At the risk of being rude, some thoughts on being polite

Craig Hall

For some reason, it’s national news that Ellen DeGeneres (Ellen) and George W. Bush (W) were sitting at a football game, eating popcorn and having fun. You know, like 99 percent of all fans do at football games. But as it goes with everything good or natural or proper in our world these days, a nice photo op became ugly for the simplest of reasons: It became political.

Allow me to politely state for the record that as I watch football (or any sport), I don’t do it for the lovey-dovey photo ops of celebrities who attend the games. The who’s who of who’s a fan of this team or that team matters little to me. The truth is on these “celebrity” cutaway shots, I don’t know half of them anymore. And don’t get me started on the quality of half-time performers where my true athleticism shows — in changing the channel.

I watch any sport for the game itself. That’s it. Well, there are a few I may notice more than just the game…. But going on will get me called sexist — and, the last I looked, NOT polite.

So back to Ellen and W. If I gave that camera shot anything at all in thought it was this: My understanding of who each of these individuals are from knowing them in the public sphere tells me they’re both kinda fun people with whom I’d love to have a beer. It didn’t shock me one iota they were enjoying themselves. That’s exactly what the camera showed in my opinion. Two people — and most important, please note it could have been almost ANY two people in that stadium, even wearing different jerseys — having a good time at the game.

And somehow that’s news?

Apparently, it is the only news of the day. And I’ll give you the two big reasons Ellen and W hanging is all the rage — outside of Ellen’s HUGE celebrity influence from talking about it in her monologue, and, of course, my .000001 percent influence added to hers in talking about it on Facebook — and that’s celebrity and politics.

Allow me to politely add I have no problem with the celebrity success an ex-president and talk show host enjoy. They worked for it and earned it. I will also politely add that politically, both Ellen and W do and have done things that drive me absolutely crazy. But the political stuff didn’t even cross my mind when I saw two people eating popcorn from their celebrity seats. But given the political world we live in today, it didn’t take long to cross everyone else’s. So much so I’m getting a column out of it.

So here’s my polite take on the whole kerfuffle. First, on what should be my entire take, it’s like, whatever. Nice camera shot. But since that won’t do it, here’s more.

I feel sad Ellen had to go on her show talk explain that two people with varying political views can sit at a game and enjoy each other’s company. It saddens me more people felt the need to repost her monologue on social media saying, “this is what we need to do as a society.” It troubles me greatly. And do you know why? It IS what 99 percent of us do in society. Worst of all, too many folks are saying this is what’s missing in the political sphere between the parties, being polite. As if that’s the biggest problem we have in Washington, D,C, Denver and here in River City. They’re worse on rights when they’re polite.

It’s all because of celebrity and politics, but mainly politics. Ellen is a celebrity. We all know that. Ellen is very liberal. We all know that. Therefore, Ellen’s politics in being a celebrity gives her glowing media coverage. W is also a celebrity, like it or not. W is mainly conservative (I’m being polite, so I’ll save it). We all know that. Therefore, W’s politics gets him (and got him) some of the most-vile media coverage imaginable — that is, until President  Donald Trump. The saddest thing for the citizens, that’s the lens almost everyone looks through when a camera showed two people, known mainly via the public sphere and not personally, getting along.

That’s because most of today’s mainstream media wants you to have an opinion on Ellen and W getting along, but only under the spectrum of politics. It’s a truly perverse irony to watch. Mass media showing us we all need to get along by showing Ellen and W getting along, all while shoving down our throats story after story that place our political differences into them getting along, creating a society where we cannot, and will not, get along.

Making people celebrities and putting them into certain positions in politics does two things: It makes us connect with them while dividing us at the same time. And it worked. Put into play by one quick camera shot of two people getting along who could not be more politically different.

For all of Ellen’s polite words on being kind to one another, there was this little ditty from a previous “Today Show” appearance: President Trump isn’t welcome on Ellen’s show.

That interview tells me it isn’t about getting along.