Do we have another Charlie Sheen-like period on our hands? Where we get the endless headlines and TV features on one celebrity? Sheen stopped winning so there's hope Tom Cruise news will go away, too, and the sooner it does - the better.
Thing is I don't get why anybody who is not related to him or a close friend, would care. He's an actor, he's okay, though his best performances were in two films he didn't have the lead in, Collateral and Tropic Thunder (okay, he was good in Minority Report). He is never listed high in 'best actor' compilations and in the big films of his career, the Mission Impossibles, he comes across as stiff as Mitt Romney.
Tom, Katie, Suri and Church of Scientology
He seems an awkward person on TV shows, willing himself to be personable by doing stuff like jumping on a couch to show how in love he was with Katie Holmes (yeah, the media is now remarking endlessly that he has now jumped off) but like his turns at acting, he rarely seems natural. But even if you like his films and enjoyed the jumping on the couch thing, why the uber-interest in his life? What is there about the guy?
Why would I want to hear more about Tom Cruise and his divorce than, say, the marital problems of some guy named Richard Welsh from Buffalo or a Jamal Williams from Corpus Christi. The answer actually is I don't, and neither should you, to be perfectly frank. It seems unhealthy that we would care so much about this guy who's not a great actor and who has, it seems, a few dubious qualities.
Tom Cruise, celebrity obsessions and you
There is a practical side to this anti-Cruise diatribe. Psychologists suggest we mask depression, anxiety and self-esteem issues behind our preoccupation with celebrities. Pay attention to their lives rather than work on ours. That is largely why you can Google 'Tom Cruise' and find links to over 3,000 stories on him and the dominating way he treated his family, allegedly; we'd rather focus on that, than on us. Focus on Tom's relatively small world than the big one outside our doors, which Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, an associate professor at Columbia University and a TV commentator, says can lead to harming not just ourselves.
“At the moment where we're more concerned with (the life of a celebrity) than ramping up troops in Afghanistan, we are actually buying into a false reality that actually has a material impact on people around the globe," Dr. Hill is quoted by Charlene Muhammad in 2009. "More people watch American Idol than the evening news. More people read gossip blogs than scripture, so when you live in a moment where those are the realities, you're really seeing something that's very, very dangerous."
Dangerous or no, it seems logical we'd improve our mental health by keeping our man Tom and the Church of Scientology, Katie Holmes and Suri away from our conscience, just silently wish them well - let us not be spiteful about this - and be done with them. The stories will soon after diminish and, like Charlie Sheen or Michael Vick or Lindsay Lohan or Mel Gibson, or a host of others, he will fade into the deep background of our lives.
Then we can get back to Googling 'news' and not have to worry about 'Tom Cruise this' and 'Tom Cruise that', and we can stick to learning about, and helping, our friends and learning about and improving upon our lives. So, well, good luck, Tom.
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