Archive for February 21st, 2009

God, is there anything worse than a preachy celebrity putting the world to rights? Well, yeah, actually, and I’m pretty sure 13 year old Chadian kids being permanently disabled by being shot in the legs is one of them.

Our saviour!

Our saviour!

But I wouldn’t know about one particular Chadian child if George Clooney hadn’t met him recently. This piece in the New York Times briefly shows how effective the visits of celebs to war zones can be – as the writer points out, the only reason he’s writing this column (and we’re reading it) is because it’s partly about a visit to a refugee camp with Mr C.

Now, I do find it very irritating when some celebs get preachy. I find it insane that Angelina Jolie is invited to become a member of the hugely influential think-tank the Council on Foreign Relations with the likes of Alan Greenspan, Condoleezza Rice and well-known warmongerer Henry Kissinger, apparently purely on the basis that she’s hot, has travelled a bit, her six children were all born outside of America and she once won an Oscar for overacting in a crap film. And I find it particularly annoying that Bono lectures governments about how much aid they should be giving to the developing world when he (a very, very rich man, lest we forget, who we can assume wasn’t exactly panicking about paying his bills) went to elaborate lengths to avoid paying his taxes when the artists’ tax exemptions were changed. Where exactly does he think aid money comes from? The magic money rainbow? God?

But at the same time, isn’t it better when celebs try to use their powers for good (as they see fit – I’m not sure how “good” the Council of Foreign Relations can be with the likes of Greenspan and Kissinger on board)? Isn’t it better than just sitting back and smugly counting their money like an idiot? Surely if any of us became fabulously wealthy and famous, we’d at least try and do something for the causes we believe in? At least they care about something, in their often idiotic way, and in most cases the worst thing they do is annoy us. Some, like George Clooney, of them don’t even do that, most of the time (I’ll make an exception for that smug Oscar acceptance speech in which he praised his fellow stars for being so liberal). Ultimately, I think it’s always better for people to be politically engaged and informed rather than apathetic – whether they’re celebs or not. Although if it turns out in a few years that Angelina Jolie’s suggestions for US foreign policy are responsible for plunging the world into chaos, I reserve the right to change my mind…

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blogawards1Being the modest souls that we are, it didn’t occur to us to mention that we made the shortlist for the 2009 Irish Blog Awards. They take place tonight in Cork, and sadly none of us will be there, mainly because we didn’t think we’d make the shortlist. We’d like to say a big thank you to all those lovely judges who voted for us, and to our fellow nominees, the brilliant Blather.net, the ever up-to-date Dublin Blog, A Tangled Web and the excellent The Blog Pound (who must be favourites for the gong).

We’d like to wish all the nominees in every category tonight the very best of luck, particularly to some of our favourites, including Medbh, Annie, Fustar, Fatmammycat, Rick (who’s also the host), Beaut.ie, Red Mum, On the Record, Suzy, Ginger Pixel, Lottie and Fiona.

Thanks also to Grandmaster Mulley who organises this whole shebang.

And if all that isn’t enough to swell our heads, Shane Hegarty has mentioned us in today’s Irish Times as one of ’20 of Ireland’s most essential blogs’. Huzzah!

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