by Marina Hyde
These days, entertainers no longer just entertain: they advocate dubious 'religions', work for the United Nations, get face-time with heads of state and monopolise problems they are infinitely qualified to solve - problems like Africa, the Middle East, and AIDS.
We stand at the beginning of a bright new chapter in human history.
Feast your eyes, then, on Sharon Stone's peace mission to Israel, on a world where Angelina Jolie advises on the Iraqi reconstruction effort or Charlie Sheen analyses 9/11, and in which Jude Law's attempts to establish contact with the Taliban are reported without irony.
Celebrity is a roadmap, a survivalist's guide, a Rosetta Stone for our times: without a copy you are not equipped to engage with the world...
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 256 pages
- Publisher: Vintage Publishing
- Publication Date: 01/04/2010
- Category: Popular culture
- ISBN: 9780099532057
- Paperback from £8.89
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Review by Booksloth
I thought this was a fabulous book - funny, readable, bitchy, yet with some massively serious points to make.Why do we have to have Tom Cruise's opinion on everything from the starving masses to some woman's post-natal depression? Who thinks that just because someone is known for removing their clothes in public, they also have something worthwhile to say about cancer research? At best, these 'vox pops' are annoying; at worst they are outright dangerous. Not only are they almost always ill-informed but they take important air-time from the real experts who actually know something about the subject. Many (though not all) are well-meaning but they are almost always misdirected.One example the book quotes is of Sharon Stone's spur of the moment and emotion-fuelled attempt to raise money for mosquito nets to be used in Tanzania. The actress leapt to her feet in the middle of the 2005 World Economic Forum, after an emotive speech had been made on the subject, and urged the other celebrities present to pledge cash for nets. Sadly, she knew nothing about what was really going on in Tanzania at the time - the fact that free nets that were already being distributed were in fact being sold on the black market by those who received them to buy luxuries instead.When the money that came in from her appeal, which should have been a pledged $1,000,000, turned out to be only a quarter of that amount, Unicef was forced to make up the shortfall, thus diverting money from other, more important schemes.For anyone who, like me, suspects it is time someone told these 'celebs' to sit down, shut up and leave the serious stuff to those who have spent their lives working on it, this book is a must.