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Monday, July 13, 2009

Just Another Publicity Stunt

"Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they might be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will repay you." (Mt 6:1-3, RSV)

I saw this story at Big Hollywood - David Arquette: Making a Difference in a Box by Alexander Marlow - and that Scripture passage immediately came to mind.

Thursday night, the AP reported David Arquette, best known for the “Scream” franchise and for being Mr. Courtney Cox, is going to “live in a box to raise money for the hungry.” In typical Hollywood fashion, this stunt is trumped up, if not downright goofy. To sum it up, Snickers is sponsoring Arquette to sit in a cushy box in New York on Tuesday and Wednesday, eight hours per day, to raise hunger awareness. Consult facebook.com/snickers for more.

Apparently, the AP’s definition of “living” in a box is two eight-hour shifts over two days. [...] In a gesture of solidarity with America’s poor, Arquette’s Plexiglas abode will be furnished.

Their not-so-ambitious goal: to raise $250,000, probably the amount Arquette makes off royalties from “Scream” DVD rentals every Halloween. I bet it will cost at least that much just to promote the event.

In what might be a hunger-awareness first, Arquette plans to chow down while in the box, and considering the event is put on by Snickers (part of the Mars, Inc.), he’s likely to gain weight over the two days. But this event is not about hunger or charity or starving people–it’s about selling chocolate bars. I’m a free market guy, so I don’t mind that Snickers hired a celeb to pimp their product, but nougat gives me moobs and not even David Arquette in a publicly displayed human-sized fish tank (complete with ottoman) can change that.

Besides, among America’s poor, very few are starving but very many are obese and wrongly fed as opposed to underfed. If we are serious about fighting against deficient nutrition in America, should the people behind the best-selling candy bar of all time lead the charge? The problem isn’t starvation, it’s Snickers.

I might say this story made me snicker, but that's giving it too much credit.

Thus appears the latest example of "Look at our great intentions!! Aren't we wonderful?" So much more could be done for the needy in this world if those with money and influence (ie: Arquette and Snickers) donated it anonymously - this gimmick smacks of notoriety and self-promotion. Arquette's career needs a boost or something, and Snickers is taking advantage of an advertising opportunity, pure and simple. I'm doubtful of any sincerity seeing as how Arquette will be eating during his publicity stunt in the box, a box that will be furnished, no less. Like all Hollywood stunts, this is fake and contrived.

In the end, the actor and the promoter will receive their reward - attention and sales. Meanwhile, the poor and hungry have paltry crumbs thrown their way, and wait until the next celebutard publicity stunt.

[Monitor Preservation Alert!] Oh - and this is totally hilarious - if you click on "moobs" - don't be eating or drinking at the time. That's my PSA for today.