Sunday, September 17, 2006

Celebrity Preachers

Anne Henderson points out another reason to ignore Appeals to Celebrity:

Al Gore... lectures at length on the need for all of us to change our lifestyles to save the planet. ...We have a choice he says - "to bring our carbon emissions to zero". We must use renewable energy and clothes lines, drive hybrid cars and cut back on consumption.

...He owns three homes, one of which is a 930sqm, 20-room, eight-bathroom home in Nashville and another a 370sqm house in Arlington, Virginia. ..."there is no evidence that Gore has signed up to use green energy". Gore usually travels to promote his film in a private jet.

Michael Moore, as Jef has previously pointed out... talks often of growing up in the working-class, wrong-side-of-the-tracks rust belt of Flint, Michigan. ...In fact, Moore grew up in nearby Davison, the son of a middle-class General Motors worker who owned the family home, drove two cars and played golf after work in the afternoons.

Moore has a penthouse in New York and an extensive property on Torch Lake, Michigan, made of 70-year-old Michigan red pine trees. ...he was recently cited by local authorities for despoiling a wetland in an attempt to extend his private beach.

Moore's image exudes the ordinary guy, the man who can hack it rough with no interest in consuming goods. He derides the elite for their excess and need for luxury. This is the same man who couldn't drink Poland Spring when backstage and had to have a ready supply of Evian. The same man who demanded he travel the country in a private jet and a fleet of four-wheel drives for his most recent book tour.

She goes on to point out the hypocrisy of other celebrity "know all - know nothings", such as Barbra Streisand (takes her neighbour to court because he took photos of her looking at four-wheel drives at a car dealership, in clear contradiction to a plea she made a few months before, asking Americans to reduce fuel emissions). And Ted Kennedy (appeals for greener choices; however the Kennedys, led by Ted, oppose a wind project off Hyannis where they sail, for example).

It's more often than not, I'd be willing to bet, a safe bet to ignore Appeals to Celebrity, especially when the appeal is coming directly from the celebrity. As Henderson says:

Let's save the planet by all means - but let's not be fooled by those who preach loudest but do not practise what they preach.