With the health care debate getting loud and furious, you have to wonder why Hollywood has been so remarkably silent. Maybe the Celeberati don’t care whether citizens have health care, or maybe they are happy with the generous coverage they get from SAG and AFTRA, and believe the President who tells them they will get to keep their current coverage.
It can’t be accidental. Certainly there must be one celebutard who has an opinion on the debate. I long for a wonderful bit of wisdom from Sheryl Crow, perhaps a suggestion to save costs and the environment by washing and re-using band-aids.
Where is Barbra Streisand? Barbra has been noticeably absent from all political debate lately. Probably not coincidentally, she just released a new album. Perhaps her handlers advised Babs to tone it down; that her target audience is composed primarily of senior sitizens now, a demographic that has a tendency to skew conservative and worry greatly about their health care. (The profit motivation is an awesome force, strong enough to restrain torrents of wisdom from the Great Barbra Streisand.)
Even Mike Farrell, a frequent advocate of government health care, has been silent lately. Mike is a fortunate celebrity, whose name would be unrecognizable to anybody, if Wayne Rogers hadn’t stormed off the set of M*A*S*H 35 years ago. Farrell is still making an incredible living based on those eight years of work he did more than a quarter century ago; he gets a little bit of change every time you watch a re-run of M*A*S*H.
He is one of those who believes in a “right” to healthcare. The flaw in his thinking is that health care does not exist without the labor of others, and you have no “right” to the labor of others. I wonder if Mike Farrell believes that access to free reruns of M*A*S*H is a basic human right?
For instance, the people who developed the Viagra which helps Mike Farrell enjoy his M*A*S*H residuals, spent many long hours in a laboratory developing that medicine. I would suggest they worked more hours than Mike spent in his location trailer while his show was being filmed. The creators of medicine are just as entitled to residuals as the creators of television.
Is it related to need? A critic might suggest that medicine should be free since people need medicine to live, whereas television is only a want. But to me, that is more reason why it should be paid for. People don’t like to do things for free.
My Grandma used to give me five bucks every time I cut her lawn. I felt guilty, and tried to refuse it because after all she was my Grandma. “You did me a big favor,” she insisted, “At least let me buy you a little beer.” (She had to know I was only sixteen, right?) Eventually I relented.
What my Grandma understood quite well was that a task unpaid for stops getting done. Sure enough, I would be over her house every Saturday, picking up a little beer money by mowing her lawn. I was young and energetic back then, and I probably could have found many different ways to spend those Saturday afternoons. If it was just for the love of Grandma I might have put the mow off for a couple of days. But because I wanted a twelve-pack of Carling Black Label, I was pushing a lawnmower around her yard every single Saturday afternoon in the Summer.
It is the same with medicine. The only reason why we have wonderful things like botox, chemical peels, laparoscopic bariatric surgery, liposuction, collagen injections, implants, steroids, anti-virals, and the vast array of anti-depressants that keep actors young, slim, shiny, and smiling on the red carpet is because people in the medical industry wanted a little extra beer money on Saturday night. Maybe actors have figured this out, and oppose the President on this issue for that very reason.
A comic friend once suggested that the Second Amendment should be viewed in its historical context, that the right to bear arms should only apply to the right to own the high technology of the 18th Century: flintlocks, muskets and blunderbusses. I suggest that if the Constitution suggests that Americans have a right to health care, that it also be taken in historical context. You have the right to bleedings, leaches and arsenic therapy; and unlimited access to the barber of your choice. Surgery will be paid for, but anesthesia is extra.
Still interested, Mike?
Originally published at Andrew Breitbart's Big Hollywood blog on Sept. 8, 2009.