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Saturday, August 4, 2007

Along came Sean Penn

The surprising visit of actor, director and activist Sean Penn to Venezuela and "apparently" applauding and supporting Hugo Chavez are blowing up the minds of all Venezuelans that have this Oscar winner as a one of their favorites. I started a search all over Internet and gathered some interesting blog posts and articles about this (for me and until now) big NO NO for Sean Penn. The following is a post by the economist Noel Sheppard from NewsBusters:

As Sean Penn gushed over despot Hugo Chavez Thursday, a former Miss Venezuela and previous co-star of the activist actor's was telling the Associated Press she hopes Penn "comes to his senses and he realizes that he's being used."

Movie lovers likely remember Maria Conchita Alonso(1) as Robin Williams' girlfriend in "Moscow on the Hudson," and Arnold Schwarzenegger's in "The Running Man."

With that in mind, the Associated Press reported Thursday (emphasis added throughout):

Some Chavez opponents were angered by Penn's visit.

Cuban-born actress Maria Conchita Alonso, who grew up in Venezuela, said Penn is lending support to a "totalitarian" leader who wants increasing control of society - a charge Chavez denies.

In a phone interview from her home in Beverly Hills, California, Alonso said although she respects Penn as an actor, she hopes he "comes to his senses and he realizes that he's being used."

Alonso worked with Penn in 1988's gang movie "Colors."

According to the AP, Penn's newest role is as Chavez's useful idiot:

Hollywood star Sean Penn applauded President Hugo Chavez as the Venezuelan leader lambasted the Bush administration and demanded an end to war in Iraq.

Chavez met privately with Penn for two hours Thursday, praising the actor as "brave" for urging Americans to impeach President Bush.

"In the name of the peoples of the world, President Bush, withdraw the troops from Iraq. Enough already with so much genocide," Chavez said before an auditorium packed with his red-clad supporters.

Penn sat near the front, at times applauding and nodding in agreement.

You think Chavez was playing a street organ at the time?

This is from Ian James, AP

LA GRITA, Venezuela (AP) — Aboard the presidential jet, a grinning Hugo Chavez put a hand on Sean Penn's shoulder, praised his acting and added: "And he's anti-Bush!"

The Venezuelan president reveled in his role as host to the Hollywood star as they flew across the country Friday and traveled through the countryside in a military jeep with Chavez at the wheel, stopping to greet cheering supporters... ...Penn is the latest in a series of U.S. celebrities and public figures to visit Chavez, including actor Danny Glover, singer Harry Belafonte and Cindy Sheehan, who became a peace activist after her soldier son was killed in Iraq.

And this is from Daniel Permalink :

Dear Sean

I am allowing myself to drop you a little note in reaction to your trip to Venezuela. I am writing to you because I like you very much as an actor and I even shared some of the political causes you espouse, such as your anti Iraq stand from the start. There are two acting moments that I will cherish from your career. The first one is your excellent and touching movie with Susan Sarandon, "Dead Man Walking", one of the very few movies I got the sound track from (I do not like sound tracks in general and I really, really need to like a given movie to get the CD, not that it has much to do with your acting there anyway).

I even had some notice of your sympathy for Hugo Chavez. I did not hold you a grudge for that, after all many US left wing Liberals did commit this slight sin not knowing better. After all you are a rough man and a rough military that claims to work for the people is someone you can relate with. I get it. But from there to go and visit him? To allow yourself to be guided to the Potemkin villages that belong to the well organized tour for foreign celebrities en mal of revolutionary romanticism? I would have thought more of you. Did you not observe in your Chavez meeting that the red is the de rigueur uniform in Venezuelan offices? Did that not bother you a little bit? Did you even notice how Chavez occupies alone his space, half the table?

And digging a little bit more, did you have the curiosity to try to escape your escorts and visit some areas that the revolution has not touched yet? Did you see the homeless people on the highway to Caracas, such as the pictures of them are shown in my blog? Where you even curious to meet people disagreeing with Chavez or did you assume that they were all pro Bush and dismissed them outright? I do sincerely hope that the only reason you came to Venezuela is to con Chavez for a few millions for a movie just as Danny Glover did. At least I could find some way to forgive you: but for a movie, that I can also get.

But I am afraid that you are letting your anti Bush posture cloud your mind. And thus you remind me of my second favorite role part from you, a guest appearance in what is currently my favorite sitcom: Two and a Half Men. There you played a caricature version of yourself, as an aging star in between joints and booze, fuzzy mind. We could see quite well the biceps and tattoo that you showed Chavez today, by the way. Rough guy, aren't you? And you were equally disheveled as in that sitcom. Thus I am left to think that perhaps you actually simply played yourself in that episode, the aging star in quest of a cause, any crusade to give meaning to your life. Maybe you were not any more an actor in that show, you were just yourself. I think I will get the Dead Man Walking DVD now, I prefer to keep you in my memory that way, when you were still meaningful.

Best luck in getting your bucks for your movie, I am sure it will be a forgettable experience once it hits the screens. See, in case you were not told, everything that Chavez touches turns into shit, a reverse Midas touch. And with art and culture it is particularly pathetic.

And this is from Webloggin:

Perhaps a few bong hits would actually make Sean Penn smarter, lord knows he can’t really get any dumber. Nonetheless, he traveled to Venezuela to tour a studio and “see the situation for himself”. Penn’s idol, fascist dictator Hugo Chavez is singing the praises of the Hollywood half-wit for being “well-informed about what is happening in the United States and the world, in spite of being in Hollywood.” I am sure that Penn will come away from the visit with Chavez’s carefully planned message. Chavez good, Bush bad, no war for oil, tasty waves and cool buds!

Penn did not speak publicly according to the AP. That’s about right, now he really is experiencing life as an everyday citizen under the rule of Hugo Chavez.

And sure you want to know what the Venezuelans think about this rare twist from Sean Penn, well these are some forum posts(2):

"another who came for dollars"

"Venezuela is the small box for all the shameless..."

"If Danny Glover took 15 millions, he will take 50 what a shame"

"This thing of Sean Penn doesn't worth it, remember what he did after hurricane Katrina..."

"the actor doesn't have the guilt, the problem is the dreamer that invites him and think that with this, he has the World on his hand"

"Is probably sure he came to film a Vietnam war movie"

"I hope the movie they will film be called "Death Man Walking 2", and the story about a death convict named Hugo Chavez"

PD: BTW, did you know, when this all bizarre thing started, Chavez said that he just sought Mystic River and "the movie which he won the Oscar and I like it" said the president's impostor (as he signed off a resign as President back in 2002 and a DA died because of this).

How convenient don't you think!!!.

(1) Just in case you don't know who Maria Conchita Alonso is, she appeared on Desperate Housewives as Gabriel's Mom.

(2) Taken from Noticiero Digital.

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