Is Val Saying Draftees Are 'Lesser' People?
by Dallas Fairbanks
(Tahoe City, CA)
Val Kilmer's assertions, if he in fact made them (as it appears), seem to imply that people who couldn't afford college, didn't make the football team, came from abusive families, etc., are somehow less able to feel or convey the emotion of war.
It almost sounds to me as if he's saying these people are 'lesser'. Is it implied that an actor (many of whom have barely graduated high school) is by some default a finer or more intelligent or emotionally capable human being?
The behavior of many actors off-screen actually suggests a much greater emotional immaturity and lower mentality than many of these people Val refers to as the group being drafted.
And people living through some of the described 'set-backs' are not necessarily punks -- many learn from those experiences and become wiser, more grounded people than the spoiled folks who've always gotten most of what they wanted.
Furthermore, these people, by choice or no, gave or were at risk of giving something FAR greater to our society than anything any actor will ever give -- their very lives, or their sound bodies/minds (many being injured in ways that permanently change their lives upon return).
I am immeasurably thankful for the sacrifices of our military to keep us safe and (relatively) free.
For Val Kilmer to consider his abilities to understand what happens in war superior to those of the people who actually have experienced it suggests that he lives in a completely delusional fantasy, filled with far too many people fawning over his 'accomplishments'. I do think he's been an excellent actor at times, but come ON -- that's ALL it is -- ACTING.
There is nothing brave, noble, or elevated in that pursuit, relative to anything accomplished and risked by our military (and for that matter, the contributions of many other folks in our society, as well).
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