February 4, 2014, - 2:35 pm
No Tears for Philip Seymour Hoffman; Yup, I Know–We’re Not Supposed to Judge Drug Addicts, Islamic Terrorists Or Anyone Else
I really couldn’t care less about the death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, but in the days since his death many readers have asked me to comment. Frankly, I’m sick of the non-stop, uber-sympathetic coverage of it. I’m also sick of the lamentations and empathy this devoted drug addict gets for choosing shooting up over being in the lives of his three illegitimate children. He couldn’t bother to commit to their mother or to them. But he committed quite well to the 70 bags of heroin, the high-paid acting career, and the $9,800-a-month rental where he was found. But I’m not allowed to “judge.”
That’s the society we live in. Liberals–and now some faux-”conservatives”–say, “don’t judge.” Don’t judge Islamic terrorists and beheaders. What you think is unacceptable may be just fine in their culture. And, um, who are you to judge some guy with four wives and a Black slave? Don’t judge Kardashians who make porn tapes and become stars because of it. Don’t judge absentee parents, especially mothers who prefer to have careers than raise their children instead of the daycare-and-latchkey industry. Don’t judge foreigners who broke the law and invaded this country and refuse to go home (and now won’t ever be deported). Don’t judge. Don’t judge. Don’t judge.
And that’s the problem. There isn’t nearly enough “judging” going on. Not even close. And, so, we’ve become a culture in which the most base and depraved lifestyles are accepted and promoted and anyone who says otherwise or objects is “backwards,” “reactionary,” “the far right,” or someone who does that unacceptable action of “judging.” We’ve become a culture in which the only judging that still goes on is that which keeps ugly, fat women out of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. But maybe that will change, too, but probably not yet. Because standards are out the window except the base, skin-deep, irrelevant judgments that have nothing positive to add to America’s long-term survival as a nation.
I’m sure I’ll be told, as has already been said about Hoffman, “You don’t know what his life was like.” Ya know what? You’re right. I don’t know what it’s like to live in a $10,000-a-month-apartment with the world’s easiest “job” (acting) and to throw it all away. I don’t know what it’s like to have three children and not care about them enough to make even the most basic choices to remain in their lives. You’re right. I don’t know. But I know enough to know that he was a selfish person who worshiped substances more than family or life. And that’s all I need to know.
And don’t give me the “well, it’s an addiction and an illness beyond his control.” Um, no. Taking drugs is a choice. If it were not, there would be no point in rehab centers because addicts would never be able to make the right choice and stop. Deciding that you would rather shoot up than pick your kids up from school and live to see them graduate from it–that is a choice. And if you believe it isn’t, then I suppose you bought Tiger Woods’ BS that he was a sex addict, unable to exert free will over his pant zipper’s altitude.
And if you believe that, you’re a liberal–someone who doesn’t believe in individual rights and the personal responsibility that goes along with them–but you do believe that in the United States of America everything is everyone else’s fault and you have no control over anything you do. That’s called the Democratic Party platform. And the trial lawyer industry. And if you believe Hoffman is not responsible for his death and wasn’t a lout for choosing drugs over his kids, then I guess you also believe that pedophiles are not at fault for molesting children. After all, they are addicts afflicted with illness that forces them to prey on kids, and they simply have no free will in the matter. And you must also believe the same about murderers, bank robbers, rapists, and so on. They have an illness. They are addicted to wrongful behavior, and who are we to judge? Open the floodgates and let ‘em all out of prison. Because, after all, laws and convictions and jail sentences–they are all judging and judgments. And who are we to impose these just because someone acts differently than we do? After all, you don’t know what is going on in these people’s lives and why they did it. And these are people, for the most part, who don’t rent ten-grand-a-month apartments. They are generally low-income, down-on-their-luck sorts. And they are more desperate to do these acts than Hoffman should have been in his comfy lifestyle of the rich and famous.
Oh, and as far as judging, I have a few observations about those who say, “don’t judge.” Are they friends with everyone in the world they meet? Why not? Do they have sex with and marry every person they meet? Aren’t they “judging” when they decide they like this person better than that one and don’t want to have coffee with that one? Aren’t they “judging” meat, poultry, fish, and eggs (and those who eat them), when they choose to eat vegan? Aren’t Hollywood liberals who live in mansions and fly First Class or on private jets judging those of us who don’t and choosing to segregate themselves away from us “cattle”? Damn straight they are. We all make judgments and decisions based on judgments every single day. It’s part of existing. Anybody who tells you not to judge is a fraud and hypocrite because that person is judging every second of every day of his/her existence. Just like you are.
We have a term for humans who do not have the capacity to judge–or if they do, fail to exercise it: incompetents. Also incompetent (or just plain phony . . . or both): people who fail to “judge” and condemn selfish, rich drug addicts who choose to forever abandon and neglect their kids. People who fail to condemn bad and irresponsible behavior aren’t better than me. On the contrary, they are undesirables and part of the problem. Part of the enabling culture that tolerates and allows this behavior.
Yes, Hoffman was a great actor. As a movie critic for SiriusXM Patriot Channels’ “Mike Church Show” (hear my reviews every Friday Morning or read them here), I thought he was fabulous in the movie, “Doubt” (read my review) and several other movies. But I thought other stuff he did was crap, including the highly overrated, “The Master” (read my review), the atrocious “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead” (read my review), and another movie of his I walked out on (so the studio wouldn’t let me review it).
So what? It’s irrelevant to what he did, the way he led his life. Just because someone is a great actor, it doesn’t mean I’m required to give them the “tortured artist card” making their overdose suicide okay. There have been American soldiers who went through several tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and left half their bodies’ limbs or more on the battlefield in the name of handing over a country from Sunni Muslims who hate us to Shi’ite Muslims who hate us (Iraq) and building roads for Muslims who hate us (Afghanistan). And they didn’t commit suicide by shooting up. If anyone deserves my non-judgment and a free pass on overdosing, it’s those guys. Many of them are heroes who sacrificed their limbs and psyches for their brothers in arms. This guy, Hoffman, was just a spoiled, though talented, actor. Talent doesn’t make your selfishness okay.
Oh, and please tell me why Lindsay Lohan–who thankfully didn’t have children, unlike Hoffman–is roundly condemned for her pattern of addiction in stark contrast to the worship of Hoffman and reticence about his risky behavior. Is it because she is a bimbo? Hey, wait, aren’t you “judging”? There is no difference between Lohan and Hoffman, other than that he left three kids fatherless and, at this point, she would leave the world and hardly be missed. This guy is an equally zaftig, male version of Anna Nicole Smith, minus the trailer park and with a lot more (now wasted) talent.
So, if you’re gonna tell me that I should pity Philip Seymour Hoffman’s ghost and stop judging, then maybe we should just regress to the Middle Ages. But even then, there was judgment and a set of standards. Far more than now, it seems. In those days, the Kardashians would have been stoned or beheaded, not elevated to idols. And Hoffman would have been another portly court jester whose death wouldn’t have been noted.
We are quickly regressing back far previous to those less-civilized times. I suppose I can’t say anything bad about Caligula. After all, decent people “don’t judge.”
Or do they?
By the way, anyone wanna tell me the usual drivel about how drug addiction is a victimless crime? Tell it to this dead slob’s three now-fatherless kids.
Tags: addicts, anything goes culture, dead celebs, don't judge, don't judge culture, Drug addicts, liberals, liberals and drug addicts, not enough judging, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Phillip Seymour Hoffman