Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Kid Rock, Protecting abused Elephants

October 24, 2007

Luis Moreno-OcampoI know The Hour gets some flack from corners, about ‘dumbing down’ information with their introductions on topics. It’s impossible for everyone to know the background on every topic brought forth on this program, this was a perfect example of such a time, when, “Background” was perfectly suitable as an introduction.

Luis Moreno-Ocampo is someone who is actually trying to not only find a solution, but to put himself into the real situation of organizing, and structuring a system of proof and (hopefully) a justice. He is taking on the struggle of finding the evidence, and physically ‘charging’ someone for the genocide itself. Much beyond finding of aid, and bringing attention to the matter. I was struck by his ability to keep a strait line to what his involvement is, and what was not his focus. Once all the attention and money has been thrown at a situation like Darfur, men like Luis Moreno-Ocampo are the ones to truly make a difference in completing the change needed.

Kid Rock – I’ve never been big into his music, but I’ve always loved watching interviews with him. As someone who is often bottled into the ‘dirtbag’ image, (which is associated with being not intelligent), he is nothing as he seems. Hearing his real view of Iraq before and after, and having brought his son to see the reality also, shows his truth. You can tell a lot about someone by the important pieces of life they teach their children, along-side the debauchery and excess. I personally think that Kid Rock is less about excess than he seems. Which is fine with him.

I also wanted to say that – Kid Rock’s comments about the music industry brought it down to the contract and corporate basics. In many ways, downloading “can” level the playing field money wise. The old contracts no longer work (not that they ever did for the artist). Downloading music has given the industry a much needed shake. Maybe now, the corporations that own the majors (labels), will loose interest in the cash cow they are used to. The major’s can now (possibly) be sold back to the one’s who know and appreciate MUSIC again. Kill the old scheme and begin a new.

The story on abused Elephants broke my heart. Anyone who has wanted to learn, have always known that elephants are a very sensitive animal. Hearing and seeing stories like this at a young age, I have been against animal use in Circus’ and many zoo’s since I was a child. I was watching the gentleman’s eyes tear up, telling the story of his friend (and work-mate) being trampled, and thought “people are going to ridicule him for crying, and thinking that elephant is aware”. Thats a sad statement to have, because we know its true. Ive always wondered, what makes ‘people’ think that they are the only species that can communicate? Maybe if we had more protection on more of the animals on this planet, maybe if more of us just stopped and lost some arrogance, we could see that elephants aren’t the only ones speaking, and acting out.

I’m glad I got to finally find out how Jeff Goldblum lost his virginity (?)

– Lisa Rowe

Atticus Finch writes:

Kid RockInitially when I decided to write about tonight’s episode it was because I was excited that Kid Rock was going to be on. I love Kid Rock. He is so unapologetically skeevy that I just somehow have to respect him. I don’t always agree with the things he says in his songs but at least he’s being honest. Many people dismiss him as a rich loud mouth rocker. Try setting aside all the Pamela/Tommy insanity and listen to his opinions on Iraq and the music industry. George asked him about his trip last Christmas to visit soldiers in Iraq and the changes he noticed since the last time he’d been there. As a single father Kid used the trip as a lesson for his son on the importance of giving back and he said that the mood had changed dramatically from his first visit. He quoted an official who said “we don’t create diplomacy we execute it.”

I enjoyed the discussion about Rock’s new album Rock n Roll Jesus. The guys discussed the history of the music industry’s treatment of artists and the musical roots of the album. On this one Kid Rock is upping his game and getting away from the “I love to party” mantra he generally spouts.

He talked about people wanting to find some common middle ground in this day and age of political correctness where people are more interested in hitting everyone over the head with their opinions than with actually getting anything accomplished. George commented that Kid doesn’t often make the foray into the political even though he’s outspoken about so many other things. His answer was that he’s not educated in political science and that celebrities shouldn’t speak about things they don’t really understand.

Which leads me to the next guest (in a rather George like segue). Luis Moreno- Ocampo is the Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court. This interview was so good I watched it twice. Mr. Moreno-Ocampo was more positive about celebrity driven causes saying that at least they open up communication and that they act as the voice for global citizens. At the moment he is waiting for the U.N Security Council to put more pressure on Sudan to hand over the two people charged with the atrocities committed in Darfur and he stressed that everyone needs to bring the issue to the attention of our elected officials.

The one thing Moreno-Ocampo said that really got to me was that “this catastrophe is not the consequence of a tsunami or climate change, it is not a natural catastrophe, it’s a policy of one person. We can prove one person coordinated all activities.” It’s chilling to think that one person could orchestrate the deaths of 200,000 and the displacement of 2 million more. Worse still to discover that this man is now in charge of disbursing the aid to these camps that would not even exist if not for his crimes. The Prosecutor goes before the Security Council again in December. Let’s hope that the next time he’s on The Hour he can report that progress has been made.

Atticus Finch


1 Comment

  1. The prosecutor, Mr. Luis Moreno-Ocampo was a great interview. I (surprisingly) appreciated his positive perspective on celebrity endorsements of humanitarian issues… I suppose the frustration that we feel in the West over celebrities that exploit causes and victims for personal/professional gain or for commodifying our humanitarian efforts is legitimate, but is also a very ameri-centric criticism. In some cases, the attention/the benefit for the victims is a positive progression that outweighs the celebrities’ intentions…These situations (like Darfur) require attention, and if it wasn’t for the celebs, many of us probably wouldn’t know or care about what’s going on….and that’s the sad truth.
    If giving some celebrity more attention also gets attention to a social issue, that’s ok… at least until we find a better way.

    I really respect the prosecutor’s role in the international court, but his position is so representative of how and why international organizations are mostly useless and obsolete.
    These roles are saturated with politics, and built around policies that border off and halt changes/activities.
    He is allowed to investigate and name names! yay! BUT he is told what crisis to investigate, and after the crisis is acknowledged he may take steps to find out what happened, and name names, but that’s where his work ends until someone else makes a phone call. I am sure these measures are partially in place to ensure that the right people are being prosecuted, and that efforts unfold with tact…. But we cannot deny that these measures are built against being proactive and made to avoid stepping on the toes of the powerful…
    The prosecutor knows who is (mostly) responsible for Darfur, yet his case could stay on the back burner for years. There is nothing in these organizations forcing things forward… I suppose that’s our job…. Which I suppose brings us back to the need for celebrity endorsement… maybe Brangelina can convince us to contact our governments and ambassadors…etc…

    Kid rock-
    I don’t care about his personal politics, and his music makes him *seem* dirty and dumb.

    But he is interesting… more than expected. I am interested to hear his new music

    I think his answer about the digimusic revolution, was a non-answer of sorts. Not participating with things like itunes is a stance, I guess, but staying static and avoiding the culture is playing it too safe… its like you are waiting for someone else to guide the revolution, which could be fine, but change doesn’t happen by people staying still and waiting… which brings us back to our conversation about Moreno-Ocampo and Darfur… 😉

    I have a ridiculous love and respect for animals. I am so sincerely grateful that The Hour did that spot on elephants… it was excellent, really well done.

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