Give Michael A Chance – It’s Not His Fault His Brother Is Sean Penn

The DJ said, “Now, don’t hold it against him that Sean Penn is his brother. This next song is pretty good. Please, give it a chance!”

As soon as I heard “Sean Penn” I wanted to tune out. But this DJ was speaking to me. Because I’m the one that holds it against you if you’re mean, self-centered, loathsome, egotistical or cruel. I’m not saying Sean Penn is all of those things. Far from it. But a couple of those adjectives might suit him.

What do I hold against Sean Penn? His ill-advised activism, using his celebrity as a vehicle to be heard.

Hugo Chavez is NOT a dictator? The less than literate rant that he paid $56,000 to have printed in the Washington Post speaking out against President Bush?

I’m ok with him having an opinion. I’m ok with his right to express it. What I have a problem with is him relying on his high school education coupled with his portrayal of serious characters in film in myopic Hollywood and thinking this makes him a highly educated, worldly, wise and fair representative of the poor and down trodden.

Sorry. It just doesn’t work that way. You’re getting paid to pretend to be someone else.  After you finish pretending, you’re still you. You do not get to keep all of the intelligence, world experience and wisdom of the character you played.

It is so hard for me to look past the in-your-face activism of Hollywood. Whether it be Jane Fonda or Oprah. Sean Penn or Charlton Heston. Give me the quiet, humble, hard-working, and fairly anonymous Steven Spielberg, Mariah Carey or Sandra Bullock – all widely recognized for their philanthropic efforts without major headlines.

So give Michael a chance. This song is pretty good. And I prefer this unplugged version.

An oldie, but a goodie.

A one hit wonder.

Possibly because his brother is Sean Penn.

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15 Comments

Filed under Music

15 responses to “Give Michael A Chance – It’s Not His Fault His Brother Is Sean Penn

  1. I was just ranting about celebrities using their status’ for activism. Never have liked Sean Penn, even before he started that. Something about him grates on my very last nerve. I can say that the brother is at least as good or better of a singer/performer than his brother is an actor or activist! Jus’ sayin.

  2. angelcel

    I hadn’t heard about Sean Penn and his political views but with an imminent general election driving us a little nuts over here we have had a few celebrities popping up here and there to support ‘their guy’. I was saying a couple of days ago that it bugs me. Who cares what they say? They’re punters like the rest of us, except they’re pretty to look at / can [can’t] sing / good at pretending to be other people.

    I hadn’t heard of Michael Penn before but he’s one who *can* sing. In fact his voice reminds me a bit of James Taylor. Very nice.

  3. I’m with you whole-heartedly on the Hollywood activist. With Penn being at the top of the annoying list.
    Great post! (as always)
    🙂

  4. Ah, I missed you Jane!
    I’m also a proponant of “walk softly and carry a big stick.”
    My favorite bible verse that I often spew at my kids is the one about the fasters going around looking all worn and hungry and how they have “already been paid in full.”

  5. Sean Penn bugs the crap out of me. Mostly because for a long time he lived in the same area I do in California. Ugh. Just stick to acting already. No one is interested in anything else you have to say! 🙂

    Stepping off my soapbox now….

    -Francesca

    PS: Watched the clip. You’re right. His brother is not so bad!

  6. Actually, he has another hit! It’s called “Someone to Dance With” and my husband introduced me to it! It’s catchy!

    I don’t like Sean Penn, either. :p

    • Thanks for the update – I’m not too familiar with Michael Penn so I’ll check it out. One site I was reading called him a “one hit wonder” so I just assumed it was true. Ah well, you know what happens when we assume…..;)

  7. Maybe he learned how to be “outspoken” from his time with Madonna. Or maybe he taught her. =>

  8. Steven Harris

    One reason to admire Sean Penn – Dead Man Walking.
    Several more reasons not to admire him – Shanghai Surprise, the whole Mr Madonna phase, practically the whole post-Mr Madonna phase, onscreen mumbling – if only he’d leave it to Pacino who does it far better and more coherently.
    Good lukc to Michael. Now that Christopher Penn is dead there needs to be someone else in the family to draw attention away from attention-seeking Sean.

  9. unabridgedgirl

    “It is so hard for me to look past the in-your-face activism of Hollywood. ”

    I whole-heartedly agree. This post says it perfectly, Jane. It really bothers me how many actors use their status (or movie roles) to “make a statement”. It bothers me even more that a lot of people listen to them.

  10. Totally. If you’re not a doctor, you just play one on TV, quit trying to diagnose my cough. Especially quit trying to do it while looking intense and brooding and inscrutable. You’re so not inscrutable. We all scrute the hell out of you. Pardon me, I think I’m still feverish.

  11. Who knew?? I agree…celebrities need to get off their high horse…seriously.

  12. The first two phrases (I kid you not) that issued forth from my mouth while reading this were “Oh, snap!” and “You go, girl!”

    Needless to say, I – or at least the out-of-date pop culture catch-phrase version of I – agree with you! 🙂

  13. That’s so funny–I didn’t realize until now that Michael Penn is Sean Penn’s brother! (He’s also married to Aimee Mann, of the movie _Magnolia_ fame. Her songs are “One,” and “Save Me.”)

    I’m sure Sean Penn is hell to live with–a moody bitch, in fact. (Hope you don’t mind my curse.) But he is such an amazing actor. And really not bad to look at. And because I had such intense rage for George Bush, I thought his full-page ad was kind of funny.

  14. Michael Penn? Pleased to make your acquaintance!

    Yep, Hollywood activism does smack of something that turns me off — but I can’t put my finger on what it is exactly.

    As for Sean, you told him! Still laughing.

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