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Angry Black Lady Chronicles (Earth Hour… Again)

Ed Norton is a bit of a jackass.

Ed Norton

Not to beat this whole Earth Hour thing like the proverbial dead horse, but Ed Norton has apparently lost his fool mind.  The other day, he compared Earth Hour to the March on Selma.

Yeah.  You go ahead and let that one marinate for a while.

As I’ve reported this week, a bunch of cities and hippies turned about 3 of their lights out for an hour on Saturday in order to raise awareness about climate change and greenhouse gas emissions.

According to Ed Norton, the official Ambassador for Earth Hour, this was a symbolic act of “global unity”:

“The act of turning out the lights for an hour – is, it’s not an act of conservation.  It’s not, um, meant to say that, ‘By doing this, we’re going to solve the problem.’ I think it’s a symbolic act of global unity, of highlighting the number of people who do think this is one of the central issues of our time and motivating our leaders to take, um, purposeful and aggressive action on this issue.”

He went on to say:

“If you think about things in our national history, the march on Selma in the Civil Rights Movement, the march itself, unlike some of the boycotts they did was not a, was not an act in itself meant to change the problem. It was a symbolic act and I think this is for my generation, for many people around the world who care about this issue, I think we’re looking for those kind of symbolic acts that show how many people are, are concerned about this.”

OK, folks.  I understand that some of y’all enjoyed Earth Hour and perhaps I shouldn’t be such a misanthrope about it.  I may think symbolic acts are stupid, but I’d never begrudge you something that makes you feel good about yourself.  (Except maybe methamphetamines… because honestly, I don’t want to look at your ugly meth face.)

But I swear as Cruise is my witness, I will brick in the face anyone who tries to make a straight-faced argument that turning a bunch of lights and sitting in the dark for an hour (whether or not you were Twittering, Facebooking, Myspacing or Flickring) is in any way similar to the courageous acts of the men and women who marched in Selma in the face of tear gas, billy clubs, and general white racist assholery, in support of equal voting rights for all citizens.

I mean,  COME ON.


Edmund Pettus Bridge, Selma, Alabama

On “Bloody Sunday,” March 7, 1965, some 600 civil rights marchers headed east out of Selma on U.S. Route 80.

They were attacked by state troopers and the Sheriff’s Department, some of whom were mounted on horseback.  The marchers walked six blocks before they got to the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama where they were attacked and savagely beaten by lawmen.

On March 9, Dr. King led about 2500 marchers to that same bridge where he held a prayer service, and then turned around and marched right back so as not to be in violation of a restraining order that had been issued by a federal judge preventing the marchers from walking all the way to Montgomery.

On March 21, after the same federal judge lifted the restraining order, around 8000 people began the march from Selma to Montgomery protected by state and federal law enforcement.  By the time the marchers made it to Montgomery, they were nearly 25,000 strong.


Marchers streaming across the bridge on March 21, 1965.

By way of contrast, during “Earth Hour,” on March 28, 2009, 80 of cities turned off half their lights, and about 80 people turned off their non-essential lights.

The March(es) on Selma led to the the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Earth Hour led to… well… increased crime who knows yet, really.

Now, I’m not necessarily one of those people who think that unless you’re doing EVERYTHING to save the planet, then you’re a hypocrite who’s doing nothing.   I’m also not one of those people that thinks that celebrities don’t have a right to voice their opinions about shit they care about.  Everyone has a right (more or less) to say whatever the hell they want to whenever the hell they want to.   Cruise knows, you’ll be hard pressed to get me to shut up about shit I care about.

And, I think it’s great that people like Ed Norton, Leonardo DiCaprio, Angelina Jolie, Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Alicia Silverstone and others are using the magnificent soapbox they’ve been given to do something to better the world, even as they lounge around naked in their piles of money.

But that doesn’t mean that the grouch in me doesn’t wish they would shut the hell up.  Just sometimes. When I want them to.

I’m looking at you, Ed.


April 2, 2009 - Posted by | Angry Black Lady Chronicles, Culture Critic | , , , , , ,


  1. I think it’s weird that he used to date Salma, and now all he wants to talk about is Selma. I think he is having trouble moving on.

    Wasn’t he in a movie about racism? (Everyone I know told me I wasn’t allowed to see it so I’m not exactly sure what it was about.)

    Nobody should listen to this man. He used to be attractive but now he has a rat tail and issues.

    Comment by baby fish mouth | April 2, 2009 | Reply

  2. Ed Norton, the first rule of Symbolic Acts is don’t talk about Symbolic Acts.

    (I know. Sorry. I couldn’t stop myself.)

    Comment by queencrone | April 2, 2009 | Reply

  3. qc, you are brilliant!

    Comment by stopthemadness | April 2, 2009 | Reply

  4. bfm: American History X. Your friends are probably right. He was incredible in that movie, but it is also on my list of Movies that require Zoloft to Live Through.

    Comment by oneofthevoicesinmyhead | April 2, 2009 | Reply

  5. Hot men should really keep their mouths shut.

    Comment by Deimos | April 2, 2009 | Reply

  6. Hot? I think he’s…compelling… but he often looks rat-faced. TMIMO.

    Comment by SeaKat | April 2, 2009 | Reply

  7. Don’t watch American History X?! It’s a great movie…it’s emotional and sad and hard to watch – but IMHO, everyone should watch it once. It might be hard to watch, but it’s real. Very, very real.

    Comment by AdmittedlyAddicted | April 3, 2009 | Reply

  8. AdAd, I would spiral into a depression, no kidding. I think my friends know best this time. The Truman Show practically had me taking to my bed for a week.

    Comment by baby fish mouth | April 3, 2009 | Reply

  9. Other movies on that list:

    Love Liza
    Requiem for a Dream

    Comment by Chelsea - PETA Protector | April 3, 2009 | Reply

  10. in that case, bfm, dont. because then we’d be a week without your wit and, well, that would suck.

    Comment by AdmittedlyAddicted | April 3, 2009 | Reply

  11. “As Cruise is my witness.”

    I love you STM 😛

    And your point was very valid. U2 wrote a song about the March to Selma. I don’t really see anyone doing something similar for Earth Hour.

    And yes, I’m using the song-worthy test to determine how important events are to history 😛

    Comment by TheHobo | April 3, 2009 | Reply

  12. See now here’s where I disagree. I think Bono WOULD write a song about Earth Hour. This is completely a reflection on Bono, not on Earth Hour.

    I’m sorry. I hate Bono. I can basically picture him doing anything I think Angelina would do.

    Did I mention I don’t love Angelina?

    Anyway I just stopped by to say thank AdAd 🙂

    Comment by baby fish mouth | April 3, 2009 | Reply

  13. I mean thanks. It’s very hard to type and eat cookies at the same time.

    Comment by baby fish mouth | April 3, 2009 | Reply

  14. And…what U2 song are you talking about?

    Because if it’s Sunday Bloody Sunday, that’s actually not about the March on Selma (which, btw always makes me think of an angry mob going to get Marge Simpson’s sister… yes, I’m a bad liberal. Sorry) but rather a deadly confrontation in N.Ireland during “The Troubles”.

    And, just in case it WAS Sunday Bloody Sunday, I don’t blame you one bit for being confused. A brief glance at Wikipedia shows 11 different “Bloody Sunday” entries – the earliest being in 1887!

    Which now begs the question: Is Sunday an inherently more violent day? Or are violent acts that occur on that day just given more attention, given the Christian emphasis on Sunday as the Lord’s day?

    Finally, do you think Nicole Kidman or Keith Urban gave this kind of thing any thought when they named their daughter Sunday Rose??

    Comment by SeaKat | April 3, 2009 | Reply

  15. AAACTUALLY! (so excited to have somewhat relevant information) Keith Urban said when he was single, Sunday was always the loneliest day. And now that he has a family, it’s a good day again. So that was part of why they named her that, something about being family and happy together. Anyway apparently a lot of people consider Sunday a miserable day.

    Comment by baby fish mouth | April 3, 2009 | Reply

  16. Well, that’s rather sweet.

    But I must say, she’s awfully lucky that she’s not going to ever need to go to public school.

    Because between the “I’d sure like to eat a Sundae for dessert” jokes from the gross boys and the “Bloody Sunday” jokes once they read “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret”…? Yeah, she’d be all kinds of miserable.

    Comment by SeaKat | April 3, 2009 | Reply

  17. SeaKat…I did not know that. I just Ameri-centrically assumed it was about something that took place in the US.

    Although, I’m pretty sure I know what No Doubt’s Sunday Morning was about, and I don’t think she thought Sunday’s were very good days for a while either.

    As a currently single girl, I can attest to the loneliness of Sundays. But I try to counter that by kidnapping my friends to go hiking, if they aren’t too hung over from Saturday night.

    Comment by TheHobo | April 3, 2009 | Reply

  18. Sundays suck hard when you’re single, or when you’re with someone who makes you feel single.

    Comment by baby fish mouth | April 3, 2009 | Reply

  19. The good news is, you bitch less about Mondays.

    Comment by baby fish mouth | April 3, 2009 | Reply

  20. Hobo – I never would have known that if I hadn’t taken an Irish history course in college. I am not intimately familiar with the U2 song list, so I just didn’t know if they HAD written a song about the US civil rights Bloody Sunday! I mean, they wrote that song about the Rev. Dr. King Jr, so it seemed plausible to me.

    (BTW. I wasn’t sure what the proper address was for Rev. Dr. MLK Jr., so I put them all in…sorry for the alphabet soup!) 🙂

    Comment by SeaKat | April 3, 2009 | Reply

  21. Also: re Sundays as the loneliest day. I’m sorry. 😦

    I was forced to attend church every single Sunday morning from infancy until I escaped to college. Vacations, school trips, etc. — it didn’t matter. I had to find a church on Sunday or else – TROUBLE! My parents even had a priest visit me in the hospital when I was in for appendicitis and later, pneumonia over a Sunday!!!

    I now feel an illicit thrill from “playing hooky” every. single. week.

    Sometimes I feel like I’d like to go back to church…and then Sunday comes around and I just think… Nah. I don’t respond well to being forced to do things. And clearly I can hold a grudge for going-on 20 years.

    Comment by SeaKat | April 3, 2009 | Reply

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