LETTERS FROM LONDON
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
31 January 2014
It's About The Money, Money, Money

Scarlett Johansson’s main occupation seems to be endorsements: L’Oreal,
Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, Moet & Chardon, Oxfam International and her
new favourite, a SodaStream machine (curiously appropriately timed for the
hysteria of the (yawn) Super Bowl and its adverts).

A carbonating creating machine. Really? Oxfam + fizzy flavoured water? Well,
evidently not a good combination. Not possibly what the humanitarian charity
wants to send to Syria or South Sudan.

“I think it was really a natural partnership because I’ve been using SodaStream
for five or six years, and it’s a product I found on my own because I like
carbonated water but I hated the waste of bottles. My favourite thing about
SodaStream is that I don’t feel guilty when I enjoy beverages at home.”
Beverages? Beverages at home? Johansson was quoted in a preview video pre-
Super Bowl advert.

Now the problem isn’t her apparent dimness and greed, it’s political. Israel
produces this must-have product for those who find enjoying ‘beverages’ in the
privacy of their own home or possibly homes, in one of its many illegal
settlements under the Geneva Convention in the Israel occupied West Bank.
Johansson ‘stands behind the SodaStream product”, but clearly not in the West
Bank.

As a celebrity ‘global ambassador’ for Oxfam, which has a policy against Israeli
settlements and has terminated ties with ‘ambassadors’ for Oxfam who affiliate
with settlement-produced products, Johansson has 'a fundamental difference of
opinion' with Oxfam (and the Geneva Convention) after  eight years and has
chosen Israel. Surely nothing to do with Hollywood or America’s endorsement
of all Israeli activities. Surely not. Perhaps Johansson will promote the sale of
SodaStream to the struggling displaced Palestinians....

Having viewed the banned advert, Scarlett seems to be selling sex rather than
soda.

                                      
 ***

Venture capitalist worth $8 billion, Thomas Perkins has taken a rather unique
position regarding the poor, persecuted one-percent – i.e. the one-percent who
rule the world with their uber wealth. Perkins equates the persecution of the rich
to the persecution of the Jews under the Nazis. No. Really. He actually wrote to
the
Wall Street Journal to warn the privileged that there was “a rising tide of
hatred of the successful. Kristallnacht (attacks on the Jewish population in
Germany in 1938) was unthinkable in 1930. Is its descendant ‘progressive’
radicalism unthinkable now?”

Oh dear, Tom. If ‘the rising tide of hatred’ were true the government wouldn’t be
colluding and including the super rich, the poor would destroy the
offices/factories/homes/yachts/private jets in the course of rioting and bankers
would be wearing prison uniforms. Instead, the middle class is disappearing,
the poor are poorer, the rich are richer and no one is saying anything really –
except for the clearly clever Perkins. Be afraid, Mr Perkins, be very afraid. You
could be forced to wear an arm band printed with a dollar sign any day now.

                                      
 ***

In honour of the Winter Olympics, Bieber bulks up on steroids and Madonna
goes for gold.

Newly tattooed, race-car-wanna-be Justin Beiber has been in the news for what
seems for ever going mad - mentally and physically. His seemingly bizarre
(surely not calculated behaviour) has been said to be down to his obsession
and dependency on steroids used on horses. If his PR machine says so....
Two pending criminal cases; one for driving under the influence and resisting
arrest in Miami, the other for allegedly assaulting a limo driver in Toronto
without doubt to be followed by more.

Madonna wore a bizarre outfit, black sunglasses shielding her eyes from the
blinding bling in her mouth, carried (by herself) a non SodaStream bottle of
juice smiling broadly at photographers, surrounded by her entourage at JFK.
Oh give it up Madge. Please.
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