The Null Device

Celebrity: How Entertainers Took Over the World and Why We Need an Exit Strategy

A new book reveals how well-meaning but clueless celebrities adopting worthy causes just make things worse:
Her contemptuously funny deconstruction of Sharon Stone's knee-jerk me-me-me! posturings on world affairs reveal the Basic Instinct star as not so much an idiot savant as just an idiot. She recounts Stone's attendance at the 2005 Davos World Economic Forum (!) where she grandstanded during a speech about malaria, offering $10,000 to buy mosquito nets for infected countries. By the end of the session, Shaz had browbeaten fellow delegates to pledge $1 million for the cause.... This all sounds dandy, but a year later, only $250,000 was given, so UNICEF had to come up with $750,000 - money that had to be diverted from other projects. Then there's the tricky detail that many of these nets are accepted by dirt-poor governments who sell them on the black market.

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