In the Daily Mail’s continuing quest to say stupid things to an equally stupid readership, mega-celebrity Angelina Jolie’s jaunt to Cambodia with son Maddox is called a “danger trip,” that will take the duo “through a remote area littered with landmines and known for its civil unrest in the days of the notorious Khmer Rouge.”
Right. Known for its unrest thirty-six years ago.
Thankfully, Jolie hired a couple of armed guards to protect them from the deadly cattle, low-income villagers, water buffalo and underpaid traffic police they will doubtless encounter on their perilous journey.
The Daily Mail apparently doesn’t know that the real dangers of the Cambodian countryside – lousy driving and food poisoning – aren’t preventable by heavily armed men with automatic weapons. (Shame, really).
We also hope that poor little Maddox is not scarred for life by 1. seeing a guy carrying a gun and 2. going back to the humble village of his birth.
It’s stupid articles like this that force me to explain to people back home that the Khmer Rouge are no longer whisking people away in the night.
I am met with looks of baffled incredulity when I say that Phnom Penh is exponentially safer than New Orleans, and that I’d take a darkened Cambodian alley over its NOLA or Oakland equivalent any day.
In the eyes of a healthy majority of the Western population, Cambodia has apparently been stuck in time since the Khmer Rouge era, and a vacation there is just-about asking for enslavement in a work camp, a bullet to the head, or at least a solid roughing up by very angry men in black jammies.
Of course, this beats the Americans who ask me with great interest what it’s like living in Africa.
Also, let’s recall that Cambodia’s biggest news story of the year – the worst flooding in ten years, but than again, you probably haven’t heard about that – has been just about ignored by the mainstream media. But Angelina Jolie’s every movement in Cambodia? Stop the presses!
I don’t really have anything against Angelina, other than that the media outside Cambodia pays attention to her – and only her – whenever she conducts a charity trip here. Cambodia only serves as a conveniently dramatic background to whatever Ms Megacelebrity is doing at the time.
Perhaps Angie should contemplate carrying out a nice PR campaign for Cambodia alongside her other charitable work, so people in the West will stop running stupid stories like the Mail’s.
Taking out ads for Cambodia emphasizing how safe and nice it is and how you can buy all kinds of attractive and reasonably priced souvenirs would be a start.
Perhaps something like this: