Over the past week or so I have seen not one but two high profile celebrities stand up and do something amazing with their fame. And I want to do my small part to make sure that their voices are heard by the largest number of people possible. One of them talks to us, the masses and the other talks to American officials in a powerful plea. Let’s start with the latter so you’ll stick around to talk about you later…
Ashton Kutcher is a man that to be perfectly honest I have not thought much of previously. His prank show Punk’d was mildly amusing for all of five minutes, his filmography is pretty meh as far as I recall and That 70s Show didn’t really warm me to him either. But then a few days ago I saw this…
I hope you watched it all, there’ll be a pop quiz (not really, but seriously it’s well worded stuff). In one single speech he has not only changed my opinion of him but has proven that celebrity and wealth can do something incredible if they are only selfless enough to do it. True, Ashton mentions that it’s his own role as a father that prompts some of his feelings, which could be considered selfish. But really what this guy is doing is taking on the worries of every father around the world. He worries for every child, every woman and man that is being abused.
You can see the emotion in his eyes when he is talking about this, you can see that he is mentally and physically affected by the horrors he has seen while doing this. But he has continued undeterred because he is a good man unwilling to let these atrocities continue unhindered when there is something he could do. There’s not really much more I can say that Ashton hasn’t, I am convinced that this video will forever change your opinion of this man and hopefully prompt you to do what you can to stop human trafficking.
There are a lot of charities that work to stop human trafficking
And what about that other celebrity that’s impressed me? This one came as a massive surprise to me. Katy Perry… I know right? She hasn’t made a touching speech, instead she has used her position as a widely listened to musician to sing about the problems with the American (and our own) society. Her new song Chained To The Rhythm might just seem like another poptastic song from the singer, and her latest music video to go with it might just seem like a typical Katy Perry video. But they’re so much more than that.
With this she’s proven herself to be an intelligent woman who has developed into someone who wants to open our eyes to the unfair society that we live, to open our eyes to the ‘bubble’ we live in. She highlights the social media we bury ourselves in, the housing crisis, the financial markets we are chained to, our habit of ignoring injustice, the hamster wheel of life we our trapped in, the ‘inferno h20’ problem of gas guzzling vehicles and fracking, the gender stereotypes trapping men and women in their roles, the greed of people. All that with one song and video. I hope everyone gets the symbolism, but I worry it’ll be missed.
She hasn’t changed her musical style, just the content. Using popular, simple styles to satirise and highlight problems with society isn’t a new thing (and it’s not something you should criticise her for) poets have been doing it for a long time, check out Newsreel by C. Day Lewis. He wrote it in 1935 but he’s saying the same things as Katy Perry. (I wanted to point you in the direction of A Carol by the same poet but it turns out that’s hard to find online, it’s written with the same rhythm as Away In A Manger but criticises society instead)
With this act of pop rebellion, Katy Perry has proven she’s come a loooong way from Ur So Gay. She’s taking an active role in the world she inhabits, trolls told her to ‘shut up and sing’ when she chose a political side in the American election. And she fired right back saying she would sing all right… Well she’s singing and she’s doing exactly what I want everyone to do. Take a stand, get involved in society and the decision making process. Listen to what she’s singing and wake up to the ‘bubble’ we are living in, if we just keep plodding along in a dance choreographed by our leaders we will end up dancing the wrong dance… *cough*Hitler*cough*