Fuck you @RealBenCarson.
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) October 9, 2015
The Seth Rogen indignant Twitter act really needs to be retired.
While Seth Rogen the actor should never retire…
Clear as mud, huh? OK…let’s address the second declaration first by letting it be known that Superbad is one of my Top 20 movies of all-time and the best of the Judd Apatow run of the past decade. The relatively unknown 50/50 (with Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is one of the most underrated, poignant movies of our generation (co-written by Rogen based on a true story about a close friend’s battle with cancer). And Knocked Up is Knocked Up…a modern classic…and the movie where Seth skyrocketed to where he is today (while also serving as Katherine Heigl’s apex before a disturbing decline). So this column isn’t about the Rogen we’ve come to love on-screen, but the pontificating and increasingly irritating person off.
Over the past year, the 33-year-old Canadian has seen both highs and lows in his career. Let’s face it: For all the hype and drama around Sony’s The Interview, the movie was God-awful by Rogen standards, and would have come and gone in about a week if (alleged) North Korean hackers hadn’t threatened to start blowing up movie theatres around the country (because that’s what hackers are…they also have terror capabilities from 5000 miles away). But having a miss here and there is fine: Comedy is harder than any other Hollywood medium and not every flick is going to be a masterpiece (even Chevy Chase’s masterful run in the 80s hit a few bumps in between Caddyshack, Vacation, Spies Like Us, Fletch, and Three Amigos).
But not long thereafter, Rogen decided it would be a good idea to compare Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper to that of a Nazi War propaganda film that somehow celebrates war and Kyle’s record number of kills in it. What a crock: If anything, Sniper felt more like an anti-war film than anything else, and the mental trauma endured by Kyle as the war wore on over several deployments was depicted to near-perfection by Bradley Cooper. Of course, Rogen would backtrack on the Nazi Tweet, but only because of blowback and not remorse. That’s how it always works these days.
Which brings us to yesterday’s Tweet directed at Ben Carson, former pediatric neurosurgeon and the only other GOP candidate challenging Donald Trump for the top spot in the polls right now. Carson’s appeal–at least if Bloomberg’s focus group is any indication–among GOP voters is primarily due to his calm demeanor, his unwavering moral compass and his unwillingness (See: gravitas) to get in the mud with a media constantly looking to bait him. All of that said, it’s hard to determine exactly what Carson is running on in terms of platform…what his specific domestic and international proposals are and exactly what he’s bring to the table. Perhaps that will change as the primaries get closer, but here’s hoping that he is appointed Surgeon General by the 45th president instead of actually ascending to the highest office in the land.
All of that said, Rogen must be joking with the social media tough-guy attitude he loves to display from time to time. Here’s a question: Hey Seth…where were all the “F*** You, North Korea” Tweets from you when you were hiding from the North Korea Geek Squad last December? You disagree with Carson, that’s fine. More than a few do over some comments made lately. But like an insecure teenager—the kind who brags every chance he gets about how much weed he smoked today like you do every time a microphone is around–you drop an F-bomb from afar and go into hiding again.
And wouldn’t it be fascinating to see the reaction if a conservative actor ever Tweeted the same to President Obama? Because we all knows how that movie ends: (Insert name here) hates black people. He’s a racist. But Rogen? He gets a pass here based on ideology of the messenger and target. As does GQ Magazine for its trying-oh-so-hard-to-be-edgy “F*** Ben Carson” article that shows just how increasingly irrelevant that once-great publication has become. And let’s not forget the Penn University professor who advocated nominating Carson for “Coon of the year” who gets to keep her job without any reprimand. Funny how that works, right?
One Mediaite commentator—one of the more intelligent and enlightening ones who actually contributes something to the conversation—Screenwriter Guy, paints a nice hypothetical around the situation:
Seth loves smoking his weed. And one day in a perfectly poetic twist of fate, he’s going to get TOO high and do something stupid and get into a really bad accident that involves his head. And then find himself lying in a hospital operating room and needing brain surgery and looking up to find the surgeon leaning over and pulling down his surgical mask…
…To then reveal Carson saying with a smile: “F you.”
Seth Rogen is an actor. I get it. He’s a very good one at that.
He isn’t running for president. I get it.
But that doesn’t mean we should celebrate every celebrity who plays hit and run on Twitter like a high 16-year-old, now should we?
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