I normally try not to rag on people’s religions as I wouldn’t want anyone raging on my lazy Judea-Christian, secular humanist upbringing. But for the life of me, I don’t understand the lure of Scientology, which after taking Chaka Khan and Issac Hayes it has now nabbed the most famous, blockbuster-esque non-threatening black dude in Hollywood who hasn’t donned a dress to make his millions.

Will Smith.

And they took Jada too. I feared that he’d gone the Xenu way for a while and found his almost manic happiness during a “60 Minutes” interview tre bizarre. Sure, he was still “quasi” normal, but there was just this sheen about him of ridiculousness. Like he was trying too hard when he shouldn’t have had to try at all.

I’ve never been a big Will Smith fan. I mean, I watched “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” like every county brownie and enjoyed the first “Bad Boys” immensely. Even “Independence Day,” pretty not bad. But, I don’t know, I just never was into him. I couldn’t bridge that gap. He was always a mediocre actor, and he pretty much admits as much to Steve Kroft on “60 Minutes.” Even in “Ali,” where he was nominated for an Oscar, it was just another exercise in Will working doubly hard, but still not quite breaking through. “Pursuit of Happyness” showed some dramatic improvement, but I don’t know.

I don’t hate him as much as Taye Diggs nor do I hate his acting as much as I hate Halle Berry’s. And he seems to never do anything to embarrass himself or other black folks. So I just don’t get the Scientology. Both Will and Jada always came off as fairly intelligent and logical people to me. I know some folks think their marriage is a “too perfect” but, eh, you know, as long as they don’t pull a Flava Flav on me, we’re cool.

The running theory as to why famous people are attracted to Scientology is because it focuses on feeding your ego and working you towards perfection in their own brand of therapy/religion. But the running around with Tom Cruise, who also has a manic sheen of Xenu about him, and the whole thing with the thetens and a religion based on a Sci-fi novel, I don’t know. I mean there are some things white folks have that I like, like The Shins and gay pride parades. But taking up Scientology is almost the equivalent of taking up country line dancing. I mean, its not a bad thing to get all dressed up in a poofy skirt and a leather vest with those little cord ties and twirl around a room to Buck Owens (RIP) and Charlie Pride, but don’t be surprised if people think you’re lame.

And Will Smith (and now, tragically Jada Pinkett Smith, whom I adored) are officially lame.

Technically Smith was lame after the “Willenium” album (or the video for “Wild Wild West“), but now he’s hit the rock bottom of lameness. I still won’t throw a flag on him because converting to religions I find weird is not a flag throwing offense. If he jumps the couch though, he’s going to get tacked up on my list of tragically embarrassing black people, next to Michael Jackson and New York of “I Love New York.”

3 thoughts on “Why?

  1. Well, I hear you on this one. And I think I agree. But… My reluctance comes from the fact that I, as a lifelong follower of the southern (read: Mississippi) Baptist sect, am in no position to throw the “weird” label around without solid justification. As much as I love my own faith tradition, seeing my own get the holy ghost, speak in tongues, or rail against the evils of contraception has left me more than a little sheepish in the public square of religiosity. Still, the whole notion of Scientology irks me. It did even before Tom Cruise, but he certainly pushed it squarely and forever into the category of religions I could never be (alongside Mormonism and the Spaghetti Monster folks).This Will Smith thing has thrown me for a loop. It’s hypothetical equivalent would be if Flava Flav properly conjugated a verb. Just once. But, ultimately, I’m gonna have to blame his better half on this one. Such a non-Philly move smacks of the judgment of the woman who suddenly decided that she was a hardcore metal singer. Didn’t she just ooze a neo-soul/Love Jones sensibility? Guess not any more. Oh, and remember that one Wicked Wisdom track? Yeah, me neither.

  2. I guess I should have known better. I truly wanted to believe, HAD to believe, that Will was friends with Tom because he just was more tolerant than I to the sci-fi weirdness. Just stay away from Jamie Foxx, Cruise. If you touch him you’ll end up infesting Kanye West, Mos Def, Talib and Lupe Fiasco and I cannot, WILL not allow you to infiltrate the few decent rappers we have left.You have have the corny rappers, Tom. Take Lil’ Jon. Please, oh please take Lil’ Jon!

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