I’m just a little person, which means I’m not a celebrity. And yet everyday, I try to be a good mom, wife, writer and friend. For a year now, we’ve been recycling and I volunteer my time teaching Sunday school and working with the Boy Scouts. I don’t mention this to pat myself on the back, but to point out that this is just what my family and I do and we did it long before Obama was elected.
I’m fortunate enough to know many people who also share their gifts in many other ways and do the best they can for their families, their neighbors and communities. And they did these things before Obama was elected. Maybe I’m naïve, but I’d like to think that most of us live outside ourselves and do our small part
That’s why the four minute, 18 second “I Pledge” video really irks me.
It seems Obama’s election made Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore feel inspired to make a video with all their friends pledging to do things better now that there is a new President. That’s all well and good. I congratulate them for trying to turn over a new leaf. What makes me disgusted is the motivation behind this. They did this to inspire the rest of us to change. And what some of these celebrities pledge is laughable.
Some pledge to be better fathers and mothers. Really? You need a new President in the White House to inspire you to become a better parent? Don’t you have any self-motivation? One celebrity pledges to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. I don’t know how an actress is qualified to do that, but okay. Ashton Kutcher pledges to, “Always represent my country with pride, dignity and honesty.” Heaven knows too many celebrities have represented their country with disdain, disgust and criticism in the past.
A couple of celebrities I don’t know pledge to find out the names of their neighbors and Cameron Diaz pledges “to give my neighbor a smile.” Do celebrities really need to make a pledge to do something that is automatic for most people? I guess if you live on a massive estate behind gates, you wouldn’t know your neighbors or be compelled to smile at the bastards. The majority of us, however, don’t live that way so don’t lecture us on how we should relate to the people who live next door.
One thing that surprised me is I found out my father was an environmentalist long before it was cool. He used to say, “Turn off the GD lights when you’re not in the room. You think I’m made of money?” The eco-conscious P Diddy pledges to “turn the lights off because I used to leave them on, but now we need to conserve energy, so you turn them off, too.” Yes, sir, P Diddy. I’ll do exactly that. All because you’re doing it, not because most of us were raised that way.
The thing that made me laugh out loud was when the lady who plays Earl’s ex-wife on My Name is Earl actually pledges, “to help children understand that just because they come from a small place, doesn’t mean they can’t dream big.” What the hell is that about? C’mon people! Do we really need a celebrity to validate those of us who live in fly-over territory?
The egos behind this project are outrageously huge and they overestimate their influence on the population at large. Like most celebrity projects, this is something that makes celebrities feel good, gets their faces on a screen and yet will accomplish nothing.