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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Richard Gere vs. India
My Culture vs. “Their” culture

Whose culture?

When I heard a few days back about the outrage in India about Richard Gere kissing on the cheek another movie star on stage during an Aids Fundraiser - as the brief footage on TV showed - all that flew through my mind in a split second was how unfortunate an incident to take to an extreme by another “evangelical like" mentality…
Done. Deleted. To another thing.

As the story repeated in the "news" (for goodnes sake!) my though played over just as sweeftly each time - while a smile began manifesting – pondering however briefly on how sensitive and hypocritical this issue has become, as Bollywood films tend to be of a highly sensual insinuating tone –
cheeky little blatant tease!

Earlier this afternoon, I head there was a warrant out for Gere’s arrest – this time I paused for a second longer. Hmmmmm!
A warrant out for Richard Gere’s arrest!?
Oh my, oh my…. The Dalai Lama’s friend was in deep water…
His entire life information (known to me) flashed by as I was vacuuming. How ridiculous!
This dedicated Buddhist man acused of doin - somethinwrooooong? Indecent?

During the 6:00PM news, while savoring a lovely cup of coffee, when again the "news" repeated and this time showed the sequence of events in its entirety.

(Of course, NOTHING, compared to what we see even fleetingly - on a daily/hourly basis - as we flick up and down our TV chanels!)
It struck me "a tad differently"
Well, let us see now. This was more than a little playful peck on the cheek....

He is an actor, she is an actor.
He is giving his name to the event. She is giving her name to the event.
It occurred to me, that possibly aside those two facts, these people might have very little else in common. It is possible they had just met only a few hours, perhaps day before. Maybe not.

In “real life”, this would be highly inappropriate.
This was not a film, it was a charitable event.

Holy s***t!
When, and most importantly how did I loose sight of the fact that it really does not matter how famous he is, or how "familiar" (I may think) I am with him?
He was a stranger kissing another stranger; someone's daughter, sister, fiancée… ? At a place of work!

Big silence on the matter in North America, most likely all thinking those loonies in India are overreacting?
Are they? Both?

Would this have happened in a local corporation between staff from different regions, sexual harassment laws would have found their way so fast on to his desk his head would be spinning as fast as he followed his feet out the main door –
at any place that would hold itself to any credible standards.

Yet, because he is an actor, as a society, we overlooked the transgression.
OWH – I could slap myself over my own head.
A thousand apologies.
Would I welcome this unsolicited, public demonstration of affection from a stranger?
Absolutely not!!!

Good grief – whoul you? Who would?

So, this is not a matter of Gere vs. India, my culture vs. their culture.
Nor, my beliefs vs. any other's beliefs...
It is a matter of respect, of common sense, of proper manners.

What happened to manners?
Sadly, this is when a reality check comes in really handy.

Ooooooooooops. 11:00PM NEWS : The lady in question, Shilpa Shetty, ( stunningly gorgeous - no wonder he "weakened") appears to also have a warrant our for her arrest ...

12:35AM: Richard Gere was the guest on Jon Steward's Daily Show, the entire incident was minimized to a kiss on the cheek (it was around truckers, anyway... sort of thing attitude ...) and, a minority political group is causing this situation which will go through formal court procedures, where it will thrown out. Period. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

OR, is it ... much to do about nothing?


Pauline said...

LOL or perhaps a giant smile..."I could have had a V8 commercial came to mind when you tapped yourself on the head."
You stated they are both actors. I watched the clip and did notice her look of surprise at his enthusiasm, humm. Perhaps it was a healthy fundraising event and he was thankful.
At any rate he made an error in judgement, He didn't start a war, or send innocent people into harms way.
The media is capable of distracting us so easily, we must be vigilant to the news of importance in our world.
One huge problem that we do have as American's is our enthusiasm for life and its situations; unfortunately, we do forget that respect for other cultures and their regulations for propiety are essential. If we contain ourselves to some degree we will represent the best we have to offer.

trangam said...

Yes, that last para about America is good to remember in a way. But believe me the few people in India protesting are hypocrites. They have enough dirt to clean on their doors before they accuse others. And any many Indians do not give a hoot about this event. If Shilpa did not mind, I am happy for both of them and wish they kiss more often.

"Angeldust" said...

Ah..... Pauline,
what more can I add?

Apparently $2.00 can save 4 children in Africa from dying from Malaria - for the sobering news.

That is why I posted sidebar links to issues of life or death - just a click away.

The "Great News" is to a site that focuses entirely on the positive being carried amongst the chaos and violence.

Hope all is well.
Have a great weekend
Peace, love and laughter
Have a great week end

"Angeldust" said...


I am very pleased you left a comment.
I like dialogue, and a variety of opinions.

Welcome, hoping you return
Love and joy

trinitystar said...

Good post angeldust.

The media do tend to blow things well out of proportion ... as they do everywhere.

I am sure Gere's kssssssssss was just some harmless fun. Although, I do think it was rather over the top.
Have a wonderful weekend. :o)

"Angeldust" said...

Great weekend for you to dear TrinityStar

Metalchick said...

Hi Angeldust,
Good post, I just think that the media took that footage out of context, but then again maybe Richard Gere went a little too far. Hopefully both actors will have the charges dropped.

vishesh said...

i will tell you one thing....in india the political and religious groups need some form of entertainment ..and attention...and they all are uneducated and blind faithed....and fanatics... parties will election by booth capturing ,black mail and votes from the minor sections......

so it is all a drama...ever one needs to make a few bucks...and if there is a chance for easy money they l take it...

i love my country for all it is and it isn't...my dream is to take the country to a level which it has never been before....


mystic rose said...

angel dust.. haha i am laughing so hard..
did not mind your views in the beginning either..
but youve managed to change my view as well.. and im an Indian.. :P.

i would say she probably did not mind..and if Richard was that smitten he would have propositioned her, before, after, whenver, dont u think?!

theres a mass of maneuvering of human sentiments, thru media by political and religious leaders..
the normal people couldnt care less... for all it is, it was just entertainment for them.

and arrests..this is entirely blowing the thing out of proportion.. who does this? the hindu right wing ofcourse!

i would say shipla gets a lot of milage out of this one. not her fault. thats how the industry is.

Rauf said...

in the end its free publicity for both dearest Angel,
this incident does not deserve any place on your page
There is no shortage of clowns in my country Angel, i don't write about them.
And when Gere comes to India to meet Dalai Lama, he will not come and go quietly. He will announce his trip to India weeks before so that there are protests and demonstrations giving him free publicity again.
lots of love and Hugs Angel

Rauf said...

and i do not know who the lady in question is Angel, now i know.
See ?
now an ignorat person like me knows her name.

"Angeldust" said...

Dear MysticRose

Thank you for your visit and words.

I wrote in fun and at the same time it has serious side as we are realy loosing all sense of reality and manners in the land where "everyone has rights" and "no one has limits"...

I feel that I must almost continually do my "reality checks" as we are fed a stady diet of absurdities that make the abnormal appear normal.

"Angeldust" said...

Raufie dear

you are so right as to all being good publicity

As not to write about them? Well, that is another matter - because it caused me to think about where we are in our society.

This post would "be filed" under "Anthropological Studies" in my mind.

As a writer and artist it is my job to observe human behavior and "translate it" as I observe it.

I do a lot of "watching" (I always have) all segments of the population, sometimes it appears to be very indiscriminate, but everything has a connection somewhere - you should see the things I find out just by innocently following unassuming little stories here and there...

Biiiiiig Huuuuuuuuug