On Monday night, I found myself in Cubberley Auditorium with 400 of my closest friends to see George Clooney up close and personal. All of the ladies around me gabbed about his chiseled features and his perfect body. I have to admit: there wasn’t a hair out of place. This is one good-looking dude. His handsomeness is so distracting that I think the girl next to me who snapped pictures the entire time didn’t even hear a word he said. In fact, I’m not sure most people there heard anything he had to say. They were all too busy imagining sunning themselves on the patio of his villa on Lake Como.
Personally, I couldn’t wait to hear his sure-to-be hilarious stories about working on the “Ocean’s Eleven” series or how it feels to have been named People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive twice. The problem is, he didn’t talk about any of that. He talked about Africa. Here I am, expecting badass tales of his drunken debauchery at the Academy Awards and he starts preaching to me about Sudan. Way to be a downer, George. If he’s going to talk about humanitarian things, he could at least talk about the good stuff. You know, like the $61 million his Hope for Haiti telethon raised earlier this year. At least we’re seeing resul—wait, there’s a cholera outbreak in Port-au-Prince? Oh. Damn.
Honestly, I don’t understand how George Clooney is an expert on Africa. I guess he won an Oscar for “Syriana” and that movie might have been set in Africa. I remember something about oil. There was definitely a desert in there somewhere. I’m going to assume that they have deserts and oil in Africa, thus it doesn’t seem far-fetched that in researching his role, George somehow figured out everything there is to know about African politics. Or maybe he still thinks he’s Batman and he has to save the world. Actually, that explanation makes more sense.
My first tip-off that this talk wouldn’t be George relating how to pick up supermodel after supermodel should have been that it was co-sponsored by STAND and Crothers. STAND is a national student anti-genocide organization. I’m told its name actually doesn’t “STAND” for anything anymore, but if it did, it would probably be something like Students Telling Africa Not to Die. Then we have Crothers as the “global citizenship” focus dorm. Are we really tossing these theme distinctions out this easily now? It’s starting to get a little ridiculous, Stanford. Maybe we can designate West Flo as the “aboriginal Australian” theme dorm next. (Don’t get me started on how Storey, the human biology theme house, has a prime location on the Lower Row. Come to think of it, I don’t think Sigma Nu has done anything relevant for a while, so can we make their house the political science theme house? Not for selfish reasons or anything…)
Then again, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that Monday’s talk would be an activist discussion of the upcoming referendum in Sudan. This is Stanford we’re talking about—f where we’re constantly bombarded with a stream of e-mails for this charity group and that activist event. It wouldn’t surprise me to hear that there’s some group out there on campus dedicated to stopping polio among Inuit children in northwest Alaska. Just seems like something we here at Stanford would do, right? Personally, I think a more worthwhile cause would be helping to fund a stint in rehab for Ke$ha, but that’s just because I don’t want to deal with her anymore.
For me, I think Stanford’s overwhelming activism only made the George Clooney event more amusing. We pride ourselves on being so forward-thinking when it comes to social issues, yet the only way to get 400 people together to hear about this Sudan matter was to have one of the world’s biggest movie stars on hand. I understand that even we at Stanford can’t possibly care about all of these issues. You were probably still worried about freeing Tibet. Maybe you were trying to promote political freedom in Iran. Perhaps you were raising awareness about genocide in the Congo. Or were you still texting the Red Cross on your iPhone to donate more money for earthquake relief in Haiti?
You know what? Who cares about any of that? George Clooney was here on Monday! And he was looking good. Damn good. That’s all that matters.
There are few people on this planet more attractive than George Clooney. Shane knows he isn’t one of them, so make him feel better by e-mailing him at [email protected]