Displaying the false humility he is known for, CNN’s Anderson Cooper claims he has no idea why Angelina Jolie chose to cameo on “Anderson Cooper 360°”. To borrow Golda Meir’s apposite zinger, don’t be so humble, Anderson, you’re not that great.
Jolie chose Cooper for the same reason model Molly Sims effused to Donny Deutsch about him: “Omigod, Anderson Cooper was in the dressing room. I like love his ‘work.’” Sob sisters and simpletons simply adore him for his weepy, soft-news stories.
Jolie must have sensed Cooper could be trusted to quickly change the subject when she magnanimously allowed that “just because someone’s Republican doesn’t mean that they don’t also have the capacity to understand or care about children …”
Equally, Cooper could be counted on never to turn confrontational when she disclosed her intention to acquire another kid. This time, the quest for couture kids would be fully color-coordinated. (As you recall, around the time Paris Hilton made accessorizing with a Chihuahua “hot,” Jolie made it hip to wear an exotic, adopted, ankle biter on the hip.) Here’s what she said:
We don’t know which—which country. But we’re looking at different countries. And we’re—I’m just—it’s gonna be the balance of what would be the best for Mad[dox] and for Z. right now. It’s, you know, another boy, another girl, which country, which race would fit best with the kids.
Cooper’s response was to intone about how Jolie’s “work with refugees has shaped the family she’s creating with Brad Pitt.”
When speaking about crime and culpability (punishment is not an option), left-liberals like Jolie use the passive voice. Crimes are caused, not committed. Why, then, do Africans butcher, mutilate, and rape their compatriots with clockwork predictability? Why do grown, Sierra Leonenean men hack off the arms of little Sierra Leonenean girls and rape them to shreds? Why is this repeated in Uganda, Sudan, the Congo, Rwanda, Somalia—you name them?
Jolie offers a tautology: It’s “from the violence”—“they had their limbs cut off from the violence.” Or if you find this redundancy meaningless, she whips another bunny from her hat: blame “drugs, perhaps.”
Like Idi Amin, and the Prophet of Peace before him, Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, justifies his 20-plus years of senseless slaughter with reference to a vision from God. Like the Janjaweed militia of Sudan, this thug’s victims are primarily Christians and other non-Muslims.
Note to Jolie: one doesn’t need a multiple regression analysis to deduce that, besides endemic, age-old tribal strife, Islam contributes more to the equation of violence in Africa than, say, lack of education. The latter makes for resignation; the former for extreme agitation.
When it comes to Western inaction or American stinginess (which Jolie codifies as “the broader picture”), our iconic brainiac is quick to recognize both evil and linear causality: “We have—we colonized them,” she stammers. By the way, unscripted, the woman is incoherent; a scrambler of syntax. Consider this, vis-à-vis Iraq—it tumbled from her deformed mouth:[I]t’s—it’s done. It’s—we’re there. You start to see—the more times I have been to Washington, the more times you talk to somebody about, we have got to get money for AIDS orphans, or we have to get money for—whether it be any kind of response to any tragedy, often, the answer is, well, we’re at—we are at war right now. A lot of money’s going to war right now. We don’t have—so—so, you start to look at it in a different way.”
Where was I? Oh, the colonization canard. The only peace Africa has ever known has been during colonization. This is a fact—it by no means aims to justify or recommend colonialism. As historian Keith Windschuttle has noted, pseudo-scholars such as Edward Said and legions of liberal intellectuals have made careers out of “blaming Western imperialism for problems that were endemic to many societies both before and after their experiences as European colonies.”
Half a century hence, Jolie would do well to remember that the ideas of human rights—the dignity of the individual and the respect for diversity—are distinctly Western, an outgrowth of the Enlightenment. If not for Africa’s encounter with the West, these concepts would still be as alien there as Jolie is.
Indeed, the notion that “she has found her place among these people in need” is plainly ridiculous. Jolie is as misplaced in Africa as Oprah is. When not on missions of mercy, she lives a life of unimagined (and well-deserved) wealth. Even if she chose to relocate to a mud hut, wear grass skirts, and carry groceries on her head, she’d still be immune to every cruel contingency that plagues Africans.
Ditto the silver-haired Cooper. The son of heiress Gloria Vanderbilt, he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. To Jolie’s patronizing jabbering about how she “loves Africa and the refugees,” Cooper retorted inanely that, “They are everyone. We all could be refugees at one point or another in our lives.”
How dishonest. Face it, in a crisis, certain prototype, potential refugees would be spirited away to safety; the rest of us would be left to rot. These two extraordinarily privileged individuals (Jolie because the public likes what she peddles; Cooper because of his kinship) chuckled as she mocked the Golden-Globes crowd.
This is the nub of Jolie’s pretensions. Not content to proclaim she has found a way to give meaning to a previously vacuous and vain life, Jolie needs more. She needs to feel as exceptional as when she advertised carrying ex-husband Billy Bob Thornton’s blood in a vial around her neck. To retain a heightened sense of her own uniqueness, she derides the hollow heads of Hollywood.
In addition to a Billy-Bob tattoo, seared into Jolie’s flesh is a proclamation of her love for the UN’s Declaration of Human Rights. She hyperventilates about the roster of rights (almost all of the positive, bogus variety) listed by the UDHR. “These things are in our law. There are—there are—if you really look into it, we’re all protected somehow.”
Yes, victims of Congolese war lords (in Africa, that often means the government) would be protected if only they too could etch in ochre “Know Your Rights” on their emaciated backs.
So far, Jolie has put her money where her monstrous mouth is. Of late, however, she has ventured onto Bono’s philanthropy-by-proxy turf. She’ll soon be heading to Washington to petition for the transfer of funds not her own into corrupt African coffers.
Concerning the morality of taxpayer’s money compulsorily collected and distributed, I suggest Jolie study Lord Peter Bauer’s “Dissent on Development,” instead of the UN promo-pamphlets she professed to reading. Bauer, the foremost authority on foreign aid, knew the importance to civil society of voluntary giving—the kind Jolie must be praised for, so far. Foreign aid he saw as “outside the area of volition and choice.”
Alas, I suspect book recommendations from white, ex-South-Africans don’t count for much. Come to think of it, dying white Africans don’t matter much either. It’s hard to imagine Jolie tearing up over the systematic extermination of Boer Afrikaners by blacks. Or visiting an Israeli child who has survived a suicide bombing. I know she has hung out with the M.O.P.E (Most Oppressed People Ever, AKA the Palestinians).
I guess some people just don’t die as well as others.
©2006 By Ilana Mercer