*How she lead us into the meat of her statement was artful. Crafty.
Meryl Streep, one of the greatest ever to commit to the art of pretending to be someone else, began by telling the room of Hollywood stars at the Golden Globes–and via television, an audience around the world–about an acting performance she witnessed recently that blew even her mind.
She apologized for speaking softly, blaming a voice that earlier had been used until hoarse. Being an actor, certainly she was aware that the fragility of her tone only added to the weight of her words.
Unless you’re in a self-induced media blackout—-and if that is your case, I can dig it–you know what happened next: Streep, during a soliloquy bold, elegant and occasionally heart-wrenching, told the truth regarding Mr.president-elect.
She said nothing not felt by a formidable segment of the country and the world–that Donald Trump is, among other things, a bully who, as incoming president of these divided states, threatens rather than insures our personal and democratic freedoms. She protested for millions to millions. Hopefully she reassured the planet that not everyone in America has lost their damn minds.
Ms.Streep did something few in her position are willing or can afford to do. Instead of standing mute in the woods, she stepped out into the clearing and to the creature dared yell, “Hey! Over here!”
Being, as Trump asserts, a “Hillary flunky”—-this is our new president talking—-Streep, like the rest of us, has seen his kooky, divisive campaign; she well knows the price of putting herself in the crosshairs of this man and his followers. She doesn’t need the publicity or the attention. And she did it anyway. Online, outraged multitudes wished upon Streep every woe from rape to death. Incredibly horrific things are said by the big, bad anonymous. We’re some sick motherfuckers.
READ RELATED STORY: MERYL STREEP’S ‘WE’RE ALL AFRICAN’ CRAZY TALK ABOUT DIVERSITY
Trump, through acidic tweets and the odd random interview, seeks to demonize as a form of elitism free speech, an objective press and creative expression. His supporters are buying this crap. Either they don’t remember, know or care that historically, it is the artist—-the writer, the musician, the actor, painters and other creative souls-—who speaks for the little man, for the outsider, the oppressed and disadvantaged.
Not every artist cares to use their platorm this way, which is fine. However, plenty do and some of them are looking for more than a tax write-off. They are sincere about making a differece.
After Streep’s speech, I wondered how long it would take for Trump to comment. As veiled as his business and finance ventures are is how easy he is to predict emotionally.
You wonder what life has been like for a man so insecure and vindictive, so unremittingly loaded and cocked that a comment on the color of his shoes could set off a deluge of childish, silly tweets—really weak, corny shit, often featuring words in CAPS to signify an inane point. Amazing that we’re going from a president so measured, thoughtful, communicative, dignified and cool to this cat.
Streep went easy. Had I been on that stage, I would have declared this circus for what we know it is: a shameless money grab and absolute power crave, rife with cronyism and nepotism. Without any great ideas and armed with only one plan, the new administration will do little for The People and everything to line the pockets of Trump and his patently unqualified collective.
In any case, I applaud Ms. Streep. I appreciate her setting an example for what all of us who care must do if we are to survive a president who hasn’t a clue. How many of us, no matter who we are and what we do in this life, is willing, in ways small and large, to step outside our comfort zone for the sake of what is right?
I dont know what else Meryl Streep is up for this year, but in the category of Best Actress Courageous Enough To Tell It Like It Is, she’s got my vote.
Steven Ivory, veteran journalist, essayist and author, writes about popular culture for magazines, newspapers, radio, TV and the Internet. Respond to him via [email protected]