September 13, 2004

Plastic Surgery Disasters

My favorite "Twilight Zone" episode is about the rich old man with the family who are all waiting for him to die so they can collect his inheritance. He tells each of them to wear a mask which is a reflection of their ugly inner soul. One mask reflects greed, one reflects superficiality, I can’t remember the rest. When the clock strikes midnight, the old man dies and the family all remove their masks and find that their faces have conformed to the distorted shape of the masks.

I see plastic surgery the same way. The strangely inhuman lips, high-cheek bones, lifted eyes, waxen faces, are like the true reflection of people’s souls. Oddly, they don’t look more beautiful, they just look like people who have had plastic surgery. It’s like a new psychotically superficial race of people. In some cultures, like Los Angeles, it’s a badge of honor, an exhibition of money, like driving a Lexus. Which just goes back to my point that it’s an expression of a distorted soul.

I should probably be more sympathetic. It seems to be a disorder like Anorexia. Once people start they cannot stop. Joan Rivers, Courtney Love. People think they are making themselves look better but really they are making themselves look much, much worse, even scary. At the moment, plastic surgery doesn’t have the stigma of eating disorders--probably because it’s so expensive. It’s something you go to doctors to do rather than to stop.

This is a pretty easy target. And perhaps I should not be so judgmental, more forgiving. A commenter remarked that I should not judge her for being illogical (for not voting for Kerry) but what can I do: plastic surgery is sad and weird and illogical. What is any kind of protest if not a judgment? The people who are the most peace-loving are also the most militant protesters. Plastic surgery is something I can judge freely. People are cutting the character out of their faces and replacing it with a strange, ugly conformity. It’s another example of people not having any sense.

I live in Los Angeles so I witness this all the time. Once again, I point to the hypocrisy of Hollywood being left-wing and also being the capital of superficiality. These things do not go together. The same mindset leads to people respecting Bush over Kerry--appearance over skill. This is not a minor issue. If Hollywood really wants to elect President Kerry, they should start making smarter movies, and stay away from movies so drenched in money.

I wrote a book about a celebrity stalker (Oscar Caliber Gun.) Many people have asked me, Why do you hate celebrities so much? They’re just actors. Hollywood has more of an effect on the American mind than religion. If you don’t believe that, look at the number of people watching TV every night. The U.K. edition of OCG was retitled The Golden Calf. It’s a better title. Hollywood has people worshipping things that they shouldn’t--plastic surgery is a symptom of this. I sound like a conservative, don’t I? The difference is that conservatives want people to believe in the Republican Party or Christianity rather than Hollywood. Admittedly, that gold Oscar statue almost has me believing in the Bible.


Heather said...

Thanks for the link to my blog! I appreciate it!

tequilita said...

let's talk about spiritual distortion, it's all about what you worship...superficial beauty, money, religion, intelligence, books, science,'s all worldly and can easily become something ugly. i don't mean to be argumentative. it's irritating to have your words turned around. i never said "don't judge me for being illogical." make it sound like i called myself illogical. my point was about assuming anyone not like you is inferior. was it really that easily misinterpreted?

Henry Baum said...

You’re right. That was a poorly worded sentiment. You weren’t calling yourself illogical. I take that back. I do however think there are some "inferior" ways of thinking. Racism is one. It doesn’t make you arrogant to feel some sense of superiority about this issue. Sure, everyone’s got their excuses for becoming a racist--lack of education, a bad experience--but on a basic level, it’s wrong. An easy case, but you do seem to suggest that opinions are in some way condescending. There are some things out there which plainly suck and there’s nothing wrong with thinking that. Perhaps, though, I am misinterpreting you again.

There’s nothing I like less than PC thuggery--people who think there’s a "right" way to think. It’s unquestioning, it’s a form of conformity. Ironically, it’s conservative. There needs to be a line between believing in something and being completely self-righteous.

tequilita said...

thanks henry. i'm just not as convinced of kerry's virtue. he seems like a vacillating weasel to me. it sucks to be undecided. i'm interested in politics, but i hate it too. i'm a walking stalemate, and it's not apathy. i could get into specifics, but it's more than anyone has the patience for.

Anonymous said...

i believe that the image that hollywood has produced, has made people that way. if i wasn't loved for how i look now, i'd be anorexic.

xo. war.

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