December 09, 2003 | Graham

Crowe tells the Drama Queens off

I used to think that Russell Crowe was a little bit of a boofhead, but I’m changing my mind. Seems he might just have a touch of the “Andrew Bartletts”, and just as Bartlett is a very decent guy, Crowe probably is too. Except that in Crowe’s line of work being boozed occasionally, or even regularly, is often a career enhancer. For some, as long as you’re in the news, it doesn’t matter how you got there. That’s the compressed rubber bounce of celebrity – impervious to pain, and the harder you are thrown the higher you fly. For others it can destroy a lifetime’s work leaving just a splotch just as easily as dropping a slippery bottle of baby food straight out of the fridge on a tiled floor. If you’re given a choice between acting and politics, choose acting, not that they’re really different occupations, just that one has real consequences and the other doesn’t.
Which wasn’t what I set out to say, but the hypocrisy of so much of the coverage of Bartlett’s fall from grace has been so enourmous that it’s been gnawing away at the partitions in my mind. Journalists are the last professionals (if you can call journalism a profession) who ought to be casting stones. Even most politicians have gone quiet on the issue with the exception of a few of “God’s police”, and Peter Costello.
“Well, Andrew Bartlett gets drunk and assaults someone and he is compelled to stand aside,” Mr Costello said. “Another person gets drunk, has a fight over property and assaults someone and they make him party leader.” Not smart. He appears to directly contravene John Howard’s orders on the matter, drawing attention to leadership issues on his side at the same time as he draws attention to Mark Latham. Costello advised everyone not to play personality politics on Hanson, but to talk about policy. He needs to follow that advice when it comes to Latham.
What I set out to say was that Crowe has been making a lot of sense lately (well, he’s agreeing with me, at least in part). According to David Flint and the ACM, Crowe admits to being a monarchist. I respect him for that. It’s not a popular position. Neither is his view, expressed last night on ABC Radio’s The Deep End, that the Cultural Industries are crying wolf over the damage that the Free Trade Agreement could do to Australian film. He criticizes the system for rewarding producers who are good at filling in the forms but have never made a successful film. As one of the significant band that has made the current crop of Australian film actors international, he ought to know. It’s a pity that our film industry appears to be constructed around our losers rather than our winners, and that it’s so parochial it can’t see that its future lies as part of the larger English language culture, not some provincial creek.

Posted by Graham at 2:23 pm | Comments Off on Crowe tells the Drama Queens off |
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