“Anybody have any idea what invention has saved more lives than any other in the history of humankind?” Matt Damon asked a room filled with reporters. The answer? “The toilet.” But how serious is this actor in requesting the world to relinquish use of the most important innovation known to modern man?
TV shows like Entourage and Ricky Gervais' Extras were the first to introduce a a new genre featuring movie celebrities playing "twisted" version of themselves where their personas are overly exaggerated. This type of performance is an inverted parody of one's self. It's intent is to shake up the audience into questioning whether the performer is a villainous cad in real life. Matt Damon, who's currently going on strike for one of his charities decided to make such a move on Showtime's new series House of Lies.
In a recent episode, Damon's guest spot highlights his charitable selection-making as anything but authentic, going so far as to label Water.org as "unsexy." He even leans on Marty Conn and his consulting team to find him a more buzz-worthy charity. His superficiality overcomes the substance we thought existed in the man. He leads the audience to question his motives, seeing him as an effete, gravitating toward the next "designer" cause.
However, in real life, Damon is very serious about Water.org (well, sort of). So much so, he has planned a strike on March 22, 2013. In an entertaining video posted to the charity's YouTube channel, Matt announces tongue-and-cheek in a mock press conference that until every on on the planet has access to clean water and a toilet, he's on strike. And he'd like everyone to join in his fight.
According to Melissa Locker at Time Magazine, "the Oscar-winning actor and philanthropist is taking the bold and uncomfortable step of refraining from using toilets in order to raise awareness of the lack of clean water and sanitation for millions of people worldwide."
With 780 million people (twice the population of the U.S.) lacking access to clean water, and 2.5 billion without toilets, Matt Damon's vowed, "In protest of this global tragedy and until this issue is resolved. . . I will not go to the bathroom."
No sooner did he make that announcement, he was joined by three fellow actors. Jason Bateman, Jessica Biel and Josh Gad are all the going on strike as well, pledging the impossible: to never use the toilet between now and World Water Day on March 22nd.
OK, so not really. But it does get the point across. With Biel admitting to never having gone to the bathroom in her entire life and that her farts smell like high-quality air freshener and Bateman saying he will just start peeing in the sink, the satire is well-taken and underscores the dire need at hand.
“The concept of experimenting with comedy to generate new levels of
awareness and participation in the cause is something we’ve been toying
with for a couple of years,” said Damon. “If Sarah Silverman and I can
generate millions of views on YouTube for something ridiculous, then we
should be able to do better for one of the most important and solvable
issues of our time.”
For those that want to join the actors on strike, or even those who just cannot live without man's greatest invention, head over to strikewithme.org and donate. To date, with only a $10K dollar goal, water.org has exceeded that level with $76,000+. With less than 2 weeks left folks, think about a $25 donation which is said to provide one person with safe water for lifetime. Quite a contribution, wouldn't you say?