Letter to one.org

I don't know if you have seen the commercial for one.org or not, if you haven't it is on their site. They are attempting to promote their cause using a lot of star power and it made my feel sick to my stomach.
Here is what I wrote them:

I am concerned with several aspects of your organization's goal. As stated on your website and commercial you aren't looking for people to give money, you are instead looking for people to give their vote in order to urge congress and the government to help people in other countries.

The first problem is that if congress were to agree to help these countries and decided to pass the 1% budget increase that you show on your website, that would be an approximate agreement of 26 billion dollars (based on the 2.6 trillion dollar figure reported by Yahoo News http://dailynews.yahoo.com/s/nm/congress_budget_dc). Where do you think this money comes from? In case you haven't figured it out, that money comes from tax payers, which means that not only are you asking for our vote, BUT you ARE asking for our money as well, just in a round about way. If it goes through the way you are asking for it, it isn't even a voluntary thing, it is instead a mandated charity.

The second problem is with the fact that you seemed to have rounded up a really large group of star power people for your commercial. Brad Pitt, P Diddy, Tom Hanks and of course Bono… wow lots of faces. What I haven't noticed is any news about these people giving up their money to help in the cause. I noticed in the commercial that P Diddy is still wearing his extravagant diamond earrings and in recent pictures I have still noticed lots of the actors carrying plenty of “Bling”. I would think that P Diddy's earrings would feed several hundred people if he were to sell them for the cash. Why is it that these celebrities have no problem getting on television to ask us to give our money when they seem to give so little a percentage of theirs? If I were to decide to give $10,000 to help that is a pretty big chunk of my annual salary, but if Brad Pitt gives $10,000 that is like a couple suits for him isn't it? Do the actors feel bad that they have these lavish cars, houses, and boats while other people in the world don't? Perhaps they should look into selling them and getting something more modest. Then taking the left over money and giving it to your organization. What is Oprah worth? 1 Billion? Perhaps you could get her to give you 500 Million dollars to help you along. I mean what can she do with a billion dollars that she can't do with 500 Million? Does Tom Hanks have any plans to donate ALL the profit from his next movie to this cause? I'll start thinking about casting my vote for you when I see George Clooney living in a three bedroom, two bath, ranch style somewhere. Does he honestly need more than that?

The third problem I have is with the fact that we have people that are experiencing these problems right here in the US. Perhaps these actors don't notice it, because they live in the parts of the US that only have beautiful people in them. I guess they see more of the other countries when they are out on their multi-million dollar movie shoots and vacations. That would explain why they are so eager to help other people instead of spending some time and money to help people here. I hear Flint Michigan needs an influx of money maybe you should start there and work your way through the US, then head out to the foreign shores.


I don't deny that their cause is a good one. People in other countries do need help, but their blatant use of the people that could do the most to help them as an advertising gimmick really made me mad.

This entry was posted in Thoughts and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Letter to one.org

  1. Jeff says:

    Very well said, Brent. IMO this is just an activist fad that will be gone in no time. I’m all for charity and I believe that some things are worth fighting for, but this smells of the kind of hypocracy rampant in Hollywood. I wonder if we could get Brad or Mr. Diddy on the “Ban DiHydrogen Monoxide” train. . .

  2. Brent says:

    You probably could, but I bet you wouldn’t get much money out of them. 🙂

  3. maxx says:

    Bravo. Well said. I have all kinds of problems with this in addition to the ones that you raised.
    First off, we’re a capitalistic free-market country. Now you can spin that however you want, but since there is a finite amount of worldwide financial capital, it stands to reason that if one person/group has a lot, someone else/group has very little. Being philanthropic is all well and good when it is on an individual level- as in “I give to deserving person X”; but on a governmental level- as in “The US Govt donated X billion packages of milk to war-torn Rwanda” – then that lends itself to corruption and middlemen making a huge profit. Look at the UN and the Iraqi oil-for-food program. Hell, if the UN (essentially an organiation built on the concept of international charity) can’t get it right, then why would we expect that the US would??!! The whole point of free market economics is that the strong survive, the weak adapt or get trampled. This is a harsh world and it is about time we all came to terms with it.
    Second, these very same actors/musicians (though many of them can’t act worth a damn and those shitty remakes with “uhh, uhh” in every other stanza of song that P. Diddy remixes is most definitely not ‘music’) are the ones that rail on against ‘internet piracy’ of their ‘art’. While domestic pirates may be a problem, very few of them are profiteers. Stroll down the streets of Asia, and you see people selling DVDs and music CDs of the latest releases on the street. And these are the same people that Brad Pitt and P Diddy want to ‘uplift’?? In the same vein as your letter, why can’t these artists agree to pledge 50 cents from every disk/DVD that sells to go towards this AIDS-fighting/poverty-eradicating plan? That would certainly be a strong argument to say “don’t pirate disks – it takes the food out of the mouths of people that really need it to survive”. (I would personally still have a social objection to doing this, but I could at least agree with it as being a better option).
    Third, a large reason that AIDS and poverty are problems are because of social and religious reasons – and NOT because of lack of financial support. The old Pope (PJP2) could have come out and said “yeah yeah… Jesus didn’t use condoms because there weren’t enough people around back in the BC, but I had a conversation with him over easter and he said he’s changed his mind after watching MTV”. This in itself would have made a huge difference to the AIDS pandemic in Africa – most of the infected people continue to have sexual relations without any protection, because they believe that it conflicts with their religious beliefs. And what holds true of the Pope, also holds true of the Islamic mullahs. A consensus on condoms between these two religions- the church and islam- would reduce the spread of AIDS by a large percentage. Why don’t Brad Pitt and P Diddy spend their time trying to convince this small group of people (one pope plus several mullahs) instead of trying to get millions of Americans to vote their own hard-earned tax dollars?! And the same is true of poverty – the reason people in developing countries remain poor, is because they have a lower standard of living, which multinational companies continue to exploit. And they exploit this because we, American consumers, demand cheaper goods! We could just as easily solve this problem by agreeing to not shop at ‘designer clothign stores’ – and isn’t it interesting that those very same designer labels pay people like (drum roll) P Diddy and Brad Pitt big bucks to serve as models in GQ and Rolling Stone and other such fashion rags.
    These f–kers are just a bunch of worthless hypocrites. The last election has seen an upsurge in “actor/activists” (watch any TV show and you’ll see that Tim Robbins is no longer just an “actor”), and they are using the opportunity to shamelessly peddle their uber-socialistic agenda- while getting rich exploiting the existing capitalistic system. As you said, either they start by giving up their own 9 figure salaries, or quit with the hypocrisy of suggesting that the middle class bear out the cost of their social conscience.

  4. Brent says:

    P Diddy actually has his own clothing label. Sean John. I don’t know for sure, but I bet they aren’t made in America. I wonder if he demanded that the people who made his clothes get a decent wage and great insurance.

  5. maxx says:

    Nope. Since his employees weren’t American, they weren’t eligible to VOTE. And since P Diddy is such a man of his word, they got the alternative option- the “.. Or DIE!” one.

  6. maxx says:

    And just so that P Diddy isn’t the only one getting a bashing (though he is such an easy target…), let me just say after seeing Bono’s support for one.org, I’m glad he got turned down for the President of the World Bank. Not that I was pleased about Wolfowitz, but I’m glad to see that we won’t be getting randomly raped out of some tax monies to fund Bono’s personal projects – however humanitarian they might seem.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *