News and Tribune


April 30, 2013

BEAM: The lady doth protest too little


Surely there was some way to be an activist now. Low and behold, while contemplating how to form some fast dreads with honey so that I could join the Occupy Movement, a news story came across Twitter. Movie star Ben Affleck had decided to join the Live Below the Line campaign, an initiative that challenges people to eat off of $1.50 a day for five days to raise awareness and funds for those suffering impoverishment. 

Throughout the world, more than 1.4 billion people live in extreme poverty, spending only $1.50 a day — not just on food, but on everything including meals, gas, housing, clothing and transportation. 

That’s four times the population of the United States. And that figure has been translated into U.S. dollars with inflation taken in to account, so many live off less. Daily lattés can cost more than three days’ worth of living expenses for some of the world’s most impoverished people. 

Try that as your new morning wake-me-up. 

Now, I’ve seen some of Ben’s movies — OK, OK, all of Ben’s movies — and know about his personal life. Dating Jennifer Lopez and Gwyneth Paltrow alone should qualify him for sainthood, so who am I to doubt his commitment to a good social cause? 

After reading up about the campaign at, I decided to give it a go and signed up. You can pick which nonprofit you want to raise money for, so I chose CARE, a humanitarian organization that focuses on helping poor women and their families find economic opportunities through self-reliance.

Most people started their challenge this past Monday. I can’t lie. I began Friday so that it would be finished before Oaks. To wear heels, I need a few Mint Juleps in me. Then, when I fall, people think it’s due to the alcohol and not my own clumsiness. 

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