Danny DeVito, International Man of Intrigue


"Many Palestinians do not even have television sets. What is more, for the past three years here no one has listened to anyone, so what makes these people think they will listen to Danny DeVito?"

That's Israeli sociologist Oz Almog telling the London Telegraph what he thinks of a new Hollywood intervention into the Middle East. DeVito, along with A-listers such as Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, have announced that they will be going to Israel on a "mission" sometime before the end of the year.

Pitt and Aniston believe that most people in the region want a negotiated settlement with an end to violence, and imagine that by appealing directly to "ordinary folk", they can bring the warring parties together.

My money is on TV's Louie De Palma. If he can't unify Palestinians and Israelis by giving them something to hate in common, they'll never get together.

NEXT: "The baby figure of a giant mass"

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  1. Yeah we get it. Hollywood people are dumb so why they taking up progressive cause. Ha ha so funny, but unlike you Frat-boy president and your hillbilly war supporters, I bet Hollywood types can actually find Iraq on a map.

  2. There is nothing quite so irritating as entertainers’ idea that because people watch them in movies, people will listen to their generally uninformed political views.

    The show stopper, of course, was the spectacle of Bono ushering around high ranking politicians because he knew what was ‘really happening’ in Africa. If only we could see the truth!

    Sarandon and Robbins, now Pitt and Aniston. Ugh. What monumental arrogance to believe that temporary celebrity is enough to overcome the hundred years of mistrust and resentment in the region.

    Come on Brad, if you want to tell me how to get a six pack before my next photo shoot, I’ll listen. I only hope that they are not so incredibly insulting that someone shoots them and declares a jihad in the name of the ‘common man’.

  3. I propose that posts like the above be defined as “Funky Grandpa Posts.”

    “I know this story! The year was nineteen ought three. Thre president was the divine Miss Sandra Berhart! And everyone was doing a dance called the Funky Grandpa! Oh…I’m…the…zzzzzzzzzzzz.”


  4. It’s not that they’re dumb (though they are), it’s that they’re poseurs and dilettantes, you jackass.

    Oh but wait, how could I forget the important work Burt Reynolds did on SALT II. Then there was the Mary Pickford brokered Versailles Treaty. And I doubt the War of 1812 would have ened if it hadn’t been for Edmund Kean’s intercession.

  5. joe:

    I don’t follow the funky grandpa thing …

  6. Sorry about the collateral damage, JL. The round was meant for the top post.

  7. Some things never change. Some truths are eternal. Some things are just facts of life. You live. You die. You pay taxes. Israelis hate Palestinians. Palestinians hate Israelis. We should all get used to it. It’s a simple truth. It’s been true for so long now, that very few on either side really know for sure when it began. But the fact is that both sides believe that the land presently known as “Israel” rightly belongs to their people. In fact, not only does each side believe that it belongs to them, each side believes that God ordained them to be there. Each side also believes that God hates the other side. There is no middle ground here. There never has been a middle ground here. And there never will be a middle ground here. There will never be a peace between these sides. As onlookers, the only thing we can do is stay out of the conflict, lest the wrath of one side or the other be turned on us (i.e. 9/11). Unfortunately, this is one thing that our present administration (and countless other Demican and Republocrat administrations before it) have screwed up on, evidenced by our inexplicable continued $upport of Israel.

  8. Yeah, those celebrities who meddle in politics should just shut up. Dennis Miller, Charlton Heston, and Arnold don’t have anything worthy to say, right?

  9. let’s not forget when we got rid of segragation, we also had the wrath of the klan. better to live and let the klan live i say!

  10. Brad, ideologies can change (or just sort of be ignored) when the facts on the ground aren’t making people look for a reason to behave abominably.

  11. “When you’re a Jet you’re a Jet all the way, from your first cigarette to your last dying day”

    We just need a well publicized romance between Arafat’s son and Sharon’s daughter to bring all parties to their senses.

  12. “Yeah, those celebrities who meddle in politics should just shut up. Dennis Miller, Charlton Heston, and Arnold don’t have anything worthy to say, right?”

    The problem comes when they support something they clearly don’t understand, like Sarandon protesting the WTO but not knowing why or when Bono thinks that Paul O’ Neil doesn’t know that people are suffering in Africa. And, at the end of the day, all political views are not equally defensible, so an ignoramus who supports an obviously silly position looks dumb while an ignoramus who supports a position that is well supported elsewhere might get away with it for a while.

  13. Brad S, if you think making it easier for the terrorism and racism that is the Palestinian side of the Israel controversy, then forget morality (which you seem to have forgotten a long time ago), you don’t even understand what works strategically.

  14. To anon at 5:43 – if you think making it easier for me to read sentence fragments that is basically what your post was, then forget English grammar (which you seem to have forgotten a long time ago), you don’t even know how to write coherently.

  15. Brad S,
    Well said. Even worse, should events conspire to end the conflict between Isreal and the Palesinians, they would turn inwards and start fighting among themselves.

    Code of the dessert:
    “Everybody different than me must die. Those whom are most different must die first. Those whom are least different will help me kill them.”

    Even so, with Lawrence Garfield on the job, there’s reason to hope

  16. Wow, TomPaine2, I would have imagined that someone who would use such a lofty “blog handle” would be able to string together at least one grammatically correct sentence! It helps with the whole credibility thing… And of course the average educational accomplishments of that revered segment of our society that pretends for a living is…? The only thing that makes them look less stupid and irrelevant is when they are juxtaposed with the masses of dullards who adore and support them financially by paying to see of hear their vapid tripe!!

  17. I saw it when Arnold announced he was running for governor and I see it now: many people are proud to admit that they’re bigoted against actors.

    Sure, their efforts are likely to be absolutely fruitless, but it’s still a kind gesture. And all you people can do is disparage them for being stupid and/or naive? They see a terrible tragedy, they think they can do something to help the situtation, and they go out and make an effort. What dicks!

  18. Andy D:

    Maybe I’m being cynical, but don’t you think that what’s really driving them is not kindness, but rather arrogance and a hunger for publicity? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not claiming to be an expert on the mid-east, but that’s the point. They aren’t known here for their brilliant views on the mid-east, and they aren’t known there for anything. It justs seems ridiculous, yes, worthy of ridicule. On the other hand, American politicians getting involved and looking for a legacy, a la Clinton, is also ridiculous, so, really, nothing new here.

  19. Maybe they feel a sense of responsibility? A social conscience? You can doubt their intelligence, but why impugn their motives?

  20. It’s hard to imagine Mary Pickford screwing up the Versailles Treaty any more than Woodrow Wilson did.

  21. We just need a well publicized romance between Arafat’s son and Sharon’s daughter to bring all parties to their senses.

    “His father is the DISTRICT ATTORNEY!”

  22. Have to agree with Andy D and Mark. Ive never heard them say anything of import on any political issues, but why not let them try. Whats the harm? So some people who already think their great think they are even greater.

    Heres a thought: Ive been reading ‘experts’ on the Middle east for years. Freidman, Kissinger, Ross, Mitchell, Hitchens, Said, Chomsky, and on and on. So far, lots of talk, no peace. Why not let the non experts give it a whirl? Maybe all the palestinians need is a few T.V.s and some vapid celebrities to worship. This trip could be a way to seed the market. Maybe throw together a quick awards show and a red carpet, have a few palestinian documentary film-makers stand up and say a few empty words of protest and the Islamic equivalent of Melissa Rivers discussing the latest fashions in Burkas. In other words, to dust off the old cliche, if we cant dazzle them with our political brilliance lets baffle them with our cultural bullshit.

  23. I had always assumed that we who read blogs were to give a pass, as a courtesy which is extended even to those with whom we disagree, to the MYRIAD typographical, grammatical and syntactical errors that, truth be told, abound on this site and many others. Perhaps I was in error.

    While I am generally inclined to dismiss the likes of Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, et al., I see no point in getting all lathered up over their motivations. If an entrepreneur were to develop a cure for cancer and become a billionaire in the process, we would not care that her motivation was to become rich and famous. Similarly, if these celebrities somehow actually achieved some breakthrough, why begrudge them a little glory? Also, if they do not hurt anyone or make things demonstrably worse, aren’t they supposed to be allowed to do as they please?

  24. Maybe we could ask Bono et al to go to Palestine to help solve the peace problem, and then we could ask Hezbollah and the Mossad to solve our, “Who gives a shit what celebrity blowhards think?” problem. Two birds, one rock. Okay we’d still have to work on that whole Mid-east peace thing, but at least one problem would be taken care of. I say Bono, with Tim Robbins in the shotgun seat. Room in the back for three!

  25. Paleoidiot: Wouldn’t it be cheaper and more successful in the long run to first build an anti-missile sheild and then propigate nuclear arms to other countries and let all those “furriners” finish each other off while we inhierit the earth by default?

  26. Jason,

    Your analogy still won’t tell me where the diamonds are hidden, so I’m going to torture it some more.

    Bono realizes that his and O’Neil’s problems are bad xeroxes, and he can’t correctly read the problem. So he invites O’Neil to come with him to the library, where they can read the original.

  27. joe:

    … But when they get there, the original problems are word problems are are in a language that Bono can’t read, so he just writes down the number 3 for an answer and tells everyone how obvious the solution was.

    This is getting painful …

  28. This is going to be great entertainment, even better than the ‘human shields’ spectacle we witnessed not so long ago.

  29. Mark A.:

    “It’s kind of like the difference between theory and practice (in theory, there is no difference!). Think in terms of health class sex lectures vs. having sex…”

    It is probably good for O’Neil to be walking around Africa, don’t get me wrong. To continue your theory and practice model, what I see is Bono and Paul O’Neil both being shown a math problem on separate pieces of paper. Bono eats his paper to experience the problem and makes an international show about it, and along the way tells everyone how wasteful it is to consider the problem, then write out a solution.

    “How can you know the problem if you’ve never tasted it, man?”

  30. Mark A – the larger point is, if Israelis and Palestinians hate each other and want to blow each other up half a world away from me, why the hell should I care? More important question, at least practically, is why the hell should our government care? More pointed question, why the hell does our government $upport Israel? Pray tell, exactly what do we get out of that, aside from the vitriol of extremist Islamic groups which manifest itself clearly on 9/11?

  31. Brad: Why do we defend S. Korea and Japan? Why did we spend $$$ and lives to liberate France in WW2? Obviously it is anti-libertarian to support ANY governments, regardless of how liberal they are. Who gives a fuck if the whole world is a bunch of hostile, totalitarian states?

    No the libertarian thing to do is to take the 3rd/4th Infantry and withdraw them into our cities and put them on local street corners. Take all that cash and set up concetration camps for the Islamic infiltrators that are bound to come. And when a US city is nuked to put the nation under martial law. All the while patting ourselves on the back for the libertopia we have built for ourselves. That is the libertarian thing to do.

  32. Ig, what has the average, OFFICIAL educational level achieved by actors got to do with intelligence? They have higher than average IQ’s, as a group. The latter fact has about the same relevance as their educational achievement, if not more. Besides, many people who barely have high school diplomas possess astounding general knowledge and even considerable depth of knowledge in some cases. While the converse is probably less true, I have met the occasional Ph.D. who was ‘dumber than a bag of hammers’, as they say.

    Brad S., how can you know what all Israelis or all Palestinians think? How do you know that all Israelis think the same way? Or Palestinians? I certainly make no accusations (because I do not necessarily know what you think beyond what I can infer from your posts, which seem generally fair), but those statements are awfully stereotypical and smack of bigotry. For that matter, how can you know what even one Israeli or Palestinian thinks? How do you know the subjective state of others? Maybe a tinfoil hat ain’t such a bad idea after all! 🙂

    Jason, I do not know this for a fact, but I think the point of Bono is that it is one thing to have an intellectual understanding of a problem, but it is altogether different to get that punch-in-the-gut, up-close-and-personal feel for it. Not that I think it is necessary, but then I haven’t been there and I don’t know how much different it could be. It’s kind of like the difference between theory and practice (in theory, there is no difference!). Think in terms of health class sex lectures vs. having sex…


  33. Hmmmm . . . Bono, and punches to the gut. I’m good with that.

  34. What makes you think seeing the problem up close, and learning about the gory details and local specificities that don’t make it into the UN position papers, harms his understanding?

    Whether you assume a high or low degree of problem solving ability by Bono, it is still better to be able to read all the words in a word problem.

  35. Even if u folks believe them to be ignorant atleast they’re trying to advocate a cause and learn more about it… It’s not your fault that u are Ignorant supporting an administration that takes ur well earned Tax money supporting the Israeli cause.. But it’s ur duty to learn more about it… before someone sometime in history takes over your land and claims it was given to their righteous race by god gezillion years ago..
    God bless all who try to see the truth as is not as CNN wants them too….

  36. EMAIL: pamela_woodlake@yahoo.com
    DATE: 01/20/2004 08:39:56
    Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.

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