Opinion | Seth Rogen can chuckle at crime — the rest of us aren’t so lucky
Celebrities live in a different world, no matter where they live.
You ever notice how people with money never say, “Money can’t buy happiness”? It’s the same reason you won’t hear a supermodel say, “Beauty is only skin deep.” I once asked a doctor if he eats an apple a day. He rolled his eyes and lit up a Marlboro.
Here’s what money can buy: the freedom to be totally out of touch.
The other day, YouTube star Casey Neistat let Twitter know a robber broke into his cars. He concluded this was because, “Los Angeles is a crime riddled 3rd world sh–hole of a city …”
A bit hyperbolic, perhaps. When it comes to crime, L.A. is still no Caracas or Pretoria or Port Moresby. But in recent years, the City of Angels is home to a growing number of demons who steal, vandalize, assault, maim and murder.
But not to Seth Rogen. The actor, bearded funnyman and Milky Way’s unofficial spokesperson for marijuana, replied to Neistat: “Dude I’ve lived here for over 20 years. You’re nuts haha. It’s lovely here. Don’t leave anything valuable in it. It’s called living in a big city.”
Yeah. It’s lovely a thief smashed into your cars, left a bloody handprint and stole your belongings, including decorations for your daughter’s seventh birthday party. Listen, if you get shivved in an alley or mugged for your iPhone, just chalk it up to life in the big city and be grateful there isn’t a chalk outline around your lifeless body on the sidewalk near the Staples Center.
Rogen was not done. When Neistat asked if he was allowed to feel “mad” and “violated,” Rogen replied: “You can be mad but I guess I don’t personally view my car as an extension of myself and I’ve never really felt violated any of the 15 or so times my car was broken in to. Once a guy accidentally left a cool knife in my car so if it keeps happening you might get a little treat.”
Exactly. Who knows, with any luck, maybe you’ll manage to escape from a serial killer and those handcuffs still clamped on your wrists, gosh, what a wonderful keepsake. Someone just shot you and stole your wallet? Now you have a free bullet! An arsonist burned your house to the ground? Those ashes of your belongings — man alive, what a little treat!
I removed my glasses, rubbed my eyes, put my glasses back on. Then I reread this Twitter exchange to make sure I wasn’t missing a joke. Nope. As far as I can tell, Vancouver’s Rogen was either high or is taking the bold position crime is no big whoop. Did someone just steal your identity, drain your bank account and use your Amex to run up a $50,000 bill at Cartier? “Dude, your identity is not an extension of yourself.”
Also, if Rogen’s goal was to be an ambassador, revealing he has been robbed at a rate of about once every 16 months since Y2K is not exactly going to inspire future marketing campaigns at L.A. Tourism: “Visit the City of Angels. Just Don’t Drive or Bring Your Valuables.”
A motor vehicle, for most people, represents the second-largest purchase they will make after a home. There’s a reason we need insurance for a car and not a food processor. Did I ever tell you the story of when my Jetta was stolen after thieves broke into my house while my wife and I were asleep at 3 a.m.? (I guess I just did.) Anyway, the next morning, as the cops were dusting for fingerprints, I noticed the thieves had removed knives from a kitchen drawer. One officer told me this was in case of any possible confrontation. Something-something about the legal difference between self-defence and armed robbery when using their own weapons. I don’t know.
But what’s fascinating, in retrospect, is how my psyche turned to vigilantism. I told one officer I was now considering buying a gun. As I stood in my pink shirt and Ralph Lauren striped socks, he gave me a once-over and said, “I don’t think that’s a good idea. Maybe get a dog.”
He was right. I have no business owning a firearm. I’m an idiot. I’d accidentally shoot myself while trying to buff the trigger with Mr. Clean. But those feelings of anger and violation, they were real.
You know why Seth Rogen doesn’t see his car as an extension of himself? Because he can buy as many as he wants. That said, if bandits crashed through his patio doors and absconded with his edibles and gravity bong, he’d never use the word “lovely,” mostly because he’d be too busy calling Interpol before moving to Texas. Everything is relative.
Hollywood liberals keep proving themselves to be among the most out-of-touch, solipsistic humans who have ever lived. What’s that, Natalie Portman? We should defund the police? That’s a lovely abstraction when you live in a gated fortress with private security. But for people who live in high-crime neighbourhoods, psst, they want more policing, better policing.
Seth Rogen has immense talent. He is hilarious. And he is a privileged fool.
A city is not “lovely” when it is riding a tsunami crime wave.
And victims of crime deserve more than the dry shrugs of millionaires.
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