Monday, April 25, 2011

What's the buzz?

What is it about people and celebrities? What prompts otherwise normal people to turn into pushers & shovers just to inch ever closer to the Secretary-General of the United Nations; and/or singer and actress Mandy Moore? These were the questions that plagued me tonight at the launch of the Champions to End Malaria photo exhibition at the United Nations.

Today is World Malaria Day, so the launch of the exhibition was very timely. I was out of sorts from the start of course, having sat on a wet bus seat that gave the unfortunate impression that I'd soiled myself en route to the exhibition. Sometimes I really hate my life. I don't even know what I'd sat on, and I really don't want to know, but the upside was that my dress didn't smell as a result and in any case, I was fortunately able to dry my dress off under the hairdryers in the UN bathroom. I still shake my fist at whomever dampened my seat in the first place. Curses!

I attended the UN photo exhibition solo, wandering around and viewing the photos and reading the really inspirational stories about the subjects who had made simple yet truly effective inroads into eradicating malaria from developing nations around the world. How easy it sounds to buy insecticide-covered mosquito nets to protect families from the horrible mosquitos. How admirable it is to hear about the young children who had been inspired by the fight against malaria, to draw the world's attention & fundraising efforts to the disease. How proud the Secretary-General obviously is of all the hard work that individuals, NGOs and Governments are doing to make their mark.

But how nauseating it is to watch seemingly sensible people basically run each other over trying to get photos with these celebrity philanthropists. Why can't people just applaud their efforts, have their glass of wine and go home? Promise me that if ever I chase a celebrity down, you whip me with a wet towel. Promise me!

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