Celebrity ‘pet projects’ are reality checks for over-stressed student

Roxy Hammond

Roxy Hammond

I can’t get enough of Hollywood.

Every time I start feeling like my life is too dramatic or insane, I just open up the paper to the celebrity news section. Suddenly, I feel sane again.

Now, if you read any celebrity news, you are bound to be bombarded with all of the pet projects celebrities take on to save (insert country/animal/ethnicity here). These range from several endangered countries in Africa, to several endangered animals in Africa-like my latest discovery: Natalie Portman wants to save the African Gorillas.

Well, isn’t that touching? Instead of trying to deal with the problems we have over here in the United States , Natalie is going to spend her celebrity efforts making sure gorillas are saved in another country.

Maybe I’m cynical, but I don’t think it’s too ethnocentric of me not to give a flying crap about the African gorillas.

Or just about anything else the celebrities take upon themselves to save.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s admirable that they’re taking some of their fame and wealth and trying to do things to save the world. That’s fantastic. I just have a really hard time jumping on the bandwagon when a) I don’t have a whole lot of spare time and money, and b) there are already problems in the U.S. that need solving.

Am I suppose to donate the $10 extra I have from my paycheck to save the gorillas in Africa? What about donating it to a breast cancer research fund, for a disease that has directly affected my family? Or how about I donate it to UNICEF or the Red Cross?

Or is it un-hip to fix the U.S.?

The problem is, the causes that celebrities adopt seem to be as faddish as Paris Hilton’s tiny-dog-in-a-purse accessory.

I mean, all the cool celebrities have one.

Look at Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. When they’re not busy adopting a baby from every continent, they’re trying to save all the rest of the babies that they can’t adopt.

Or you have George Clooney, who is suddenly interested in ending the conflict in Darfur. Why Darfur? Why not any other war-torn area? Lord knows this world doesn’t have enough of them.

I’m not trying to be insensitive to the problems of the world; I’m just wondering what it is that qualifies something to be saved by a celebrity. And most of all-why should we care?

Maybe if I made 20 million dollars a movie, I would have some extra kizzash to donate to all of these different charities. Maybe I could afford to fly over to Africa/Asia/wherever else to see all the devastation, and it would hit me.

But I don’t. And until these celebrities are willing to live a middle class life with the rest of us, I really don’t want to hear them try to guilt trip me into feeling like this is my fault.

Until then, Natalie can have her African gorillas. I’ve got some homework to do.

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