Ben Affleck makes the DRC cool again

The New York Times, in its infinite wisdom (it comes with being The New York Times), decided that one of the paper’s reporters, one Brooks Barnes, should write what amounts to a fluff piece (it’s not actual reporting) splintered with quotes in the “Fashion & Style” section about actor Ben Affleck’s supposed maturity and all-round goodness. Affleck, who we like to refer to as Life President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is held up as “Hollywood’s New Role Model” and as the “new Hollywood paradigm for masculinity.” His qualifications are being a husband, parent, and, yes … “eastern Congo philanthropist.” So the DRC is a prop for “the way to be cool now” in Hollywood. I know someone’s going to tell me this is all good fun. Thank you Brooks Barnes. Link.


12 thoughts on “Ben Affleck makes the DRC cool again

  1. Bottom line? If one is concerned and involved with Africa one is simply feeding one’s ego or image.
    If one ignores Africa one is insensitive and unaware.
    Double-bind, anyone?

    • Doc nailed it. This site is coming off as too self-righteous and cynical these days. I would like to see them propose CONSTRUCTIVE criticism, for once.

    • Considering Afflecks political stance, dealing sincerely with Africans would have nothing to do with actually offering an honest critique of American destructive influence on the continent. What is Eastern Congo anyway? Since lying as he so competently has in Argo is not as important as being the sensitive masculine facade of a 21st centuries brutal hyper empire, it must be African cynicism that drives the scepticism of his Yankee-like sincerity! Typical Western self-indulgence. Please display some credibility!

  2. Kudos to young Mr. Affleck. At least he is not part of some gold-and-diamond thieving cabal out to further rape Africa and Africans while having the temerity to play victim in the West. He is certainly commendable which is infinitely more than one can say for far too may North Americans of the African Diaspora… At the end of the day, Mr. Affleck is doing something because it is human to care about one’s fellow human beings on this the only planet on which we find ourselves resident…

  3. Sean, I’m a huge fan of yours but I think you’re being incredibly unfair here. I expected to read an empty, “fluffy” article but some star-struck moron who barely knows where the DRC is. Instead I found a good, well-articulated analysis of how some movie stars manage their image these days. Please don’t be blinded by some misplaced ideology. Every day AIAC begs the world to be fair to Africa and Africans. I’m disappointed to see such an unwarranted and snarky comment like this one here.

  4. AIAC, your site is attracting some strange people these days who don’t seem to understand a damn thing. Hey, Doc and Bootstrap, why don’t you go working for IC, they are not “self-righteous and cynical”, right? *smh*
    As for Ben Affleck, or “King Ben”, as I like to call him, I just want to leave this great sentence that Comedian Negin Farsad wrote in a piece about her experiences being a TED2013 Fellow: “He’s got a hard-on for some part of the Congo that’s currently totally fucked. I might be paraphrasing.”*
    Nuff said.


    • What a strange response! The only reply you can give about Ben Affleck raising some type of awareness in the Congo is from a comedian claiming that “he has a hard-on for some part of the Congo.” How despicable! As a female from the Congo, I am utterly disgusted that someone could even relate such an action to a country that has seen some of the worst acts of sexual violence against women. You should be ashamed of yourself, Alia!

  5. Jessica Morgan, celebrity-fashion blogger: “A bro is a guy who thinks TED is a movie by Seth MacFarlane and sits around bemoaning the bankruptcy of ‘Girls Gone Wild.’ That’s not these guys.”

    A celebrity-fashion blogger is a person who thinks that TED talks confer maturity and intellectual depth.

  6. Ease up on the self-righteous bitching, Sean. This piece is fluff. It doesn’t say anything substantial. You guys are turning into grumpy, bitching hypocrites. Is it your job as an academic to bitch self-righteously but not work toward solutions? Stay in your ivory tower while the rest of us struggle.

  7. I am glad to see readers are getting fed up with self-righteous and cynical posts just for the sake of posting. Who other than the AIAC has the right to speak about Africa these days?

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