A Facebook friend, Ronda, recently commented favorably on an article that suggested the world’s most eligible bachelor, George Clooney, had actually married up when he won the hand of “internationally acclaimed barrister Amal Alamuddin.”
Because I was feeling a bit feisty, I decided against letting this silly suggestion pass and commented as follows:
- Mike: Clearly, Clooney was being self-deprecating, at least in the arena of worldly achievement. To suggest he is marrying up reminds me of people who say that a great athlete is even greater as a person. Although there is a mechanism for identifying and recognizing worldly achievement, there is no such mechanism for identifying truly great persons.
- Ronda: Mike, my point was that mass-consumed publications imply that he was a “catch” for her, when vice-versa is equally, if not more, true. At least in the arena of being accomplished in a particular field.
- Mike: Ronda, that was my point, too – Clooney was considered to be one of the most eligible bachelors in the world. Amal? Not as much. Surely, she is exceptionally accomplished, but her accomplishments are surely overshadowed by his. I am not, however, suggesting that he has lived a better, more fulfilling life. He may have married up, and that is a good thing for any newlywed to think.
- Ronda: We will have to disagree on this one. She is an expert on human rights issued who’s often called upon to speak to the UN. He’s an actor.
- Mike: Agreed, Ronda. But I don’t think you do Clooney justice by calling him merely an actor. According to Wikipedia, “He is the only person ever to be nominated for Academy Awards in six categories (writing, producing, directing, and acting) …. In 2009, he was included in Time’s annual Time 100 as one of the Most Influential People in the World. Clooney is also noted for his political activism and has served as one of the United Nations Messengers of Peace since January 31, 2008. His humanitarian work includes his advocacy of finding a resolution for the Darfur conflict, raising funds for the 2010 Haiti earthquake, 2004 Tsunami, and 9/11 victims, and creating documentaries such as Sand and Sorrow to raise awareness about international crises. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.”
- Ronda: This isn’t worth arguing about.
- Mike: I wasn’t arguing. I am retired and was giving my brain its daily exercise.
- Ronda: He IS good looking, though.
- Mike: In my quotation from Wikipedia, I used an ellipsis for deleting the following information – “In 2005, TV Guide ranked Clooney #1 on its”50 Sexiest Stars of All Time” list.” I didn’t think it helpful to my case to sexualize him.
Incidentally, because Ronda quickly tired of this discussion, I decided against fully elaborating on my initial comment about great athletes whom some suggest are even greater persons. I touched on the point that greatness as a person is highly subjective, but I failed to expound on how rare great athletes are. In most situations, being in the top 10% is special and the top 1% is wonderful. But great athletes are actually rarer than the top 1% of the top 1%. Based on these numbers, none of us know enough people to place some individual at the top of some huge pyramid.
That’s enough exercise for today.