Saturday, December 10, 2011

Keanu Reeves is an Unassuming Gentleman

I don't know how long this video will stay up, but it purports to show Keanu Reeves giving up his seat to a female train rider.

Given that the man looks, indeed, like Keanu Reeves and that it was shot surreptitiously by some sort of handheld phone camera or flip camera, I'm as skeptical as anyone when it comes to asking, "is this real?"

Well, it looks real. And it speaks to a situation that is rare (or at least seems rare).

People of privilege don't give up anything with ease. The last post on this blog was about Alec Baldwin's refusal to turn off his phone while playing a game as he sat on the tarmac, boarded onto a plane, and waiting to take off. Baldwin then turned it into a vicious personal attack on the flight attendant and a bankrupt airlines; he was given space on The Huffington Post to air his views.

Contrast that with Reeves. He is sitting on the train, by himself, and he is aware of his surroundings. He is aware of other people.

Let me repeat that. He is aware of other people. He has not masked himself off with dark glasses or a hat. He does not have the cool detachment of a distracted, self-centered person. He isn't even fiddling with a phone or engrossed in looking up who's saying what about him on stupid blogs like this one. He's engaged.

When he notices--because he's in the calm act of giving a shit about other human beings--that a woman is standing by the door, he offers her his seat, stands up, braces himself for the train to move on, and he goes back to whatever he was thinking about. And, I'm sorry, but we've intruded on that by watching this moment in his life. This moment has been stolen from him because we can now see how functionally considerate and societally adapted he has become as a person. As a celebrity. As a guy who gets paid millions of dollars to act in films and do all of that stuff.

Fame and money have not turned him into a self-flaggellating beast. He is a gentleman, at least here, and at least in the stolen moment we witness above.

All you can say is, next time I'm on a train, I'm giving up my seat. I want to be as cool as that guy. Hopefully someone will film it and I'll look one-one hundredth as nice as Keanu Reeves.

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