To cleanse the palate, a gun-grabbing “effort” distinguished by its lack of effort. At some point America’s creative class decided that celebrity PSAs should all operate the same way. The cast appears sequentially, usually standing against a uniform blank background, and instead of uttering a sentence or two they each say chunks of sentences that are stitched together to form a statement. You know how this goes. Instead of
Celeb one: I oppose gun violence.
Celeb two: So do I. America needs to change.
Celeb three: Call your congressman today.
You typically get
Celeb one: I
Celeb two: oppose
Celeb three: oppose
Celeb four: I oppose
Celeb five: gun violence
Celeb six: gun violence
Celeb seven: I oppose gun violence
They’ve got the basic shtick down here but all the details are wrong. There’s no broader statement. They’re just repeating a mantra over and over. There’s no uniform background, so there’s not even a pretense that these people have gathered to make their point. What it looks like is that they yanked out their cell phones, spent 10 seconds reciting a one-line script, and then e-mailed it to Mike Bloomberg’s anti-gun “Everytown” group to be edited haphazardly into this 90-second fart. Can you feel the commitment to this urgent moral cause?
The non-celebrities in the ad are survivors of shootings. Letting one of them, especially the little boy, tell his story would have been more effective, I’m thinking, than having Julianne Moore and Sofia Vergara literally phone it in. Exit question: Is that Michael Stipe? Does he still count as a celebrity?