Téa Leoni & Sierra Leone: An EDUKATION

In the October, 2005 issue of *Real Simple* we find Di Modolo’s N.Y.C. Flagship Botique featuring Téa Leoni in a full-page ad…presenting her as an “Actress and UNICEF Ambassador.”

Then comes the elaboration, the celebration: “We admire and salute Téa Leoni’s dedication to UNICEF, a charity close to her and her family’s heart. As a mother, actress and humanitarian, Téa continues to inspire and motivate us all.”

What disgusting, smelly droppings.

Aside from the point that all issues of the magazine (and all its workers and subscribers) should be lumped into the nearest dumpster along with its offensively dangerous culinary counterpart, *Organic Style*, this is an opportunity for me to recommend Greg Campbell’s BLOOD DIAMONDS (2004)…which traces the path of “the world’s most deadly stones.” And to spotlight a cinematic slice of rare chrysolite, *The Edukators*.

*Recently defunct, thank goodness. (1)

As a rule, I don’t do book reviews. This, however, is a great window for slamming Leoni’s/celebrities’/the Real (”Life Made Easier”) Simple’s/Organic (”Fresh Living. Fresh Thinking”) Style’s fashionable means for contributing to a better world…as they garner PR/$ credits, and make things infinitely worse. AND for injecting a horribly neglected phenomenon into your bloodstream…as we tone down *the sparkle*.

Look, until readers stop supporting trendy, politically correct campaigns, UN PR, and virtually all movers and shakers, there’s absolutely no hope for light at the end of the dark tunnel we’re in post-Bush, impeached or not.

The vast majority of activists are either ignorant of or indifferent about the ongoing severing of hands in Africa so reminiscent of King Leopold’s reign. *Et plus*. Have rationalized why it’s ok to put the broad spectrum of suffering there on the backburner (whilst placing virtually all of their heartbeats into pushing for an Iraq pullout). Inexplicably, think that *Hotel Rwanda* is living proof that something positive has come down the pike.

In particular, the lefties with clout (read: with $ *et plus*) are in bed with the political counterpart to Easy Listening. And nothing short of making virtually all the Leonis, Di Modolos and dissidents (as presently constituted) *defunct* will satisfy me. Or Mother Earth.

How to do so? It’ll be easy for you to get started down that road once you’ve gotten past the superficial shine of everything from the Unhol(l)ywood’s Leonis to all the earth’s UNiters. Past the lefties living in the past. Past all the inorganic, rotting pasta being served up regularly in non-mainstream, dissenting quarters. Hans Weingartner’s *The Edukators* (”Die Fetten Jahre Sind Vorbei”), a 2004 German(/Austrian) gem might help too. For the very sensitive few.

And if you’re stuck, you should run into some luck by contacting me. The alternative is to keep getting better and better informed (w/o end), participate in deadend politics and…to keep your fat friends.

Campbell draws a definitive link between diamond sales and our support of enemy terrorists, but that’s one of the least attractive aspects of his work. It’s the clarity concerning current atrocities being committed in Africa, and their connection to our culpability, that consumes me. Without even considering that the book includes one of the great prologues of all time, that focus is worth the price of admission.

At the very least you’ll come away with virulent *hatred* for the Leonis, Di Modolos and UNameables of this world, and have a chance of feeling Deep Compassion/Proactive Concern for the so-called “isolated regional conflicts” of this world. (2)

And hope? As long as Daniel Bruhl (from *The Edukators*) never ends up in a flick with Téa it’ll bloom eternal.

Fatal Footnotes:

(1) The same, I’m sad to say, might be said about Sierra Leone and Liberia.

(2) I daresay you’ll get off of the bandwagon that gives such a priority to Iraq, and invests so much hope in mainstream alternatives to Bush too. And with regard to *hope*, I should think a reading of BLOOD DIAMONDS would make nonsense like Medea Benjamin’s “Ten Good Things About Another Bad Year” http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=72&ItemID=9441
very difficult to stomach. Which would be a sign of health, if I may say so. And I do. If you’re lookin’ for activist “hope” to embrace…limit yourself to the variety laid out in *The Edukators*.

Richard Oxman, info@parisgraves.com, currently lives in Los Gatos, California.