Celebrities and their Causes

Found this in the Guardian and thought it quite interesting:

I'm not sure what the American equivalent of the TUC conference is, but you have to feel the Screen Actors Guild would be kind of ostracised at the event. "Hey comrade, fighting any noble battles for your brethren?" "Well, we're currently trying to raise funds for widows of miners who died slow, painful and impoverished deaths after inhaling noxious dust over the course of a 30-year slog for a minimum wage. You?" "Oh, Goldie Hawn's found out someone withheld a royalty percentage on the Collectors' Edition DVD of Private Benjamin. We're going to run through the supreme court application just the minute she gets back from Aspen."

The SAG got itself a new president this week, and Alan Rosenberg marked his accession to the position with a mission statement that touched on that most heart-sinking of mixes: celebrities and politics. "We're Americans, and if we don't speak out, who will?" he says. "I have more faith in what an actor has to say, if they're well informed, than any politician." Quite a claim, even if it is mirrored by Donald Rumsfeld's constant refrain that Friends would have been so much more credible if they'd only given Paul Wolfowitz a shot at the Joey role.
Alan's statement is another body blow to a world still struggling to make sense of arguably the most disturbing image in the Hurricane Katrina coverage, a photograph that managed to communicate just how desperate were the straits in which New Orleans' dispossessed found themselves.

To wit: somebody's best hope was Sean Penn in a dinghy. In fact, somebody's best hope was Sean Penn, pictured frantically bailing water out of the aforementioned rescue craft, with a red plastic beaker. Think he should be lauded for trying to help? Apologies for not clarifying. The dinghy was sinking under the weight of Sean's five-person entourage. An entourage including, among others, someone referred to as his "personal photographer".

And you know, if it's not Sean, it's Bono, bewilderingly able to bang on about giving to Africa in the wake of spending a fortune on a protracted legal battle to recover a pair of trousers - "memorabilia" - from a former U2 stylist. Or Tom Cruise, who in the course of explaining the evils of psychiatry during the promotional interviews for his last movie criticised Brooke Shields for taking prescription drugs to combat postnatal depression, forcing her to counter: "Tom Cruise did not have a uterus last time I checked." Thanks for the image, Brooke. Although I really wouldn't rule anything out.

When celebrities care, they find it excruciatingly impossible to do so with quiet dignity. Whole camel trains flit through the eye of a needle with more ease - and I speak as someone who got all the way to the end of a recent Times comment piece in which erstwhile Kinks singer Ray Davies attempted a trenchant analysis of New Orleans' levee system.

At the 1995 Oscars, host David Letterman introduced one set of presenters with perhaps the most exquisite dismissal of showbiz activism ever. "Here to present the award are Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins," he drawled. "And I'm sure they're mad as hell about something."

If only this had made the celebrity community think twice. Alas, this is still an age where - on the eve of their elections last January - the Palestinian people were subjected to a political broadcast by the star of Pretty Woman. "Hi, I'm Richard Gere," he began, "and I'm speaking for the entire world ..."

To which the only appropriate response is: did we miss a freaking meeting?



Who the f**k do they think they are. W*nkers.



Book Reviewer
See 'Team America, World Police' for the best possible dissection of this bunch of up-their-own-fundament w&nkers.
Easy to knock the celebs. Certainly the likes of Kayne West, Tom Cruise and Mariah "Whenever I watch TV and see those poor starving kids all over the world, I can't help but cry. I mean I'd love to be skinny like that but not with all those flies and death and stuff" Carey don't help matters much.

On the other hand, I don't have a problem with anyone that has done their homework, is willing to stand up and make an argument for something they believe in, or do something to try and make things a little better. The pictures of Sean Penn bailing out his boat with a plastic cup was comedy, but it detracts from the fact that he still went down there and got his hands dirty when hundreds of millions of others did fcuk all. John Travolta was using his 707 to transport aid down there. How much aid did Air Force One carry on its 7 trips to the area in 3 weeks? Sean Penn may have had a photographer in the boat, but the Shaved Chimp had the whole White House Press Corps in the back of his ride to show the world, and the American voters, how much he cared. (Let's disregard the point about using AF1 so much in the midst of a fuel crisis for the moment.)

Who thinks that Apartheid would've ended when it did if the celeb bandwagon didn't play its part? No-one gave a fcuk until Denzel Washington made Cry Freedom. At a time what political awareness and participation are reaching new lows with each election cycle and policy fcuk-up, it's reassuring that some people, even if they sometimes come across as self-serving blowhards are still prepared to talk about the issues.
trouble is the average politican is seen as below par slime (rightly or wrongly)
celebraties who actually do there homework bono does know a little about trade and try to catch his rant about ireland refuses to sing bloody sunday anymore
brighton hippy said:
bono does know a little about trade and try to catch his rant about ireland refuses to sing bloody sunday anymore
I've done a search on the web trying to find a report on his(Bono) refusal to sing Sunday Bloody Sunday(This is not a rebel song, my arrse!) and I can't find it, I wait for some one to post a link and prove it but what I did find were a lot of articles slagging him off. Over the referendum in Ireland to Ratify the Treaty signed in Nice, after the Irish voted no to the treaty, Bono was 1st on the Radio stating that the Irish didn't really understand the issues and they should vote again only yes this time. Is that domacracy? (Vote yes or it's the armalite?)
Bono Betrays Ireland

Another story about him slagging the Canadian PM reference foreign aid budgets at a concert in Vancouver, he managed to get a staggering 5 fans up on the stage in support of his message out of an audience of 18,000.
Vancouver Concert

Having given those examples though I did another quick search just so I can't be accused of not giving a balanced argument I found this, apparently Time magazine think he's great but even they say he's just a pop star and an self confessed egomaniac.
Bono The Good Guy

My personal opinion though is he is seriously loaded and now craves power not just the spotlight, Bono the politician, watch this space!
Yeah, some of those celebrites do actually know what they are talking about and if they can use their fame to do some good, such as Roger Moore being UNICEF ambassador (I think), then well done them.....

As for Bono, you may not agree with his message but he is well informed. VerminVA - do you actually think 'Sunday Bloody Sunday' is a rebel song? I think he has made it clear it is NOT a rebel song...

Depends on which way you interpret the lyrics, to me it is not but it obviously is to some members of the Repulican Comunity. Don't believe me? Then why would he feel the need to strenously deny it? I'm damn sure it was not intended to be a rebel song but someone (Bono, record company exec etc) decided that it was a big enough issue to have the denial on the album!

Anyway that is bringing us off the subject, celebs and their causes.
Fair enough... I think we are both agreed Bono certainly never intended it as a rebel song. I agree some republicans may have interpreted it this way, particularly Irish-Americans, but that just adds to their catalogue of imbecility and ignorance.


Edited to add: Apologies to Larry, The Edge and the other chap - I realise its probably not solely Bono's song and that yee may have written some of it!
I saw Bono on Conan O'Brien the day before the Nobel Peace Prize was handed out.
Conan mentioned his nomination, and the whole crowd broke into cheers. I lost a little respect from watching his body language, which seemed to say "Who? Me? I know I deserve it, but I won't get it".

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