Well, I've known for a long time that things in Hollywood are a bit 'off' - and that's being kind. But this latest 'I pledge' celebrity commercial takes the cake.
On the surface, there's really nothing wrong with people, celebrities included, pledging to be better people, whether to be a better parent, conserving energy or helping others. But I have to question why they feel it necessary to pledge to 'get rid of my obnoxious car' or 'to smile at my neighbors.' If you no longer want the car you have, as a celebrity, you've got many more options than most of us do.
And 'smile at your neighbors'? Don't you already do that? When I leave my house or return to it, I always smile and - *gasp* - actually wave to them. I thought that was just the right and, well, neighborly thing to do. Are celebrities so insulated that they don't even do what most of take for granted? (Maybe it's the huge estates - they really can't see their neighbors from most of them and tinted windows on a limo mean they can't see you.)
But the one phrase that really had me concerned was a comment by Anthony Kiedis, lead singer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, at 3:17 saying "I pledge to be of service to Barack Obama."
Perhaps this man never had a history class, but the American people are NEVER in service to their elected officials - it's the other way around. Elected officials are supposed to be in service to the people. Americans are in service to their country, but never to the people temporarily trusted with the guidance of that country.
This was - and is - a fundamental difference between the United States that our founders created and the nation they fought against, wherein the people were 'in service' to the monarchy. In creating a republic, our founding fathers completely rejected such an attitude and built into the Constitution and structure of government a system of checks and balances to specifically prevent a nation 'in service' to its leader(s).
So why would anyone with any semblance of knowledge about our country pledge such a thing? One can only wonder. I could hope it is just due to ignorance - and that might be okay, except that this 'I Pledge' video is being shown in schools as motivation for a 'service oriented' theme and, in at least one case, without being viewed by the principle beforehand.
And that is generating controversy, as it should. This is a political statement, with promises to support stem cell research and to flush only for #2, and with repetition of themes from President Barack Obama's campaign.
But the fundamental distortion of who serves whom does not belong in our schools or on our airwaves - and should be challenged by every American, regardless of political persuasion.