Sunday, 16 August 2009

Not just a pretty face

Winner of the genetic jackpot and one half of the world's most lusted-after couple, Brad Pitt has been busy winning over the good people of New Orleans recently. Having set up the 'Make it Right' foundation in 2007 to build environmentally sustainable housing for those displaced by Hurricane Katrina, Brad has become something of a folk hero in his adopted home town. As a consequence, they're looking to repay the favour by campaigning for him to run as the next mayor of New Orleans.

It all started with an art professor called Thomas Bayer who set the ball rolling with a list called '13 Reasons Brad Pitt Should be the Next Mayor of New Orleans'. This inspired a local clothes retailer to print T-shirts emblazoned with 'Brad Pitt For Mayor'. And a grassroots campaign was born.

As with most stories invented by the media off the back of some sporadic viral activity, it's now got to the point where Brad has been expected to set the record straight, and he's done so in typically self-deprecating fashion. Speaking to Parade Magazine, he said "Yeah, I'm running on the gay marriage, no religion, legalisation and taxation of marijuana platform! No, I don't have a chance! It's not what I do best."

Last week, appearing on Bill Maher's Real Time, Brad further elaborated on his non-existent platform by talking through his problem with organised religion, "I never wanted to stop anyone else's religion and their beliefs until I started seeing it defining policy.... Like gay marriage. You have a group of people telling other people how to live their lives, and you can't do that."

In fact, the issue of gay marriage has long been a hot topic for Brad and Angie, since they have always claimed that they will not marry until it's made legal for everyone else. Clearly, Brad knows who buys his calendars.

Of course, not everyone likes Brad's opinions. For instance, Cam Cannon (writing on is indignant about what he calls 'atheist anti-religionistas'. He worries that atheists like Brad never mention the great work that religions do in the name of charity, and that they spend all their time trying to convert people to their way of thinking. Thankfully though, before the irony-meter implodes, he acknowledges the fact that people of faith are just as guilty, rendering his whole article somewhat pointless.

It's highly unlikely that Brad will ever change his mind and run for public office, which is a real shame. As well as denying us the chance to see an elected official in People Magazine's 'World's sexiest' list, there's always the risk that, as long as he refuses to turn his back on acting, he could make another film like Seven Years in Tibet or The Devil's Own. And that's a future that doesn't bear thinking about.

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