Today’s title/song is one of my favourites. It’s by Aimee Mann, someone I never would have listened to had one of my friends not suggested her when I was looking for some new music.
If you watch ‘House’ (and you should), you’ll know that House electrocuted himself last night. I wanted to do the same thing yesterday afternoon. My POLS 405 class discussed Senate reform for 2 1/2 hours. I was looking for something to stick in that socket. Anything.
Now, I have no problem with discussing Senate reform – usually. But 2 1/2 hours of it?!?! In desperation, I finally jumped into the conversation and asked, “Does anyone actually believe the Senate will ever be reformed?” Honestly, I don’t believe it will be. PM Stephen Harper is going to try his darndest to implement reforms of some kind (though he’d really like it to vanish if he can’t get what he wants), but I don’t think he’s going to be successful. The rationale for my pessimism is simple: we’ve talked about Senate reform for decades, and yet, nothing has happened. And nothing will.
Stephen Lewis was on ‘The Hour with George Stomboulopoulos‘ last night. I’m a Stephen Lewis follower. If he had a fan club, I’d be it’s president. Maybe I should start one…
Anyway, he and George were talking about celebrity involvement in humanitarian causes. Lewis believes our celebrities are only leaders because of “the absence of political leadership.” Amen to that. I know Angelina Jolie is helping to draw attention to the plight of the world’s most destitute, and that’s great, but the fact that various leaders have met with her and some people actually believe that she’s a source of authority on the subject shows a sad state of political leadership. And as Lewis said, “adopting 4 kids does not solve the problem of 15 million orphans.” No kidding.
Celebrities should be philanthropists. Goodness they have enough money to do it. And the media coverage to help issues gain exposure. But I’m uncomfortable with the public looking to them for political guidance. I’m still shaking my head over Bono’s appearance at the Liberal party convention in 2003 (?) when Paul Martin became Liberal leader/PM. He had no place being at that convention.
Back to Stephen Lewis and his amazing work on behalf of AIDS victims. This year’s winner of the Nobel Peace Prize will be announced this Friday, October 12th. Everyone is talking about Al Gore as a possible winner, who would share his aware with another global warming advocate, Canadian-Inuit Sheila Watt-Cloutier (I’d never heard of her until last week). Slate.com handicaps this year’s possible winners, and Lewis has odds of 10/1. His odds should be better. He’s a completely worthy candidate. And more so than Gore.
I have no problem with Gore. He should have been President of the US for the past 8 years. I thought ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ was very good. Gore’s advocacy of solutions to global warming should be commended. But… I apologize for the lack of tact in the following statement, but I don’t know how else to phrase it: how many people has global warming killed? And should we be giving someone a Peace Prize for combating an issue that not everyone agrees actually exists (not that I personally dispute the evidence)? Though I hesitate to compare two calamities, AIDS currently has far more devastating impacts and consequences than global warming. The AIDS crisis in Africa is far underreported compared to the constant media attention given to global warming (remember the ‘green’ Oscars, the ‘green’ Emmys, ‘Live Earth’?). In other words, AIDS in Africa needs the publicity from a Peace Prize. And Stephen Lewis is one of the few people on this earth who would use that notoriety to shine light on the issue and those affected.
And the Nobel Peace Prize goes to…
It’d better damn well be Stephen Lewis.
Listening to and love:
Feist – ‘The Reminder’
LeAnn Rimes – ‘Family’
Kathleen Edwards – ‘Failer’
Neko Case – ‘Fox Confessor Brings the Flood’
The White Stripes – ‘Icky Thump’