Tuesday, December 04, 2007
soemtimes folks get it right
often i am too cynical, too jaded. last night my lovely and gracious wife, knowing just how to goad me, informed me that brad pitt was going to make an announcement today on some morning show. my immediate reaction was to guess that he was about to announce his political support for a candidate. my wife and i mulled over the silliness of such announcements on both the part of the announcer as well as the audience members who might be swayed to vote a certain way via celeb endorsements. pat sajak nailed it when he said, “If any group of citizens is uniquely unqualified to tell someone else how to vote, it's those of us who live in the sheltered, privileged arena of celebrityhood. It's one thing to buy an ab machine because Chuck Norris recommends it (he's in good shape, isn't he?) or a grill because George Foreman's name is on it (he's a great guy, so it must be a great grill!), but the idea of choosing the Leader of the Free World based on the advice of someone who lives in the cloistered world of stardom seems a bit loony to me.” however, i must admit i was wrong and quite pleasantly surprised to read that pitt’s announcements had little to do with overt politics; rather, he announced today “(i)n a telephone interview from New Orleans, where he plans to present the designs today, Mr. Pitt said the residents of the (Lower Ninth Ward) had been homeless long enough. ‘They’re coming up on their third Christmas,’ he said. Mr. Pitt said he had been attached to New Orleans for more than a decade. ‘I’ve always had a fondness for this place — it’s like no other,’ he said. ‘Seeing the frustration firsthand made me want to return the kindness this city has shown me.’ Rather than bemoan the slow pace of redevelopment in the Ninth Ward, Mr. Pitt said he decided to address the problem directly by teaming with William McDonough, the green design expert; Graft, a Los Angeles architecture firm; and Cherokee, an investment firm based in Raleigh, N.C., that specializes in sustainable redevelopment.” i work with students everyday who have been effected by Katrina and are indeed still trying to recoup some normalcy in their lives three years later. our campus, which took around a $55 million hit from the storm, has yet to received a satisfactory insurance settlement. as a result, the troubles faced by our institution of higher learning provides us a daily mirror image of what some individuals have faced over the past three years. i would like to take just a moment to thank brad pitt and the countless others who have, over the last few years, put their money, time, and effort (no matter how great or small) into the recovery efforts of gulf coast region.