible for our actions. And that public policy which uses mental illness as mitigating behaviour is misguided and counterproductive, especially enforced hospitalization and the insanity plea.

Szasz also has a concept called the “homme d’oeleur” (the sick man) which says that some (all?) people need a crutch to get through life, be it worries or drugs or dogma.

Maybe Cruise’s “behaviour” is rational maybe it is the religious prothletizing of an “homme d’oeleur”. (A religion founded by a science fiction writer.) Let the people (market) decide.