Lost in the Noise


I’d like to think that fairness, respect and equality were always issues that I took seriously but will reluctantly admit that as a father to girls, women’s issues have taken on an added significance for me. My desire for them to be able to lead happy, successful lives bringing into clearer focus some of the obstacles that they may face in reaching those goals.

It was with those obstacles in mind that when my news feed became inundated with outrage over the wage discrepancy paid to stars Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams for additional filming necessary on the film “All the Money in the World” I was absolutely stunned.

Stunned that there are so many people so desperate to find something to be outraged about that they would choose this story to fire their ire. Think what you may about his acting skills or some of the absolutely horrible movies he’s appeared in over the years, Wahlberg is an internationally recognizable movie star, the highest paid actor of 2017 according to Forbes magazine.  Its reported that he took a pay cut simply to be in the movie to begin with. Michelle Williams is apparently an amazing actress, having been nominated for four Academy Awards, and probably has people that will see a movie based only on her appearance, but I’ll confess to not being able to name anything that she has previously been in without looking it up.

Perhaps this speaks more to poor choices in the movies that I watch or perhaps it’s simply the “mansplaining” that I will undoubtedly be accused of, but I find it hard to use this case as an example of the income bias that is a real and relevant issue in society.

One of the main problems with the 24/7 news cycle and the pay per click advertising business model that so many websites now rely on as their business model is the constant need for content, for stories that elicit a response. I bear no love for our current President and find his attacks on the media boorish and immature but there is truth to the idea that he could try and slip out a silent fart in a closed elevator and CNN would immediately have a panel of experts explaining why this lack of decorum makes him unfit to lead.

The irony here is that the reason for the re-shoots was the unprecedented move by director Ridley Scott to replace actor Kevin Spacey after the movie had completely finished filming. Spacey being one of many in Hollywood recently exposed as taking advantage of a culture of silence and fear to sexually harass and assault.

Before he also became persona non grata amid similar allegations there was a Louis CK quote that I would come across often : “When a person tells you that you hurt them, you don’t get to decide that you didn’t.” As much as I understand the sentiment behind his words and agree with them in principal, it ignores the fact that offense spread too thin becomes dilute, instead lending credibility to those that would rather mock and ignore the voices calling for fairness and decency.

The result is a tuning out, an exhaustion for controversy. I applaud and encourage all who would speak out against wrongdoing and injustice, but how often are these voices being lost amid all the excess noise?

All parents have had days when it seems like your child has done nothing but whine the entire day. It becomes nothing but a distraction, ignored and disregarded. Think of the people that you know that are constantly bitching, a complaint about everything and anything at all times. What happens eventually is that they have a legitimate concern, something important to them that needs to be heard.

It often isn’t.

It isn’t and only after the fact are we left to wonder what else we might have missed.





14 thoughts on “Lost in the Noise”

  1. I no longer follow news stories or watch my news feeds for unnecessary news. I have no idea what this story is about in regards to Mark Walhberg and Michelle Williams. I am aware of the sexual assault things going on in Hollywood right now, which in my opinion, it’s about damn time this came to light. I am aware of all the pay inequality that is getting a lot of attention right now and with good reason. I am also aware of Kevin Spacey and how disappointed I was to hear what was going on with him. It has become necessary to weed out the noise in order to get to the heart of the story – or just ignore it altogether – sometimes I have to do that for my own sanity, even with my kids. Though my kids come first, I do find myself from time to time tuning them out because of all the noise. #anythinggoes

    1. It gets to be a lot. I try to keep up with whats going on, a difficult task when kids shows make up the majority of television thats on here, but there are times when I wish I had some sort of filter. Just let me know when I’d actually care about something

  2. It is tough, I think the equal pay should be looked upon as their demand as actors as opposed to their gender, although I haven’t heard of this movie or the discussion surrounding it as I mainly steer clear of news (too depression or too made up). However I think it is easy for us as white people who lives with so much freedom and choice, on top of that when you are a white male you are the most privileged of all, so it is easy to say that people over react, but we haven’t walked in their shoes. I think some people whine for the sake of it, for attention, or for the pure joy they get from making a fuss. It can make it hard for legitimate claims to be heard which is frustrating. Thank you so much for sharing this with us for #ablogginggoodtime Just to let you know that sadly Catie (Spectrum Mum) will no longer be a co-host for #ablooginggoodtime, we will have a new co-host this Thursday and you can still link up through Katie or myself reflectionsfromme.com Thanks, love Mackenzie

    1. I try to be cognizant of the fact that things aren’t the same for other people as they are for me. I think this post came more out of an overall frustration with people trying to stir things up than with any particular event. Thanks for the thoughtful comment MG.

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