BP And Montana; Cutting Corners With Sex Tapes and Oil Spills

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The British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf is a great indicator of the shortening of America’s attention span. When it was first reported, no one could grasp the sheer magnitude of the destruction. Then when it became clear that this was the single most devastating man-made disaster in recent time we were shocked and angry. Then when a month later the rate of oil spilling in the Gulf hadn’t changed we were on to new news. We had given it our moment of emotion.

The same disproportionate greed and self importance that was clearly evident in the big wigs at BP that helped make this oil spill happen is the same that has been growing in all of what is our popular culture.

No this isn’t new. The spoiled bratty children of the upper class speeding through Beverly Hills in their over-priced, under-appreciated gifts from Daddy. They hide their inability to care about anything but themselves behind designer shades. What is new, and probably could have been predicted, is that one day one of these children of these self important people would actually take their shades off and admit that this is who I am, I am completely clueless and yes the world should truly revolve around me.

Enter Montana Fishburne. The daughter of one of the preeminent actors of our time, Laurence Fishburne. Her sense of self has evolved into a brazen disregard for her self respect, her family’s honor and the meaning of the word ‘decent.’ She clearly doesn’t see it this way. It’s just sex. Everyone does it.

Being an actor, I know about the pull of Hollywood. The draw is money and fame and power. There are TV shows dedicated to idolizing the lives of these people whom Hollywood deems much more important than the rest of us. These shows come on after the news where they have announced that oil continues to spill in the Gulf and the CEO’s of these corporations are off racing their boats. The covers of our newspapers are of wayward ingenues being arrested or going to rehab while the old news of troops being killed in Iraq and Afghanistan is pushed to page five.

Laurence Fishburne’s 19-year-old daughter Montana wants that fame and that power and she wants it now. She minced no words in explaining how impatient she is to get her career in Hollywood off the ground. “I’ve watched how successful Kim Kardashian became and I think a lot of it was due to the release of her sex tape.” On Monday August 8th Montana Fishburne, the daughter of Morpheus, will purposely release her alleged first venture into porn in the form of a sex tape.

As it turns out, Montana had allegedly been experimenting with prostitution prior to this sex tape while living in her father’s house. Now none of us know the details of that household and we can all speculate that there clearly is something amiss but just one quick glance at our popular culture across the board from an outsider’s perspective and you can start to understand how a 19-year-old living in Beverly Hills makes her choices about her life.

We have become accustomed to the term ‘sex tape’ for quite some time now. There is no need to run down the many names of mainstream celebrities whose sex tapes “accidently” were released to the public. In many cases just in time to revive their dying careers.

Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton have successful careers even if no one can define what it is they actually do. Both get paid hefty appearance fees for showing up at night clubs. Kim graces the covers of big name magazines with regularity and Paris has repeatedly been a guest and co-host on The View and late night talk shows. She has also been in major commercials and we even listen to her thoughts via politics.

So really outside of our moral sensibilities and the complete disgrace of her father’s name, who are we to judge her on her decision to enter the porn industry to further her career? Based on the past say ten years, she is right. Clearly she doesn’t want to act so no need to waste any time with head shots and acting classes and auditioning.

What we’re afraid of is her being so forthright. It’s okay when celebs say, “oh I didn’t expect the tape to get out.” We accept porn stars as long as they don’t use their real names. Their stories intrigue us. But to shamelessly enter the industry and use her father’s name, well, that takes balls. The type of balls that can scare us all back into the Middle Ages.

Montana Fishburne has chosen “slut” as a career path. I just think she went about it all wrong. She could have whored herself out to some big name producer who would have given her at least 4th lead in his next film. Discreet and easy peezy. That’s the way the town is run. I have a friend who is a well-recognized actress. Even though she was a regular on a very popular TV show she would tell me how much she would have to make producers and even agents think that they actually had a shot of sleeping with her for her to even get seen for roles.

People whore themselves in Hollywood everyday. Montana Fishburne is in some sense just grabbing the reigns for herself to make herself shine in our eyes. She is the product of an ideal we have been breeding in this country for quite some time now. It’s called capitalism. It’s why banks can grow too large and fail. It’s why British Petroleum can cut corners in drilling procedures. Doctors will look past their oaths to administer powerful drugs to eccentric pop stars. Everyone wants immediate gratification. Montana just wants to feel good, now.

Today the oil spill was finally plugged. In short-term memory fashion, BP announced they’d like to drill again in the same area.

muMs is a New York based writer, playwright, poet and an actor best known for his role as Poet on HBO’s Oz.

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