Conscientious readers of the HuffPo will be aware that Mia Farrow has embarked upon a 21-day hunger strike to draw attention to Darfur. Conscientious viewers of YouTube will be more familiar with "Cop Tasers Child!!!"
The goal of Farrow's strike, which she began 10 days ago in Connecticut, is to encourage President Obama to intervene in Sudan, which expelled all humanitarian aid agencies from the country in March. In addition to the blogging, Farrow's been doing a ton of press to promote coverage of the Darfur situation.
Whatever one's considered opinions of the best approach to this cause, the efficacy of hunger striking, of celebrity activism, or the guilt of watching a live hunger-strike while eating a large plate of cold sesame noodles (probably not as great as it should have been), no one can deny that the actress's heart is in the right place - or that the strike's bringing attention to Darfur, its stated aim. And, importantly, both blog and videos devote a lot of time to concrete ways one can help, contribute, or vocalize support. It's always an open question whether big-name involvement's benefits outweigh the costs of losing those people who will automatically regard it as trivializing - or whether the attention it generates translates to activism - but in this case we're guessing there really is no such thing as bad publicity. However, two things give us pause: 1. Farrow says she's mostly in bed conserving her energy - so what about the crying child in the background? and 2. She's taking fasting advice from David Blaine, problematic only because lots of folks we know say David Blaine's a jerk who treats people badly and in fact we did once witness his trying to cut the line at the Magnolia Bakery. But fasting, I guess, he knows.