And if Bono rang you up and said he wanted you to be artistic advisor for one of his gigs promoting this ‘One World One Dream’ ideal and he’d pay you a lot of money for it, so much so that the shame of working with U2 was totally rescinded, you’d no doubt quickly jump on board and put on one hell of a 3D laser-fest.
But what if it turned out that Bono, on his days off, in acquiescence to his idyllic showmanship, was financially supporting genocide in Darfur? And what if it turned out that, in the past, in an effort to reach this ‘One World One Dream’ ideal, he had ritualistically executed somewhere between 40 and 90 million of his own fans who didn’t quite ‘get it’? And what if he had scared the Dalai Lama away from his peaceful Tibetan home and into a friendship with Richard Gere? Would you still be happy to dazzle the world with your laser-show?
Of course, that’s all hypothetical; Bono doesn’t have any of those atrocities on his head; he has a whole host of his own to worry about. But the Chinese Government has apparently been funding the Darfur genocide and Steven Spielberg is the man it has hired to advise the artistic development of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, much to the annoyance of UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and human rights activist/actress Mia Farrow.
According to Mia Farrow:
"It has been nearly a year since Mr. Spielberg contacted President Hu about Beijing's role in the Darfur genocide. Given the deteriorating situation on the ground, we hope that Mr. Spielberg will waste no more time – and officially distance himself from the Games."
However, Andy Spahn, a representative for Mr. Spielberg, insists the director is doing all he can to help stop the atrocities in Darfur – even spearheading the campaign led by George Clooney and Don Cheadle to bring the world's attention to the crisis. Spahn told the New York Post:
"Steven left the set of his Indiana Jones movie to fly to New York to meet with the Chinese delegation. He is totally committed to stopping the genocide in Darfur."
In September 2004 US Secretary of State Colin Powell acknowledged the situation in Darfur to be ‘genocide’, before he and his government proceeded to do little to nothing about it. UN Coordinator Mukesh Kapila has said that it is "the world's worst humanitarian crisis," and he and the UN have gone on to write a number of very aggressive letters. So, amidst all this, how dare Spielberg work hand-in-hand with China. He hasn’t faced such uproar since he was asked to defend the plot of War Of The Worlds – and he had a bloody futile case then.
One way of looking at it is that there are very few countries in the world that don’t have a history with similar depravity – apart from maybe Finland. The US, after all, has had its fair share of embarrassing moments, with the Native Americans, the slave trade, Vietnam, Iraq and Justin Timberlake to name but a few.
Even in dear old England we’ve done some shit in Ireland that’ll never make it into our secondary school history syllabus. So would it not – in Mia's eyes – be a similarly offensive act to work in conjunction with the games if they were held in LA or London? Perhaps Spielberg is just taking in the bigger picture and is working with China to improve relationships and move into a better future for us all?
What do you think: A supporter of genocide, or merely a man of progression? Leave your comments below.
To find out more on the crisis in Darfur, visit www.miafarrow.org.