Deep thoughts with Will Smith

Yesterday we took a gander at movie star Will Smith, who aside from being a huge movie star is a legend in his own mind – a thinker of deep thoughts, a preacher and teacher who, along with his equally evolved wife Jada Pinkett Smith, seeks to help the rest of us to approach his own sky-high level of enlightenment. (As radio personality Robin Quivers put it: “They have this attitude that they know everything and nobody else knows anything.”)

smithellen
With Ellen Degeneres

This is a guy who has spent much of his career telling people like Ellen Degeneres and Charlie Rose about his philosophy of life. Some choice excerpts from these interviews can be viewed on a You Tube video entitled (what else?) “Will Smith’s Philosophy of Life.” Samples:

“Greatness is not this wonderful, esoteric, elusive, godlike feature that only the special among us will ever taste. It’s something that truly exists among all of us.”

“Being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity.”

“Our thoughts, our feelings, our dreams, our ideas are physical in the universe. If we dream something, if we picture something, if we commit ourselves to it, that is a physical thrust toward realization that we put into the universe.”

“There’s a flow of the universe that I’ve grown to know just how to go with it.”

As we noted yesterday, Will and Jada have passed their wisdom – and their prophetic calling – onto their children, Willow and Jaden. The result: both kids, still in their teens, are, like their father, eager to do their part to alter human consciousness. In 2013, Time magazine ran a tongue-in-cheek piece, “Is Jaden Smith the World’s Next Great Philosopher?”, in which reporter Ed Dodds analyzed recent Twitter musings by the then 15-year-old (“All The Rules In This World Were Made By Someone No Smarter Than You. So Make Your Own”; “If Newborn Babies Could Speak They Would Be The Most Intelligent Beings On Planet Earth”; “If Everybody In The World Dropped Out Of School We Would Have A Much More Intelligent Society”) in light of the writings of Kant, Locke, and other great thinkers. 

????????????????????????????????????
Jaden and Willow

In 2014, Vice magazine had a similar stratagem, consulting a philosophy professor to help decipher Willow and Jaden’s pronouncements in a recent interview with the New York Times. (Some of their comments, to be sure, didn’t require much interpretation. Jaden: “We don’t think a lot of the music out there is that cool. So we make our own music.” Willow: “There’re no novels that I like to read so I write my own novels, and then I read them again, and it’s the best thing.”)

Last December, a friend of Jaden’s told Us Weekly that “Jaden sees himself as a modern-day prophet and is working on a collection of essays….They’re new takes on string theory and chaos theory, but more mystical….Jaden thinks he has spiritual ties to people in other dimensions and galaxies, and they are helping him write….He hopes to have a spiritual following when he releases these.” (Let us underscore that our intention here isn’t to mock these teenagers; it’s to note the nature of the impact that Will and Jada’s homemade metaphysics has had on their offspring.)

willsmith1
Will Smith at his Dubai presser

Anyway, as we noted yesterday, Will recently went to the UAE to promote a new movie, Suicide Squad – and to spread his special brand of enlightenment to the people of Dubai. At a press conference, he was asked some questions about America. He proceeded to brutalize Donald Trump and his admirers, whose vocal support for the businessman’s presidential candidacy Smith welcomed as an opportunity to “get to know who people are” so that they can then be “cleanse[d]…out of our country.”

Yes, you read that right: Will Smith – this highly evolved being who presumably views as utterly immoral Trump’s intention to ban foreign Islamic extremists from the U.S. and to curb mass illegal immigration through Mexico – has no problem talking about “cleansing” America of natural-born citizens whose politics differ from his own.

But that was just the beginning of his press conference. More tomorrow.

Bill Walton: Dumb as Dennis Rodman?

Bill-Walton-Pic4-p188pf1og01i2413gv1bdc1ojb1h28-11
Bill Walton, who’s very good at throwing a ball in a hoop

Yesterday we reported on NBA star turned sports broadcaster Bill Walton, who while covering a recent game in China sang the praises not only of the country and the people but of its political system. Enthusiastically, he contrasted American materialism with the lack thereof that (he claimed) is an attribute of the Chinese people. As we noted, Walton went on for quite a while in this vein without ever acknowledging that the country he was eulogizing is a Communist dictatorship where the news media, property rights, Internet access, and much else are severely restricted by the state.

xiaobo
Liu Xiaobo

And that’s just the beginning of a long list of distasteful facts about China that Walton avoided mentioning. One of them is that the country imprisons its human-rights activists. One of them, Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, has been behind bars for eleven years, while his wife is under house arrest for no other crime, apparently, than being married to him. China leads the world, moreover, in executions, the number of which has declined during the past decade from about 10,000 a year to a shade under 4,000 today. A giant image of Mao Zedong, the greatest mass murderer in human history, still dominates Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. 

Tiananmen_Mao
Mao overlooking Tiananmen Square

When SBNation, a major sports news site, posted an article about Walton’s praise for China, complete with video clips, a couple of readers had pertinent comments to make. “I like Bill,” wrote one of them, “but this guy must have been paid by the tourist bureau of China! I mean, he talks about China as though it is an up and coming paradise. It’s a trash heap! 900 million poverty-stricken and governed by a corrupt autocratic regime. What a joke.” After this and another reader comment critical of Walton were posted, the comments were closed for that page.

On December 1, Sirius XM radio host Howard Stern spent several minutes playing excerpts of Walton’s acclaim for China and offering his own commentary (from which we’ve silently omitted a few, but not all, obscenities).

Howard_Stern
Howard Stern

I’ve talked to actual people in a nail salon who used to live in China,” said Stern. “And they’d rather work in a nail salon [in New York] for absolutely zero money” than in China. “China’s like the worst place you could be a worker!” Stern went on. “Because it’s Communism, and unless you’re in the government, in the hierarchy, you get shit on. That’s how come they’ve got a strong economy – because they shit on their people….So anyway, Bill Walton goes over…and Bill Walton obviously is being shown the best parts of China….He’s carrying on about how great China is. Well, of course it’s great for you! They’re working you, dude! They’re not showing you the sweatshops!” Excellently, if a tad crudely, put.

dennisrodman_400x400
Basketball diplomat Dennis Rodman

Stern compared Walton to Tokyo Rose, who notoriously broadcast Japanese propaganda to Allied troops during World War II. Stern’s sidekick, Robin Quivers, had another comparison. “It just sort of reminds me,” she said, “of the other basketball diplomat, Dennis Rodman.”

Indeed. The notorious Rodman, with his staggering and (it seems) stubbornly willful ignorance about the North Korean regime, may seem uniquely stupid – the useful idiot par excellence. But Walton, on the evidence of his fatuous, painfully embarrassing panegyrics about China, sure isn’t far behind.