I remember a time when I did my very best to not like George Clooney— jealous, I guess— and now he’s my favorite Hollywood celebrity. I hesitate to simply call him an actor because he’s so much more than that now. He writes, he directs, he produces. He makes great movies.
I think the one that put me over the top was Michael Clayton. After having seen it three times, it’s worked its way onto my all-time favorite movies list. If you haven’t seen it, it’s satisfying in the same way The Shawshank Redemption is; the movies are completely different and the same; I highly recommend Michael Clayton. Anyway, I have a lot of respect for George Clooney.
I heard him on National Public Radio the other day. The interviewer asked him what it was like to be that famous. How has it changed your life? George Clooney always strikes me as extremely thoughtful and his response to this question was no different. Being that famous was a whole new universe, of course, but he had an interesting observation about our culture that I want to share with you.
He told an anecdote about being on a motorcycle vacation high in the Italian Alps and stopping in a small village for a cappuccino. As they were leaving the bistro, they were greeted by a small crowd of people—word spreads fast in the 21st century—and every single one of them had a camera or a cell phone waiting to take his picture.
George Clooney seems to be a friendly, gracious guy and he put out a hand to shake with a few of the onlookers, but they backed off. They couldn’t shake hands and shoot photographs at the same time and they would rather have a photograph or a video of George Clooney than shake his hand.
He’s got a problem with that. He thinks we are a culture that’s in a constant state of recording things at the cost of not experiencing things. Our international obsession with electronic recording devices is sometimes keeping us from living life to the fullest.
I think he makes a good point, said the guy who recently launched a website called How to Photograph Your Life. There are times when it’s not just okay to put your camera down and enjoy the moment, but it may be even better.
Mark Twain suggested moderation in everything including moderation. Please go crazy with your camera and then don’t and then do.
Just to make the guys out there feel better I’ve included a picture of Mr. Clooney in high school.