Yesterday, I attacked Ashton Kutcher. The attack was a joke, and even though my sister told me that I should never explain jokes, I’ll explain this one. I pretended to be an over zealous fan that got upset when Ashton didn’t respond to my twitter reply. The joke was that I didn’t understand the distance between a celebrity like Kutcher and the massive cluster of ordinary humans that surround him. Like in that Eminem song where the guy ends up killing himself (and his girlfriend) when he didn’t get a response to a letter he sent. We feel like we know celebrities, and platforms like twitter enhance that feeling, but realistically we are one in a million (or 1 in 1,657,641 on twitter).
Things are changing. As my dear and close friend Ze Frank said in a NYTimes Magazine interview in 2006: “I think we may have experienced the last generation of actors who can be disconnected from their audience.” The distance is shrinking. I was reminded of that yesterday when Kutcher left me a long, heartfelt voicemail within four hours of my post going live.
Click to listen to Ashton’s Voicemail:
Is this the death of modern mythology? Celebrities are the closest thing we have to Olympian Gods. We dream of having that kind of power, of distancing ourselves from the “Go F*ck Yourself” comments. But there they are, sitting in an office somewhere in LA sifting through @replies on twitter. I made Kutcher feel bad, and I’m sorry for that, but a small part of me wishes he didn’t care.