Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Life is Not a Movie

I'm a bit late to this story, but I can't help laughing at the sheer presumption of this couple:

Bill Clinton failed, Tony Blair drew a blank and Kofi Annan made little progress. But now a team of Hollywood film stars is about to visit the Middle East on a private peace mission, in the belief that their charms will work magic on the Israeli-Arab conflict.

Brad Pitt, his wife, Jennifer Aniston, and Danny DeVito are among the stars who aim to succeed where world statesmen have stumbled.

"The past few years of conflict mean that yet another generation of Israelis and Palestinians will grow up in hatred," reads a statement from Pitt and Aniston. "We cannot allow that to happen."

Quite how they intend to stop it is not entirely clear. The logic behind their mission, planned to take place before the end of the year, is not especially sophisticated.

Pitt and Aniston believe that most people in the region want a negotiated settlement with an end to violence, and imagine that by appealing directly to "ordinary folk", they can bring the warring parties together.

In a region suffering from peace initiative fatigue, however, Israelis and Palestinians have greeted news of the Hollywood initiative with bemusement and incredulity.

I suppose one of the dangers of living in the Hollywood milieu, with all its' groupies, sycophants and glad-handers, is that one might start buying into the belief that one really is as special, as talented and as significant as one is continously being told one is. Do these clowns really imagine that the likes of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and his acolytes stay up at night to watch the latest episode of Friends?

Schwarzenegger might have been elected governor of California, but he at least has a long-standing interest in politics, as well as a coherent philosophy to go with it. Nothing I've seen or heard leads me to believe that Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt have ever given much deep thought to the major issues of the day, much less sought out the likes of Milton Friedman as Schwarzenegger actually did. This is the sort of ignorant do-goodism that gives well-meaning activists a bad name.