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Obligations of celebrity

Posted at 5:53 PM on June 10, 2008 by Euan Kerr

An interesting wee article in the Glasgow Herald mentions that a cash-strapped Scottish government is asking that Scottish celebs do some gratis P.R. work for the homeland.

As I am oft-want to do I quickly translated the idea to Minnesota. After all both Scotland and the North Star State have about 5 million people, with a big chunk of them concentrated about the midsection. Both places are proud of their far-reaching accomplishments, and feel central government doesn't pay them enough attention. Both have regional cuisine which the rest of the world feels is at best questionable, if not downright offensive.

So as Scots ask whether Sean Connery, Billy Connelly and Ewan MacGregor are obligated to spread the word about their birthplace, surely it's only a matter of time before poor old Josh Hartnett gets a knock at the door. And Chris Mulkey? And what about Ned Beattie too now that he lives here?

Actually it's always seemed a slightly strange way to advertise a place to me. Aside from the fact that quite often the people who are being held up as the local kids seldom actually live in the place in question any more. It somewhat undermines the message, and in the case of movie stars it punctures the screen illusion. An actor adopts a persona in a role: having a real life complicates things.

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