Thursday, August 17, 2006

An Open Letter to Tom Cruise

Yeah, I know this is a little late. It's been percolating in my brain for a while and has only just now emerged. Pretend I wrote it six months ago.

Dear Tom,

Dude, you are an actor. You know about actor stuff. You know plenty more than most people about making movies, blocking a scene, etc. This is your field of expertise. If I ever have a question about any of those things, you’re the guy I’m going to call. You have the experience. You have the knowledge. You are the expert. I’ll listen enthusiastically to any advice or opinions you have.

Now listen closely to what I’m about to say here. Medicine is not your area of expertise. Let me say it another way for extra clarity. MEDICINE IS NOT YOUR AREA OF EXPERTISE. I’m not interested in your opinion about the efficacy and appropriateness of any particular medical treatment. I’m really confused about why anyone else is. That’s not your fault, I guess. If someone is willing to let you appear on a news show and make ludicrous, uninformed, sweeping statements about psychiatry, who am I to tell you not to do it? Nevertheless, I know for a fact that there are people in the world who are dumb enough to take medical advice from you, and it worries me that someone who really needs help may not get it because he saw you on TV, claiming to know things that you cannot possibly know.

I know you don’t really care what my advice for you is, but I’m going to give it to you anyway. Fair is fair, after all. My advice is this. Shut up about medicine. Go back to doing what you know how to do. Make movies. Walk along red carpets and wave to the little people. Give interviews to the movie rags telling us all about your amazing new fiancé and your gorgeous new baby and how deliriously happy you all are. You have my full support.

But stop giving medical advice. You didn’t go to medical school. I doubt you ever took a college-level science class of any kind. You don’t know anything about medicine. You are only parroting the position of your church. Stop trying to convince us that the things you are saying have arisen out of any personal knowledge or experience. Stop acting like you came up with the things you are saying yourself. On behalf of all the little people out here, stop trying to convince us that you know what’s best for us. You don’t.


P.S. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to stomach the sight of your likeness on a big screen for 90 minutes ever again. I’ll let you know.


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