On re-reading a 20-year-old newspaper column by the late great Bernard Levin last night, I thought I’d share this pearl of wisdom.
“I have long made it clear,” Bernard wrote, “that as soon as I become Prime Minister my first item of legislation will be a measure to prohibit any actor, on pain of being summarily hanged, from expressing any political opinion.”
Who would disagree with that? The only criticism is why stop at political opinion? The modern-day deification of actors is a huge mystery to me. We don’t give voice on public affairs to acrobats, lion tamers, wall of death riders and other variants of the entertainment world, all of whom at least offer an admirable skill. But a talent for pretending to be someone else, apart from suggesting a fear of life, is scarcely qualification for publicly airing their opinions on all and sundry topics, that is when they’re not talking about themselves.
As St. Augustine claimed, doubtless correctly, that actors were all destined for eternal damnation, I was initially surprised that Israel Folau omitted them from his list. I say initially until I woke to the reality why, namely he’s already covered them, they ticking all Israel’s bases of “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters.”
Given that I can now understand the appeal of thespianism, namely fun-filled private lives. But let them get on with their drunkenness, fornicating and the rest of their antics and keep to themselves their views on public affairs in which every sentence uttered begins with the word “I”.