Thursday, May 19, 2005

Conspicuously Compassionate Con-artists

Noticed these "MAKEpovertyHISTORY" armbands everyone seems to tote about just to show how caring and right-on they are?

I fucking hate them, and their cunting strips of white silicone!

I mean, the preachy tone that some of the MPH movement's exponents give off is worrisome. You could have just had a £50 hooker in the Bentley, had your way with her, snorted cocaine off her tits, and then beat her up and left her cunny-sore and bloodstained on the kerb, but as long as you have the little MPH armband you are officially a Nice Person.

Are you a failing celebrity (read: socialite munter) and need to boost your profile? No Problem! Just record a horrendous, heart-wrenchingly compassionate little number and announce that you'll (allegedly) donate the profits to charity, stick some starving kids in the video just for fun and profit (you evil exploitative little fuck, you!) cut, print, and build. You'll rake in the cash and your popularity will shoot up exponentially. Hopefully you'll get a hard core of fanboys (all of whom, of course, are equally conspicuously compassionate) who can administer the moral smackdown to anyone who accuses you of profile-mongering.

Oh, and you don't have to give all that money to good causes you know... Just claim it, and cover up the rest. Done right, you might make enough to buy yourself a brand-spanking-new Saleen S7 to go with the Bentley and the Mercedes Maybach and the Hummer H2 you keep in your cathedral-sized garage! Nobody will ever notice, and you cannot put a foot wrong in the tabloid press for a long, long time.

(Who in the blue fuck is Ms. Dynamite anyhow? Didn't she fade into obscurity back in 2001?)

And another thing - Ever noticed the initiatives about which everyone is so conspicuously compassionate? Stopping AIDS? Boycotting companies that have links, however sixth-hand and tenuous, to repressive regimes? What are people doing to bring clean water to the millions who can't have a glass of it? We don't see any pop singers recording things like "I Give a Shit About Dysentery" and wearing brown lapel ribbons, do we? Noooo! This further supports my belief that the whole conspicuously compassionate movement is a giant publicity stunt.

(Veins adds that this "end justifies the means" rhetoric is dangerous; I agree.)

I went to a fair trade protest in London the other week. It started off in Westminster Abbey, where we got to listen to the obligatory folky-type World Music and bad, over-sentimental poetry, and then some speeches. Now one of these speeches, by a leading South African bishop or church official, set out pretty logical arguments as to why paying one's workers in 3W countries made economic sense, but then buried it with a huge fucking guilt trip.

Credibilty = Credibility - 27.

I mentioned this to a person I was with, who said that "Maybe you should feel fucking guilty about it!!" and flounced off before I could point out that guilt doesn't cure AIDS or provide clean water or set up free and fair democratic elections.

I mentioned this to another person later on and they refused to listen to me, claiming "It's for a good cause so you cannot criticise it." I was then accused of being a "cynical right-winger" and all but told to fuck off to Auschwitz where I belonged.

Maybe if people quit getting all het up and emotional and thought for themselves then all these Noble and Charitable causes would have more credibility... People are more easily swayed by logic than by emotionality. Well, they should be at least. But they're not. Why? Because people are afraid of independent thought. The whole conspicuously compassionate movement has such a witch-hunt mentality at times, as I have seen, that people would rather shut up and be thought an idiot than open their mouths and remove all doubt from the minds of their fellow crusaders.

People feel guilty about AIDS/starvation/child soldiers/trade justice, so they give to charities and buy five-inch strips of silicone. But the effects of AIDS/starvations/3W debt make it so easy for victims to look suffering and sorrowful, don't they? Let's see any telethons show images of dehydrated corpses with diarrhoea stains down their thighs, eh? "People need to be told about it!" People would probably deride it as sick and exploitative, even though it's just "showing people the nature of the problem." And it's no more exploitative than snapping pictures of starving children, which is also "showing people the nature of the problem." Of course, the "massively-hearted" celebrities probably won't go near anything that icky except to pour scorn on it; look at what wanking a pig did to Rebecca Loos. So imagine what living for six months in a cholera-crippled African village digging a well would do to them!

Oh, and if anyone's going to sock me with an overwrought emotional outpouring and blistering accusations about how I "cannot possibly know what it's like," you can go rape a rope. I only listen to well-thought-through ideas.

Rant over.


At 9:06 pm, Blogger Sable X. Veins said...

That Sable X. Veins Forum Response in Full...

Thank Lucifer someone else thinks this way!  I've tried making the same point many, many times regarding everything from wristbands to Band Aid, but have always been shot down with the argument "it doesn't matter, because it's going to charity."  So... what you're saying is, the end justifies the means?  That's a dangerous argument.

Furthermore, I have had my character assassination attempts destroyed by the defence "he's using his fame to bring these problems to the public's attention!"  No, you're right, because AIDS and Third World Debt aren't already the most popularly publicised charity bandwagons.  Thank Christ we have another failing celebrity to inform me about the devastation caused by the Tsunami, because since I live in a twelve-foot thick lead bank vault buried beneath a mile of ice in Antarctica, I had no idea!  One wonders what would become of falling stars who attempted to boost their popularity by advocating General Welfare of the Blind, or any civil rights movement?  The blind aren't nearly as dramatic or picturesque as Tsunami victims, and civil rights abuses aren't as conveniently black/white and blameless as natural disasters.

In addition, buying wristbands and CDs is not the only way of giving to worthy causes.  I am perfectly capable of donating money to Amnesty International or the Tsunami Appeal or any other charitable group without advertising my charitable acts or endorsing crimes against music.  "So - wait - I get to contribute to the Narcissistic self-marketing of holier-than-thou celebrity bandwagoners and take home one of the worst songs ever recorded, all in the name of charity?  Where do I sign?"

I believe it is Judaism that teaches that the highest form of charitable donation is anonymous.

I am also reminded of a Medieval tradition within the Catholic Church: selling indulgences.

Need I say more?



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