You are probably wondering what Matt Damon ever did to me. Well, he didn’t do anything to me personally but rather he represents my disdain for celebrities using their status to say dumb shit. I don’t really object to them saying dumb shit, per se. I mean, they have the freedom of speech and all. What I do object to is their use of completely inappropriate forums to do so.
On June 3rd, Matt Damon was the commencement speaker at MIT’s graduate ceremony. Why they chose someone who never graduated college and made a career in acting to address some of the country’s brightest minds we’ll never know. However, what I do know is that he used that speech to highlight his views on the world and politics. His speech started out well enough. He made light of the fact that he was chosen as the speaker when he was absolutely unqualified to do so, talked about filming Good Will Hunting, and how he grew up in Boston. Then it took a hard “left” (pun intended) into a political soliloquy which, sadly, no one had the means to escape from. Here are a few excerpts from his speech (you can find the full text and video by clicking here):
“Economic inequality, there’s a problem … Or how about the refugee crisis, massive global insecurity … climate change and pandemics … institutional racism … a pull to nativism, fear-driven brains working overtime … here in America and in places like Austria, where a far-right candidate nearly won the presidential election for the first time since World War II.”
“Or Brexit, for God’s sakes, that insane idea that the best path for Britain is to cut loose from Europe and drift out to sea. Add to that an American political system that’s failing… we’ve got congressmen on a two-year election cycle who are only incentivized to think short term, and simply do not engage with long-term problems.”
Ummm…so what if a far-right candidate almost won the election. Clearly the voters – you know the people who actually matter – were fed up with the left and wanted a change. And are you an expert on foreign economy and trade? Nope? Then I don’t give a shit about your take on Brexit. So shut the f**k up.
But Dickhead Damon was far from finished explaining his “platform” to the MIT grads. He praised Elizabeth Warren, took a few swipes at Donald Trump, and talked about the fantastic advice he had received from Obama and Bill Clinton. When asked, “How’s it hanging?” this man clearly answers, “To the left”. And that is his right! But not at the MIT commencement ceremony. You’re there for humor and inspiration, not to promote your political platform.
While I have singled out Matt Damon, there are many more who have been guilty of the crime of “not the place and not the time” political opinions.
Let’s look at it from a different angle. Muhammed Ali recently passed away. It’s always sad when a family loses a loved one. But color me confused as to why Ali warranted a nationally-televised funeral with a prepared speech by the President. The funeral’s MC was Imam Zaid Shakir, who has a record of Anti-Americanism and Anti-Semitism. So, supposedly, Ali wanted his funeral to be a “teaching moment”. Dawud Walid from the Council on American-Islamic Relations said that, “In a political climate in which Islamophobia is front and center, his [Ali’s] funeral will counterpunch the ridiculous notion that being a good Muslim and a good American are at odds.”
First of all…what?! It’s a funeral, people, not a university lecture! Second, I fail to see how Imam Zaid Shakir, who once said that…
“As the Christians and Jews of this country have rejected the divine law and created their own secular system of rule, the legal and political system of America is sinful and constitutes open rebellion against Allah. For a Muslim to join with the Jews and Christians in this system is to join them in their rebellion against Allah. Allah explicitly orders against this.” (Full Story and Video)
…is the right guy to correctly convey Ali’s “teaching moment”.
And it just wouldn’t be a funeral without Obama making an appearance (by proxy this time around) and finding a way to make it about him.
Obama’s words about Ali:
“So he chose to help perfect a union where a descendent of slaves can become the king of the world. And in the process, in the process, lend some dignity to all of us. Maids, porters, students, an elderly bathroom attendant, and helped inspire a young, mixed kid with a funny name to have the audacity to believe he could be anything, even the president of the United States!””
There are so many things wrong with this. First, Ali was a boxer! A good boxer, but a boxer nonetheless. He was not Abraham Lincoln so I fail to see how he helped “perfect a union where a descendant of slaves can become king of the world.” No offense to Ali, but come on!
There are many other examples of idiots using inappropriate forums to promote their politics. These are just the two that recently jumped out at me and irritated me immensely – if you couldn’t already tell. So, from me to you, Damon, just shut the hell up.