Editor’s Note: This story relied on a report in Us Weekly, which said Affleck would be doing his eat-like-a-poor-person thing for just one day. That’s wrong. In fact, it’s clear from Affleck’s Twitter feed (and the campaign it points to) that Affleck intends to do this for five days and he’s doing it to get other people to join him, which is a worthy goal. Grist apologizes for the error. We never should have doubted you, Ben! Call us!
I want to be clear about something. I love Ben Affleck. I love him how you only love someone to whom you have spent most of your life being largely indifferent. After he made Argo, I was like, “OK dude, yes, you deserve to exist, big time. You made a movie like they used to make in the ’70s, with the kind of suspense and storytelling no one even bothers with anymore because they’re just like, oh, our trailer has a good joke in it about MILFs, so hello good opening weekend and screw Americans and their yearning for well-executed traditional narrative structure.”
Anyway, Affleck is now, in the way only movie stars can, doing something “cool” that is also lame (which does not befit the man who made Argo). To raise awareness of global hunger, he is going to eat like a poor person for one day. One day. I had to read it several times myself.
The Global Poverty Project says that a person living in poverty spends $1.50 daily on food, and Affleck is going to eat on that amount for one day. And not only Affleck, but Sophia Bush, Josh Groban, Debi Mazar, and Hunter Biden (I can figure out who that is but am definitely all, “who?”). I don’t know what they’re all going to find to eat for $1.50 in L.A. … maybe like two day-old donuts? But they don’t have to keep it up for very long.
This is in the tradition of other, more comprehensive gestures, like Cory Booker’s recent decision to live off food stamps for a week. And even that was like, well, you can put up with a lot of things for a week. But a week, I feel, should be the minimum for one of these “raising awareness” things. Because otherwise the only awareness that’s been raised is the awareness that you want to laugh and say, “One day? Really?” [Ed. note again: Five days is pretty OK, on that scale.]