WTF Friday (better late than never), 4/9/11

Popular singer elected president of Haiti, at least he lives in the country

Relevant information on Sean Penn’s work in Haiti from the NYT blog’s, “The Accidental Activist“:

  • “[Penn] walked with a slightly bowlegged cowboy gait, a walkie-talkie crackling at his waistband, a cigarette dangling from his mouth.”
  • “When he is in grooming mode, he tends to shellac his hair into a high, rather splendid, Little Richard-style pompadour, but today, as on most days in Haiti, the hair had been allowed to collapse into a dusty quiff…”
  • “Penn sometimes carries a Glock, but the fire extinguisher, he claims, is a far more efficient tool for crowd control.”
  • “He had come with no medical expertise and no experience with N.G.O.’s. He did not speak Creole or French.”
  • “Let’s say that I didn’t come here with an agreement to share decisions.”
  • “For the first six months, I was country director of this thing, and I was basically pretending I knew what the hell I was doing — yelling a lot and getting things done with blackmail.”
  • “In moments of great displeasure, Penn’s lip actually curls and his eyelids droop so low that he begins to look stoned on his own contempt.”
  • “Some people have said, ‘The danger of Sean Penn is that he makes it look as if anyone can do this.’ And my answer to them is, ‘No, I just make it look like you can’t.’”
  • “He will express the hope on CBS’s “Sunday Morning” that all his critics ‘die screaming of rectal cancer.'”
  • “He will predict in self-dramatizing fashion that he will ‘end up shot in the back of the head, but it won’t be by a Haitian, it will be by another N.G.O.'”
  • “All the poetry and prose that he is fondest of quoting tends to celebrate the same romantic ideal of swashbuckling benevolence.”
  • “I love humankind; I don’t like humans.”
  • “Haiti is a foxhole, and we’re all in it.”
  • “By begging and borrowing, schmoozing and shouting, Penn has managed to build one of the most efficient aid outfits working in Haiti today [!?!?!?!?].”

Chris Maggio

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