Friday, 16 March 2012

Clooney in cuffs causes chaos

This afternoon the news wires almost melted at the overexcited news that George Clooney had been arrested during a protest. Even Krishnan Gurumurthy - an otherwise respectable news journo type - delivered a breathy promo for Channel 4 news exclaiming that we should all contain our excitement at Clooney in handcuffs. This evening he's been released having posted bail of around £63 ($100) and has notched up a few more cool points which he kind of lost having appeared in the Kony video without his knowledge. 

At the same time the director of the Kony film (Jason Russell) has allegedly been arrested for public disorder of the drunken and masturbatory kind. Not really what we expect of an evangelical Christian and father of two young children who likes to make manipulative videos with dubious factual content. We completely expect Clooney to get arrested at a protest, just like we expect Sean Penn to offer an opinion on international politics without irony or reference to the country he calls home. Just like we expect Angelina Jolie to pitch up after a humanitarian crisis with her shopping list of criteria for the next addition to the Jolie-Pitt brood. 

I'm not cynical about movie stars getting involved in politics, but I am disinterested in them wandering in to foreign countries to research a supposed answer and reporting back to the rest of us. It's not as if America doesn't have poverty, natural disasters or racially motivated conflicts. It just isn't quite as easy to fix if it's on home turf. 

A dual approach has to be the way to go as far as I'm concerned. Get involved locally and take an interest internationally and at least you've got your bases covered. If you are very concerned about the poor children in Africa, but are sniffy about someone who sleeps in a doorway and begs for some change from you I'd say you've got a perspective issue to deal with. 

Fame does add kudos to a good cause though and if you don't have a celebrity endorsement you can kiss farewell to any donations until you get a minor soap actress or reality star to tell Hello magazine how great you are. I only mention this as I've gone back into fundraising and it is terrifying and lonely all at once. 

I have an office all by myself, a cause I've never fundraised for before and I work in a school which I pretty much swore I'd never do again once I completed my teaching degree. Add to this the fact that I miss being with my son and I have to admit it's not looking like a triumphant return to work for me. More like an elaborate attempt to get out of running around after the toddler from the Weetabix commercial every day.

Well at least it's the weekend tomorrow and I have a long yoga class on Saturday afternoon and hopefully a lovely relaxing Mothering Sunday. In the meantime I can consider my days of actually doing something worthwhile and ponder whether I would have gotten arrested for any of the causes I worked for. If there was a chance of being cuffed to Gorgeous George… probably. Otherwise… probably not. 

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