Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Variation on a previous theme

Around the time of the election, I openly posited that celebrities really needed to keep out of the political posturing unless they were going to limit themselves to the political posturing that every American citizen can engage in. It did and does strike me as a combination of bullying and self-promotion. The implied message is something like "If you want to be cool and successful, then just think/act like me."

Fast forward to the Live 8 Concerts and it's time to re-consider this same sort of issue in a different way. Now, I must give Bob Geldof props for organizing this concert and in some small way bring some of the situations occuring in Africa to light. That's right, readers, it's a partial flip-flop of a sort. While I don't feel the need to be brow beaten about my someone else's political stance, I do think that if you have the information correct and the resources to get it out there, then get to it. Once the information is out, let me decide what to do with it. I would especially point canonical fingers to my Catholic brethren who might be cooling their heels in this regard.

Concerning the questions of Africa, I agree with the linked author that 1.) the Live 8 participants need to drop their ego and self-promotion instinct into, at least, neutral and 2.) money alone is not the solution. Africa is a galling example of how power in fact does not corrupt but draws the corruptible. Add disease, lack of education, social inequities, the reminants of colonialism and I think you see my point. Live 8 was important and helpful in getting the message out, but come on, "the most important event in the history of mankind" as one of the participants opined? I can think of a short list of things more important to the history of man. Let's see: the wheel, fire, printing press, transistors, the Resurrection, the presence of the saints, the Holy Eucharist. One concert, no matter how well intentioned, is ever going to be the most important event in human history.

Somewhere in St. Paul's letters, Paul commends praying for the Emperor. I would add, that for good or ill, the celebrity is a part of a modern democratic power structure and that would, by extension, call me to pray for them and for the nation's leaders.

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