For two and a half years, Sophia Bush has disappointed me. She foolishly defended the assassination of Osama Bin Laden by parroting discredited Obama Administration talking points on her Twitter account. She hasn’t admitted that maybe it was more than a little dumb to continue defending Lance Armstrong even when the evidence of his doping became overwhelming and undeniable. (She’s offered no public comment about his belated confession, either.) The “passionate environmentalist” hasn’t said anything about President Obama’s plans to drill in the melting Arctic nor his love for oil and gas exploration. And she has long ignored his questionable record on civil liberties both here and abroad.
When 2013 began, it had been six months since I wrote You’re Not As Smart As You Think You Are, a highly critical poem that lambasted Ms. Bush for her total lack of interest in holding her “hero” accountable. Since nothing had changed, in late January I followed up with Hot Girl Bubble which was even more scathing.
Shortly thereafter, following much contemplation and internal debating, I finally joined Twitter. (Follow me @DennisCEarl.) In between writing original thoughts about various subjects and linking to some of my blog postings as well as noteworthy news articles that caught my attention, I would criticize Ms. Bush. In March, after posting two consecutive, snide tweets about her, she responded.
It was a total shock. Ms. Bush has said she reads every tweet sent her way but naturally, she doesn’t respond to all of them. (I wouldn’t be surprised if we were talking about thousands of messages from fans and critics every single day.) So, I marvelled that she took the time to write me five consecutive tweets. It meant a lot to me personally since I’ve long enjoyed her work on One Tree Hill (I’m finally caught up with all nine seasons) and have immense respect for her charitable endeavours.
Unfortunately, instead of addressing any of my criticism, she wrote, “If you dislike me and my opinions and my passions so much, why do you constantly mention me? And how exactly do you dislike my opinions & passions so much if you don’t even follow me, to know what they are?”
Instead of directly responding on Twitter, I wrote How Sophia Bush Misses The Point Of My Criticism in this space instead. When I posted the link on my Twitter account, I made sure Ms. Bush saw it. The next day, she responded with eleven additional tweets.
This time, she told me to “grow up” and that I “sound[ed] like a petulant child who is upset he isn’t getting his way”, even though the great John Cusack has also criticized Obama in numerous “articles” similar to mine that, according to Ms. Bush, “have been poignant and brilliant”. She also erroneously claimed that I knocked her charity work, a strawman argument she found “deeply insulting and offensive”. She said that she had “many more discussions with news outlets and friends around my dinner table alike than you will ever know.” What those alleged discussions actually entailed went unmentioned. Maybe the NSA has the transcripts.
Ultimately, I added additional comments to the piece and decided not to inform Ms. Bush on Twitter that I did so, which was probably a mistake. Then again, what would be the point? She believes what she wants to believe whether it’s factual or not and nothing I will ever say is going to change her incredibly stubborn mind. Life is too short to live in a state of constant frustration.
Not long after this brief exchange, I wrote a poem about it: Silence Isn’t Justice. Then, in April, still aggravated by the whole thing, I posted Sophia Bush, The Queen Of Consistency after finding numerous contradictory tweets and public comments she had made in online news articles. One commenter took exception to it. She claimed my “obsession” with Ms. Bush “is a little disturbing. If I were her, I would file a restraining order. Get a life, asshole.” (Love is louder, lily18teen.) My response to her speaks for itself. Another poem, I’m Your Conscience, appeared in early May.
A month later, I was opening up a tweet on Ms. Bush’s official account when I received a message I had never seen before: “You are not authorized to look up related results for that Tweet.” I turned to Google to find out what this meant.
She blocked me.
Ms. Bush hadn’t tweeted me in two and a half months despite the fact that I never did stop hammering her both here and on Twitter. Never one to back down from an Internet argument, it seemed out of character for her to completely ignore me altogether. But ignore me she has done since those two memorable days in March. Why Sophia Bush Blocked Me On Twitter, which surfaced days before my 38th birthday, pretty much argued that since she was completely unable to substantially refute much of anything I had written, her best option was to disengage with me altogether. She’s so in love with her denial I’m surprised she hasn’t married it.
It was very hard not to consider this a personal triumph. Think about it. A major celebrity activist who prides herself on being well-versed on political issues didn’t make any serious attempt to debunk a single one of my criticisms. Why? Because she couldn’t. I had all of my facts right. And because I’ve been such a goddamn pest about all of this, hence the “petulant child” crack she made, there was no way she could ever successfully shut me up, either. Unlike Sarah Palin, I know what I’m talking about.
Indeed, in late July, despite knowing full well that she wanted nothing to do with me, I still posted Questions For Sophia Bush, perhaps the most adversarial offering presented to her to date. That was followed by Sophia Bush’s Lack Of Concern For Persecuted Gay Patriots in August.
Finally, in October, as her “unicorn”, President Obama, was drowning in a rising ocean of startling NSA revelations, among numerous other scandals, I couldn’t help but rub it in one last time. What Do You Think Of Your Hero Now? is pretty much self-explanatory.
So, looking back now, was it all worth it or did I completely waste my time? Honestly, I have decidedly mixed feelings today. As great as it was to argue with a prominent Hollywood celebrity on matters of such importance, it saddens me that it ended in unresolved bitterness on both sides. (Well, more me than her, it must be noted. She got over all of this a little too quickly. Try as I may, I can’t get over it.)
When Ms. Bush knows an issue cold, she’s the smartest person in the room; articulate, passionate and a force for positive change. She’s someone you want as an ally. But when she doesn’t, it’s infuriating and downright embarrassing. She needlessly hurts her own credibility by not listening to smart, alternate points of view respectfully (regardless of how coarse it may sound) and refusing to allow herself to broaden her limited perspective. Perhaps if she stopped viewing any forthright criticism of her thoughts and actions, or lack thereof, as personal attacks, she might learn something and grow as a human being. I will never understand how she can willfully turn a blind eye to what her own government is doing to innocent people here and around the world. (If George W. Bush was doing this, does anyone believe she would stay silent?) But that is the dangerous choice she’s made and she is the one who has to live with her own ignorant indifference to the reality of the American empire. As much as I’m loath to admit it, she’s not my problem anymore. I can’t be her conscience if she’s long tuned me out. (And, quite frankly, why should I be?) It’s clear she has no shame in being an outright hypocrite.
That being said, it still bothers me that she thinks I criticized her charity work when I did no such thing. For the 5000th time, I admire her philanthropic spirit. Always have and always will. What I did do was knock her inconsistency on human rights issues. If Joseph Kony’s actions in the Congo are worth screaming about, why not the war crimes and human rights abuses of Barack Obama, her own fucking President? Gitmo, the drones, the NSA’s mass surveillance programs, the wars on whistleblowers, the press, drug addicts, the poor and Muslims are scandals far too big now for even the most partisan supporters to completely ignore anymore. So why doesn’t Ms. Bush ever speak out about any of them? Oh, that’s right. She has to be “passionate” about things that affect her “personally”. And besides, she’s worked with him on some unspecified initiatives, so no criticism. How ballsy.
Martin Luther King Jr. quotes are sometimes tweeted or re-tweeted on her official account from time to time. But unlike Ms. Bush, the civil rights icon was more than willing to criticize American foreign policy when executed by a Democratic President. One of his most famous quotes – “America is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.” – referring to Vietnam and LBJ, curiously is not on her account. Neither is the one where the great man talks about how we are all extremists. We either choose to be extremists of love or extremists of hate.
Ms. Bush once tweeted to me, “The world is a scary place,” in defense of Obama. (That and “the man is not perfect”.) It’s made even scarier by her complete silence on his moral failings.
To hell with her.
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Monday, December 30, 2013