Benedict Cumberbatch is sexy. Not because of his hipster name or “geek is the new cool” look (those are merely a plus). Benedict Cumberbatch is sexy because he’s got the guts to redirect the limelight on more important news than the shooting of series 3 of the BBC’s Sherlock.
“Go photograph Egypt and show the world something important,” he scribbled on a piece of scratch paper before encountering the paparazzi loitering around the set of the internationally popular television show.
A few days after his manual Egypt “post,” Cumberbatch once again crafted the paparazzi into his own personal Instagram staff by telegraphing more hand-written messages: “Hard drives smashed, journalists detained at airports … Democracy? Schedule 7, prior restraint. Is this erosion of civil liberties winning the war on terror…? What do they not want you to know? And how did they get to know it? Does the exposure of their techniques cause a threat to their security or does it just cause them embarrassment?”
Britain’s Guardian newspaper took a typically classist view of Cumberbatch’s peaceful protest, most likely because the young actor openly criticized their handling of evidence in the Snowden case. Justifying their destruction of hard drives containing some of Snowden’s leaked documents, the Guardian responded by criticizing Cumberbatch for being a member of the “debased culture …the sort of people who might see the photos have such a lack of interest in anything else in the news that this is their only access to trenchant comment on the big news of the day.” To the newspaper snobs, “The signs hint – unintentionally, perhaps – that the world is divided into two discrete sets: people who already know about things such as Egypt and the Miranda case, and people who might be interested in set shots from the new Sherlock.”
In other words, that’s the snobby English hoi polloi way of saying, “You’re so bloody inferior. Now, if you please, ignore the large mess of poo we’re standing in thanks to this uncultured Mister Cumberbatch.”