The excess of six weeks of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard testifying when there is a war in Ukraine, and yet another school shooting this past Tuesday, one mirroring Columbine in 1999, and Sandy Hook in Connecticut in 2012, is hard to justify.
It was the highlight of my eighth-grade evenings, spanning a few years until I was about 16. Watching “21 Jump Street'' was an experience before DVR, before On Demand. You had to catch it, or you missed it. The improbably perfect, chiseled actor making his way. I never missed it. This ethereal man with cheekbones to spare was the love of my life, though he didn’t know it.
He subsequently dated models, trashed hotel rooms and in short, did everything a teenager like me would say is super cool. My friends made fun of me for liking him after Edward Scissorhands, a breakout role some didn’t get until goth got huge. But I stuck with Johnny Depp, all the way into my adulthood. I stuck with him after he seemed to age, on cue, as I did. Years passed. “Pirates of the Caribbean” happened. I still stuck with him and forgave him for his Disney sellout.
Perhaps many have seen a lion’s share of his defamation trial in the past few weeks online, on Court TV and in live feeds. He waves, he loves fans. Fans love him. He exits his black SUV every morning carrying a trademark silver coffee mug that you might assume could be filled with vodka. Or not. His voice is the same, his hair, still kind of the same.
So here’s where my star falls out of the sky.
This country, America, is skirting its responsibilities. Domestic violence is a serious issue. We have wasted six weeks following this trial ad nauseum, a trial that is the epitome of voyeurism and perhaps, a too-close look at two people on illegal substances, playing out scenarios that in most Americans’ lives, would end in arrests, jail time and extended rehab. Throw a bottle? Hit your partner? If this is domestic violence, this would have required police intervention and rehabilitation, two things we have heard almost nothing about.
The excess of six weeks of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard testifying when there is a war in Ukraine, and yet another school shooting this past Tuesday, one mirroring Columbine in 1999, and Sandy Hook in Connecticut in 2012, is hard to justify. Where are our priorities in this life and in our country?
Let’s decide what is important to us as a community and as a nation. It is not updates about the Kardashians, or rappers, actors and others, nor is it the outcome of Johnny’s trial. Does he make $50 million or $100 million? How does that change our lives and the lives we need to care for?
If there was one thing I learned from “21 Jump Street” as a teen, it’s that there is no mercy for those who skirt the law. And there is no leniency for such excess that glorifies drugs, and all the culture that accompanies it. And that is especially true when we have a lot more important things to think about. Sorry, Johnny. And cut.