Posts Tagged ‘new york times’

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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