5 Truly Breathtaking Moments In Celebrity Hypocrisy
Those who ride the highest horses usually turn out to frequent the lowest gutters. And who has access to both the finest equines and the filthiest sewers? Why, celebrities, of course! We've mentioned, on a few occasions, how hypocrisy and celebrity go hand in hand. And it has been a damn good time, so we'll just keep doing it ...
Steve Jobs Blurs The Line Between Innovating And Stealing, Loses His Shit When The Tables Are Turned
Pablo Picasso is widely (and wrongly) attributed as saying: "Good artists copy; great artists steal." But it was dearly departed Apple founder Steve Jobs who took that shit and turned it into an internet meme.
That's a youngish Jobs, in what we must admit is a spot-on Ashton Kutcher impersonation, not only referencing that famous quote, but also going on to say that Apple had "always been shameless about stealing great ideas." And he has a valid point -- after all, you can't patent an idea. It's transforming that idea from an ethereal concept into tangible reality that matters. And if that means "borrowing" ideas from Xerox to perfect your nascent graphical user interface, or even outright purchasing yourself some innovation when Siri doesn't outgrow her awkward pubescent phase quickly enough ... well, so be it. Because great ideas are free (or, barring that, purchasable for vast amounts of cash). Right?
Wrong! Or at least it is according to a much crankier, older Steve Jobs. As relayed in his authorized 2011 biography (aptly titled Steve Jobs), Jobs went straight-up "thermonuclear war" when Google's Android mobile operating system took a tiny nibble out of Apple's market share.
"Nobody takes a bite out of Apple, you Eve-ass motherfuckers!"
"Our lawsuit is saying, 'Google, you fucking ripped off the iPhone, wholesale ripped us off.' Grand theft. I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this. They are scared to death, because they know they are guilty." That quote mostly speaks for itself, so we'll just close out this entry by misquoting another unparalleled innovator: Guilty is as guilty does.
Michael Jordan Fights For Higher Salaries As A Player, Fights To Cut Player Salaries As An Owner
The 1998-99 NBA lockout downed nearly half of the basketball season, as team owners fought to place a cap on obscene player salaries -- the obscenest of which was Michael Jordan's, whose cool $30 million per season let him place six-figure wagers on games of rock-paper-scissors. It goes without saying that Jordan was an advocate of keeping player salaries as close to the stratosphere as possible. In one Manhattan meeting -- attended by more than 100 players and owners -- he famously responded to Wizards owner Abe Pollin's objections with: "If you can't make it work economically, you should sell the team."
Jordan then offered to purchase the team with some money in his coat pocket.
As you can probably surmise from the fact that "vintage Air Jordan eBay store owner" is a lofty business goal today, both Jordan and the NBA survived. It would be the last lockout of its kind ... until 2011, when NBA team owners' sides once again swelled up from the ever-present thorn of astronomical player salaries. Now, here's the twist: By this time, Jordan -- one of the most vocal advocates of maintaining high player salaries during the prior lockout -- had retired and become a team owner himself.
For real this time, though. Not like when he pretended to like baseball.
So, being a former player, Jordan took their side, right? Nope! Even when the other owners made a final offer of a 50-50 split of Basketball Related Income (it was 57-43 in favor of the players under the previous agreement), Jordan stuck to his guns, insisting that the players' share should absolutely be no higher than 47 percent. (It's worth noting here that, although 13 years had passed since the previous lockout, the highest-paid player in the league was making $25 million per season. An enviable sum, sure, but not exactly rock-paper-scissors money, if you catch our drift.) Jordan's hard stance was likely motivated by the fact that his shitty team, the Charlotte Bobcats, had lost $20 million the previous season. Morality has a price, and it turns out that price is "negative 20 million dollars."
WikiLeaks' Julian Assange Loves Sticking It To The Man (Well, Except For One Man In Particular)
In 2010, WikiLeaks leapt onto the world's stage and ripped back the curtain. At its helm was Julian Assange, a man on a dual mission to a) bring to light tyranny in all its forms, and b) do so while maintaining bizarre supervillain hair. In the time since, WikiLeaks has exposed the secret nastiness behind the war in Afghanistan, compiled the true civilian body count of the Iraq War, blown the secrets of Guantanamo Bay wide open, quite possibly diverted the course of the 2016 U.S. presidential election by leaking emails from the Democratic National Committee, and heroically uncovered Russia's ...
... secret awesomeness?
"Russia is A-OK. Nothing to see here!"
Perhaps that's because Russia once recommended Assange for a Nobel Peace Prize, or because they gave him an outlet for his short-lived political interview TV show, The World Tomorrow, on RT (Russia's 24-hour, state-run propaganda extravaganza). Assange's Kremlin predilection has only become more apparent over the past few years. When Edward Snowden (of NSA leaks fame) eclipsed WikiLeaks' whistle-blowing record in 2012, Assange was right there to have Snowden escorted to Moscow, where "he would be safest." When 2015's Panama Papers threatened to expose Russia's corrupt business dealings, Assange was forced to call "Jinx!" on Vladimir Putin when they simultaneously asserted that the papers were an attack on Russia masterminded by U.S. organizations.
aka "The Tattletale Initiative."
And, of course, there's the orange elephant in the room: the aforementioned DNC email hack. Assange maintains that the hack had no Russian involvement, despite what many analysts and insiders have said to the contrary. Now, we're not saying that Assange and WikiLeaks are directly responsible for the Trump presidency (there are far too many factors leading up to that for us to delve into here) ... but if you have half a mind to topple a government, what better way than to install a clueless reality show star as its head? And if doing so means aligning yourself with the very thing you proclaim to stand against? Well, lesser of two evils and all that jazz. It's a principle with which the American people are all too familiar.
Kevin Costner Is Honored By The Lakota Sioux For Dances With Wolves, Then Tries To Build A Casino Resort On Their Sacred Land
Back in 1990, Kevin Costner was Hollywood's golden boy. That's the year Dances With Wolves -- which he directed and starred in -- was buried beneath an avalanche of Academy Awards, including Best Director and Best Picture. Costner lost out on Best Actor for his portrayal of John Dunbar, a Union lieutenant who joins a tribe of Lakota Sioux Indians, but he landed an arguably even better accolade. For his positive and sensitive portrayal of their culture, the Lakota Sioux honorarily adopted Costner into the tribe, and cemented with it a ceremony wherein a tribal leader tied a sacred eagle feather into his hair.
"Friends forever, right?"
Costner responded to this honor by sensitively proceeding with plans to build a gaudy mega-casino on the tribe's sacred land.
In 1995, Costner and his brother / business partner made plans to build a massive, five-star casino resort -- complete with golf course, amphitheater, and steam-powered passenger train -- smack dab in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The same land where Dances With Wolves was filmed. The same land the Lakota Sioux had been fighting to regain control of ever since settlers snatched it away from them in the 1870s -- a fact of which Costner was damn well aware, seeing as how he fucking directed Dances With Wolves.
Costner never actually watched the movie.
In the end, the resort -- named The Dunbar, because self-awareness is exclusive to lower tax brackets -- never came to fruition. Costner couldn't find investors willing to touch it with a ten-foot peace pipe, for some odd reason, and in 2013 he finally put the 1,000-mile tract of former Sioux land up for sale at the bargain asking price of $14 million. And that's the last time millions of dollars were ever sunk into an ill-fated Kevin Costner vanity project.
George Lucas Gave A Speech To Congress Condemning The Alteration Of Films
Back in the mid-'80s, Ted Turner went slap-happy with the colorization of classic films, because the world needed an answer to the question: "What if Casablanca were a coloring book filled in by an extradimensional being whose eyes perceive color as varying degrees of agony?" When Turner suggested that Citizen Kane was next on his slate, Hollywood collectively lost its shit.
"How dare you sully the good name of Charles Foster Kane!"
In 1988, a gaggle of Hollywood artists went before Congress and urged them to pass legislation preventing the inappropriate diddling of classic films, especially those made by directors too dead to do anything about it. Of particular note is one director's impassioned speech, the gist of which can be found in this single sentence: "People who alter or destroy works of art and our cultural heritage for profit or as an exercise of power are barbarians, and if the laws of the United States continue to condone this behavior, history will surely classify us as a barbaric society."
It'd put a tear in our eye, if not for the fact that the speaker in question would later go on to do this:
"Pray I don't alter it any further."
Yep, those words flubbed right out from the jowls of none other than George goddamn Lucas, the man practically synonymous with terrible film alteration. He went on:
"Today, engineers with their computers can add color to black-and-white movies, change the soundtrack, speed up the pace, and add or subtract material to the philosophical tastes of the copyright holder. Tomorrow, more advanced technology will be able to replace actors with 'fresher faces,' or alter dialogue and change the movement of the actor's lips to match. It will soon be possible to create a new 'original' negative with whatever changes or alterations the copyright holder of the moment desires."
His next plan is to buy the rights to Congress and digitally alter the records for that last paragraph.
It worked. Hollywood's pleas spawned the National Film Preservation Act, which in turn spawned the National Film Registry -- America's insurance that films such as The Godfather or Gone With The Wind or Weekend At Bernie's will never be lost to time (or an endless succession of fiddling). Interestingly, when the Registry added the original 1977 version of Star Wars to its list years later, Lucas refused to provide a copy. Rather, he offered up a copy of the Special Edition, presumably plucked straight from the giant pile of unopened DVDs he keeps in the trunk of his car.
Robin Warder is the host of a true crime podcast about unsolved mysteries called The Trail Went Cold. Dibyajyoti Lahiri is somewhat sad that he couldn't get on this list of hypocritical celebrities, especially since he meets 50 percent of the criteria perfectly. Help him become something of a celebrity by following him on Twitter.
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