Josh Brolin is one of the most underrated American actors of the modern era. The gruff 52-year-old is best known these days for playing Marvel Cinematic Universe supervillain Thanos, but his career in Hollywood spans decades, having appeared in films as diverse as The Goonies, True Grit, No Country For Old Men, and Hail, Caesar!
He’s also got one of the most underrated Instagram accounts on the platform. A ‘man’s man’ with a great sense of humour, Brolin shares his thoughts on everything from politics to fashion and art – and unlike many celebrities, the man doesn’t let his political leanings ‘pre-decide’ his opinion on each individual topic.
His social media presence is refreshing in an age where anyone with a platform thinks they’re suddenly some modern-day Aristotle: Brolin’s a surprisingly wise dude and a must-follow for anyone looking for inspiration on how to be a modern gentleman.
His latest post, sharing a touching moment between him and his daughter, saw many of his fans applaud his parenting style. But rather than just lapping up the glory and letting the comments section have at it, Brolin also used it as an opportunity to share some wisdom.
Brolin shared a photo of him behind the wheel of his Ram truck, with his youngest daughter Westlyn sitting on his lap with her head out the window. Both of them are clearly enjoying themselves: Westlyn’s loving the wind in her hair and Josh has a satisfied dad grin.
View this post on Instagram
Commenters were quick to applaud him for what they saw as a return to ‘old-school’ parenting.
“Man I used to love to do that as a kid in my dad’s Plymouth Volare wagon, they won’t forget that!” one commenter shared.
“Nothing better than open road and letting the kids drive on the lap – it’s a smile from ear to ear.”
“No safety belt required when you in a Dodge,” another joked.
While it’s hardly the safest thing to let your kid do (Brolin’s partner later chimed in and said it was “while we went slow and on our own property”), Brolin shows how sometimes you need to ignore ‘backseat parents’ and just let your kids have fun. Good parenting is all about taking joy out of the little things, and giving your children space to grow and learn – and sometimes that means throwing caution to the wind and just enjoying life.
Many comments quickly took on a political tinge, however:
“Glad to see you let her be a kid and have fun! Standby for the hate comments from the sensitive snowflakes!”
But it was a comment from a confused Trump supporter that motivated Brolin to weigh in.
“Josh, I’m torn how I feel about you. Sometimes you say some stupid Liberal shit then you go and do something cool like this by allowing your kid to be a kid and I like you again. Damn you Josh Brolin!”
“Because I look at anything as stupidly liberal, or conservatively brilliant,” Brolin responded.
“It’s blinding either way. Some conservatives have solid points, as do liberals. What I can’t stand is someone standing for anything based on a party lean. ‘My party is right always’ is as good as those that followed Hitler because he said they deserved better (good) then blamed a bunch of other citizens for it (bad). So stay torn how you feel about me – it’s more honest.”
View this post on Instagram
Brolin’s comment reveals a truth about American politics in 2020: even parenting has become a battleground in the culture wars.
With the presidential race in full swing and November’s election looming, things are particularly fractious in the United States. With the backdrop of the Black Lives Matter movement, COVID-19 and a nosediving economy, political polarisation in the US has never been greater.
Brolin proves that not everything or everyone fits into neat categories. He’s an outspoken progressive but an old-fashioned sort of dude, who’s just as comfortable with letting his daughter have some thrills on the road as he is with sending support to the Lebanese Red Cross.
One commenter summed it up:
“It’s not just that everything now is seen through a political lens, generally advancing the interests of politicians), even public health during a pandemic, but that there is no room left for nuance between the black and white. All or Nothing. Good or bad. Liberal or conservative. Mask or no mask. God or atheist. And it goes on and on and it’s the people that suffer, not the politicians. Think for yourself, evaluate things on your terms, and remember that everyone is really just looking for the same thing: happiness, health, contentment. Does anything else really matter?”
Well done Josh for sparking such a worthwhile discussion.