Perry Farrell helps free sudanese slaves.
December 24, 2001 8:29 PM   Subscribe

Perry Farrell helps free sudanese slaves. Yes, the same Perry Farrell from Jane's Addiction. apparently he risked getting shot down by militia forces to rescue 2,300 women and children from slavery. wow.
posted by mcsweetie (26 comments total)
Pretty great.
A celeb that isn't all mindless talk and hey-dig-my-big-compassionate-heart grandstanding.
Big love for Mr. Farrell.
posted by Hima Otsubusu at 8:42 PM on December 24, 2001

Well, from the article it sounds like basically he donated money and played a benefit concert. I mean, props to that, but it's not like he rambo'ed into the prison compound with a knife between his teeth.

feeling cynical this evening, never mind me, go on with your thread already in progress
posted by ook at 8:57 PM on December 24, 2001

I guess you glossed over this paragraph:

"Perry Farrell took a death-defying trip," Charles Jacobson, of the American Anti-Slavery Group, told the newspaper. "It's illegal to go to Sudan and do what he did, and if the government had known, they would have shot his plane out of the sky."
posted by mcsweetie at 9:29 PM on December 24, 2001

That is right cool. there's a lot more in Sudan than what was implied by the article, though. There was an episode of Nightline that highlit many of the issues. Here's a brief wrap-up.
posted by Ufez Jones at 10:16 PM on December 24, 2001

let's hope he devotes his life to more missions like this, and fewer jane's addiction 'reunions.'
posted by maura at 10:22 PM on December 24, 2001

What a cool, selfless thing to do, and BTW what kind of a demonic 'country' is Sudan? Refuge to terrorists and frigging slave trader murdering rapists.
So get this: Group That Buys Freedom for slaves in Sudan loses UN rights. The UN bowed to pressure from Sudan over violations of U.N. rules of 'protocol'...Some of the ugliest stuff in the world is happening in Sudan, worse than anything in Bosnia, Croatia or Kosovo, and the UN refuses to intervene. Go figure.
posted by Mack Twain at 10:40 PM on December 24, 2001

I agree with Maura. If he's over in Sudan, he can't subject us to any more Lollapaloozas.
posted by lostbyanecho at 12:38 AM on December 25, 2001

I guess Perry kicked his old habit. I mean, I doubt he would have gotten too far if he were stoned. Good for him. And good for the freed slaves. I hope they can keep from getting caught again.
posted by Loudmax at 12:41 AM on December 25, 2001

I think that's pretty kick-ass, myself. Way to go, Perry!
posted by black8 at 1:55 AM on December 25, 2001

End Slavery Now
posted by frednorman at 2:02 AM on December 25, 2001

Not because I didn't like him. I did. I do. But I always jokingly, habit formingly, referred to him as "Ferry Parrell". Like that Sesame Street gig with "Polly Darton".

Ferry Peril indeed.
posted by crasspastor at 2:42 AM on December 25, 2001

So big, it's Ocean Size.
posted by jackiemcghee at 3:58 AM on December 25, 2001

Ok, I am a spoil sport. And know little about the guy or the music. But if you keep buying slaves to free them don't you at the same time create a cottage industry in getting more to put up for sale? During American slavery, too many slaves (through birth) and so a big contention was allowing slavery in the territories to open "new markets."
Yes. What he did was wonderful...but I wonder, still....
posted by Postroad at 4:08 AM on December 25, 2001

I quite like this one. Perry Farrell, who has been to Israel, attempts to shed light on the mentality of terrorists... Irrespective of Farrell's ability to form a cohenrent opinion on this (I got that far and stopped so don't know either way), is this the worst opening sentence in journalistic history? Did I say "quite like"? I meant hate of course.
posted by vbfg at 5:39 AM on December 25, 2001

Everything beyond his donation of money (and I share Postroad's concern about that) for this is sheer grandstanding. Hundreds of aid workers and rescue workers do more than this every day, and don't get any public recognition. There was nothing PF could do on the scene that other people couldn't have done more effectively; this is a typical rockstar egotourism junket, and it's paying off handsomely in PR. What it comes down to is, he took a carefully shepherded helicopter trip and sang over a boom box for the freed slaves. All hail Perry Farrell.
posted by rodii at 8:39 AM on December 25, 2001

yeah, god damn him for helping. what is his deal anyways?
posted by mcsweetie at 9:21 AM on December 25, 2001

While I'm not cynical enough to suggest that Farrel did this solely for the PR (though he is know to be quite a grandstander), I have to agree with Postroad's comments about supporting the slavery industry. The simple reason that most humanitarian organizations do not buy slaves to free them is that it creates an incentive for more kidnapping and slavery. It's much harder and longer work to change the economic realities in Sudan so that slavery is no longer an attractive industry.
posted by Ty Webb at 10:21 AM on December 25, 2001

What it comes down to is, he took a carefully shepherded helicopter trip and sang over a boom box

He may have done it for the PR, but by bringing attention on himself he also brought attention on the cause he's supporting. This will (hopefully) attract even more support. Egotism or not, it still helps.

posted by Mars Saxman at 3:28 PM on December 25, 2001

yeah, the pumping of money into the slave trade will, at the very least, extend the ability of the traders to continue the kidnapping. And at worst, if they are involved with one side or another of the war, it funnels more cash into the arms trade and thereby reduces the chances of the war ending in the next decade. It's a great and difficult ethical dilemma. Do we let these slaves rot, which is absolutely wrong, or try to rescue them, and thereby screw over more people?
posted by kaibutsu at 4:34 PM on December 25, 2001

is this the worst opening sentence in journalistic history?

It made more sense than the incoherent ramblings on geopolitics that followed it...
posted by MrBaliHai at 5:37 PM on December 25, 2001

So, I guess he's done with Sergio?

posted by adampsyche at 6:50 PM on December 25, 2001

I don't think my reaction is cynical. I don't mean to diminish the help that people give in Sudan, or indeed the worthiness of Perry Farrell's contribution. But if it was, I dunno, Garth Brooks or Joey Lawrence or Britney Spears doing this instead of Perry, some of you would have the same reaction as I did. You would think they were dilettantes; there would be accusations of radical chic; you would accuse them of cynically manipulating people's misery to further their own careers or egos. And I think you would, to some degree, be right.

I think instead that "celebrity international aid" is in some measure a cynical use of people in need--that wouldn't be any different if it was some other celeb do-gooder like Bono or Sting. Celebs help in that they bring attention to a cause...and that attention disappears as soon as the star does. Meanwhile, the true heroes just keep plugging away, year after year. It strikes me devote so much attention to one celeb's contribution.

And skallas, if you think agents don't sit around come up with causes for their clients to be seen visibly contributing to, you're naive. That doesn't mean that the clients can't find the cause worth contributing to on their own, but the whole enterprise seems ethically suspect. If it were Britney, this would seem obvious, beyond question, but Perry Farrell, gets a pass because...why? We like him more than Britney? He's hipper than Britney?

But my main reaction here is to the idea that Perry Farrell somehow risked his life to bring help to the slaves of Sudan. He gave money; great. I respect him for that (modulo my fears about prolonging slavery mentioned above; I don't know enough for them to be more than fears). But why did he need to go there? If it was truly dangerous, he shouldn't have been there getting underfoot in the first place. If it wasn't, then it was just an exotic form of tourism, a form only available to celebrities, and the idea that it was "a death-defying trip" is just hype.

As Mars points out, it still helps, and as I said above, I don't want to diminish the real contribution famous people can make. But we shouldn't be naive about the nature of the system that's at work here, and we should try to distinguish the hype from the reality.
posted by rodii at 7:25 PM on December 25, 2001


Perry Farrell.

Sound the same to me.
posted by trioperative at 7:53 PM on December 25, 2001

Even to the professionals, this is a dilemma . I think that the only long term solution is for the Sudan to become two countries. This will not happen anytime soon. These slaves are real people with real lives and real suffering. So, if there were no other solutions on the horizon, would you spend fifty dollars to free someone from slavery or go out to a nice dinner? Granted, PF probably did not miss a meal over this, but at least he made a choice. Thousands of other people have made the same choice. PF should get the same credit or blame that you give to the other people who have tried to end slavery in this way in that hopeless area of the world. Although the current solutions are not working, I can't blame a guy for trying.
posted by colt45 at 10:23 PM on December 25, 2001

"But why did he need to go there? If it was truly dangerous, he shouldn't have been there getting underfoot in the first place. If it wasn't, then it was just an exotic form of tourism, a form only available to celebrities, and the idea that it was "a death-defying trip" is just hype."

This man actually did something good for humanity and all you can see is a ploy for more album or concert ticket sales and you think you aren’t cynical?

Does it really matter if it was his agent who suggested it?. It was done and 23 hundred people are free.

I don’t give a shit if he writes great music or shitty music I don’t care if he is Ricky Martin, or Kim Deal or if he is in Green Day. He did a good thing and you spit on his efforts.
posted by Qambient at 12:54 PM on December 27, 2001

Take a pill, Q. If you want to get all hysterical, it works both ways: "Many dedicated people fight slavery in Sudan and you celebrate Perry Farrell." I can tell you that in the aid community, many people feel this kind of ambivalence. I spit on nothing, as you'd see if you could control your fury long enough to read the paragraph immediately after the one you quote. I have suggested that (a) people labor evey day in obscurity to do good things, and they should get more attention than they do; (b) this kind of celebrity do-gooding is, no matter how worthy the individual acts are, enmeshed in an ethically suspect star system; (c) in this particular case taking the alleged risk was unnecessary and--if the risk was real--unwise.

I expressed no opinion on Perry Farrell's character (though I see no reason to think that his intentions weren't good), though you can infer that my opinion of the kind of people that are impressed by this stunt isn't super high. But it's no crime to be naive, and it's not like I'm the wisest old man in the world. I don't, however, understand the hyperventilating sanctimony some people seem to work up when other people don't share their adulation. If you can come down off your high horse for a minute, tell me exactly what your disagreements are with what I said and maybe I'll see how I was wrong.
posted by rodii at 6:45 PM on December 27, 2001

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