His personal character was called into question over dinner. It began innocently with the “hot and compelling” game. Some movie stars are hot, some are compelling, some are both. Naturally these critical decisions are based on what we’ve gleaned from trusted sources like People Magazine, Entertainment Tonight, and the internet.
In the hot and compelling department, my votes go to: Johnny Depp, Robert Dinero, Robert Downey, Jr., Matt Damon, Gary Oldman and Willem Dafoe.
That’s when it happened. “What about George Clooney?”
“Nope. Definitely neither.”
I’m turning off the quotations now because I work in finance and I don’t get paid for proper composition. You will know what I mean because we’re friends.
My answer was: in my opinion he couldn’t be less noteworthy personally or professionally.
This created a disturbance in the force. A genuine disagreement, which is truly rare.
Mr. Clooney’s defense team began…
I don’t think it’s fair to say that.
I think he’s a doosh.
Because he dates people until it’s tiresome or boring and then dumps them. People are disposable to him.
Not true. He does a ton of work in Darfur. He spends a shit-ton of money, time and resources fighting for basic needs.
But he’s incapable or unwilling to commit those same things to one person, or a small group of them called a family. The only shred of humanity I’ve seen in him was how completely heartbroken he was when his pot-bellied pig died after their sixteen years together.
You’re doing the same thing the article in HuffPost did – crucifying him for not being married and having children.
I’m not saying he’s a dooshbag for not getting married or having children. I AM saying it’s much easier to care about thousands of strangers than it is to care about one human you have a personal relationship with.
So, because he’s not choosing one woman to marry, he’s not a good person?
I think he’s an average person. I think it takes way more to commit yourself to one human you have to actually personally interact with than it does to show up at the UN and clamor on behalf of people you’ve never met.
There a lot of actors who do nothing, but because they’ve chosen to get married and have children, they’re better humans? Half of them don’t even stay married. No one gives a woman shit for opting to not get married. So what if he’s chosen to live the life of a playboy. He’s still doing more good for humanity in general than most people.
That’s all true, but it’s relatively easy to get on a plane and build a house and dispense medication and then go home. I’ve done it, many times, and then I went home to my life that revolved around me.
But he does it.
Which is great. I still don’t think he’s hot or compelling.
I’ll stop here because it was more of the same: he’s awesome. No he’s not.
We were both downright pissed off by the time we agreed to stop talking about it, which is really dumb considering neither of us have spent one second with George Clooney. True story. But here’s a fact: on the rare occasions I’m being a stubborn dick about something and holding onto my ideas like a rabid terrier, there’s a 97% chance I’m absolutely wrong.
I continued the debate with myself when I got home.
Why are you so committed to thinking George Clooney is a dooshbag?
I am not applauding him for using a portion of his hiatus from making $9M a day to appear in another country as a spokesperson and then returning to his Lake Como home with his next TBD supermodel.
But that work is really worthwhile. Have you forgotten you’ve done it yourself on a much smaller scale, and cried a river when you left the people you served?
I’m not saying the work he’s doing isn’t worthwhile, but the hero factor should be tempered with the fact that he’s ABLE to do it because the only living thing he’s chosen to be responsible for is himself, and a domesticated barnyard animal that passed away 7 years ago. Anyone could do his charity work if they had his unlimited resources, nearly unlimited time, and no humans to care about.
Is it possible that you’re just jealous of his personal and financial freedom because he can do whatever he wants to, whenever he wants, with whomever he wants, and you quietly sometimes resent feeling trapped by a job and a child?
Is it possible that it was his conscious choice to commit himself to the masses instead of one person and a family? Or that maybe he’s as insecure as every other human and fears he wouldn’t be able to give one person what they need, but feels confident he can give lots of people what they need?
Even though you don’t find him hot or compelling, is it really fair to assume he’s a total dooshbag? You don’t find The World’s Most Interesting Man hot or compelling either, but you haven’t condemned him as a flaming asshole. What’s the difference?
Okay, argument is hereby conceded. He was wrongly accused; the prosecution rests.
So, when it comes right down to it, my friend was right. I was judging George Clooney for not committing himself to one person. Here’s why: I wish the guys who give up single life and agree to raise a child or children (theirs or their significant other’s) got more credit for what they sacrifice. I’m sure they would love to trade places with George Clooney on many days, but they stay the course and appreciate the moments between the chaos. They hold on tightly when it sucks, anticipating the times when having a family is glorious.
Showing up for the people in our families is hard. I think it’s especially hard for guys. Ladies, don’t get mad at me here. Everyone knows we do way more than dudes, and without us it would all collapse in on itself. However, it’s no secret our significant others were not sitting around in homeroom scribbling their first names along with their girlfriends last name on their notebooks. They were not daydreaming about the perfect wedding dress, babies, or china patterns. They were daydreaming about being rock stars, race car drivers and jet fighter pilots. They cooperate with our fantasies because we have sex with them, they get tired of doing their own laundry, and eating at McDonalds starts to suck eventually. I’m just saying let’s acknowledge the people who are living out dreams that weren’t theirs.
Listen I know incessant farting and burping and blank stares weren’t your dreams either. That’s another post. My point is our dudes are IN, and they’re staying. Which is why when Don of all Trades‘ little G$ vomits all over everything he loves, he shows up, and cleans up. It’s why when Le Clown‘s Tiny Geek doesn’t sleep for three days, he shows up, and stays up, until his eyes bleed. It’s why when Anna loses her mind and insists that my dude hang a dream catcher above her bed, he shows up, and hangs it. The same is true for my brother-in-law, my brother, Dad, it’s OK, Ah Dad, Bens Bitter Blog, and the list goes on an on. For 18 years, minimum.
Refusing to give Mr. Clooney credit where it was due wasn’t giving credit to the people I wish got more of it. What gives credit where I think belongs is including the phenomenal people I know in this post, and saying you know what guys? I think you’re really fucking awesome. Every one of you. You show up when it’s awesome, but more importantly you show up when you’re sick, tired, bewildered, angry, worried, and disappointed. And, you do all that under harsh conditions: in a house with another adult human who has a list of needs and wants all their own, AND hormones.
YOU are the guys that deserve to be featured in People magazine.
YOU are the guys that are truly hot and compelling.