The cover story in this month’s Vanity Fair announces the “Class of 2008,” the up and coming young stars of Hollywood. I excitedly turned to the article because it promised photos and interviews with the cast of Gossip Girl, my favorite smutty teen drama (it’s like Dawson’s Creek of the new millennium!) The article started out with a discussion of how dramatically being a rising young star in the entertainment business has changed over the past five years. I do wonder how any 20 something’s reputation can stay spotless under the magnifying glass-like eye of the media these days. My friends and I have gotten into some pretty crazy things since we’ve entered, survived and left college. And we’re just normal kids. Our reputations would be completely tarnished though.
Anyway, of course, being Vanity Fair and never wanting to pass up an opportunity to remind readers of its liberal political views and support of Obama, the stars were asked the 2008 election question: who will you vote for/do you support Obama. Most carefully avoided the question. Stating your political affiliation seems almost as detrimental as stopping at Starbucks or Taco Bell these days. Penn Badgley, Dan Humphrey on Gossip Girl, did have an opinion. He said, “with a wordly, weary not of disillusionment, ‘I’m politically apathetic. We were raised in a time when we never had a leader who was a role model at all. Every president has gotten worse and worse – it doesn’t make you want to engage.'” Now don’t get me wrong, I love Dan Humphrey and therefore the cute actor who plays him, but this kind of a statement absolutely kills me. Politically apathetic, in my opinion, is just another term for being lazy. As if our generation needs to look more lazy than it is already accused of being. We are already pegged as a generation who doesn’t want to vote and who has always had low turnout numbers in past elections. Why perpetuate that if you’re someone famous? And do not make excuses about poor role models. I’m obviously no Bush supporter, but honestly that makes me want to get out and vote all the more. I want to engage, I want to have a voice in changing our government.
I don’t know, that attitude of not caring and labeling it as something other than being lazy and THEN blaming it on bad past administrations drives me crazy. How much of an effort would it take to go to each candidate’s website and read up on their platforms? Or even to just turn on the news, read the paper or go to cnn.com once in awhile? I don’t care who you vote for honestly, just don’t give our already labeled as apathetic generation more of a bad rap.