5 Weird Causes Championed By The Last Celebrity You'd Expect
Many celebrities want to use their fame for a good cause. Whether it's Marky Mark taking time out of his busy pants-dropping schedule to plant trees or Gwyneth Paltrow taking time out of ... whatever she does these days to give everyone urinary tract infections, at least their hearts are in the right place. For the most part ...
The Guitar Player From Blink-182 Wants To Build A Spaceship
Former Blink-182 guitarist Tom DeLonge's obsession with aliens has gifted the world with his latest project: a crowdfunding campaign to build a space vessel that "Travels instantaneously through Space, Air and Water by engineering the fabric of Space-Time." Yes, if anyone's going to build a real-life Heart of Gold, it's going to be a strummer from a pop-punk band.
It's the flagship project of DeLonge's newly formed To The Stars Academy of Arts & Science, which as of 2017 has already raised $2.3 million, and claims to count the top minds of scientific and government intelligence communities among their ranks. According to the website, their spaceship design "mimics the capabilities observed in unidentified aerial phenomenon by employing a drive system that alters space-time metric. We have glimpses of how the physics of this works, but we need to harvest technologies from the Science Division to 'realise the capability.'" The company's co-founder and VP of science and technology, a person whose real name is definitely Dr. Hal Puthoff, and is certainly not Tom DeLonge in a lab coat and fake mustache, made a statement asking the public to "Imagine having 25th-century science this century."
Oh well. At least it'll be fun to see how they burn $2 million.
Mel Gibson Founded His Own Sect Of Catholicism To Spite The Pope
Between his fervent, occasionally anti-Semitic tirades and his pet torture porn project The Passion Of The Christ, it's no secret that Mel Gibson is down with the Jesus. What was initially a secret is that Gibson is so Catholic that even the Catholic Church isn't Catholic enough for him. That's what led him to found his own church, known as The Church of the Holy Family. It's headquartered in a sprawling 9,300 square foot compound worth $42 million in the mountains near Malibu.
Nobody even knew of Gibson's involvement until a reporter dug up financial records naming him as its director. Curious about the secretive Church of Riggs, the reporter was invited to attend a service on the condition that he neither speak to anyone present nor identify them.
After those ominous warnings, it was kind of a letdown to discover that the service was nothing but a more hardcore version of the normal Catholic Church. It was conducted in Latin, and all women were required to wear veils and long skirts. The only real oddity came at the end of the service, when the priest unleashed a vaguely threatening rant against "the modern church." So far, the entire faith consists of about 70 people. They're really going to have to pump up those numbers if we're ever going to see a Mad Max Popemobile.
Liam Neeson Loves Horse-Drawn Carriages
Taking a ride on a horse-drawn carriage used to be a dashing way to show someone a good time. But much like diamond rings and promposals, people have slowly realized that this seemingly romantic gesture is actually pretty horrifying. The horses are expected to carry unusually heavy loads, on city streets, for hours on end -- an ordeal that occasionally kills them. While many major cities -- including Beijing, Toronto, and London -- have banned the practice, New York City has quietly ignored the controversy. After all, without Central Park carriage rides, why would anyone ever visit the Big Apple?
Never fear, the second-worst Jean Valjean is here to fight for your right to romance horses to death. According to Neeson, the numerous carriage drivers who are inexplicably close personal friends of his would be rendered destitute by the fall of the industry, because it would be impossible for them to sign up with Lyft or, like, learn another job.
Neeson felt so passionately about this strange niche issue that he even contributed his narration services to a short film promoting horse-drawn carriages in New York. Not since Taken 3 has he come so close to beating a dead horse on film. It amassed a whopping 44,000 views on YouTube, which is twice as many people who saw The Commuter, so that's something.
James Brown Was A Huge Champion Of Strom Thurmond
Strom Thurmond is famous for being an absolute prick, mostly (but not entirely) to minorities. He held the longest filibuster in congressional history to prevent the Civil Rights Act from passing, and somehow managed to remain in office until 2003, when he was approximately "way too many" years old. Oh, and he was besties with James Brown, who promoted him every chance he could.
It was a seemingly odd mantle for the godfather of soul -- a staunch civil rights advocate who personally flew to Mississippi to visit activists wounded by the police and KKK -- to take up, and he was never really able to explain it. When asked by Rolling Stone to name a hero of the 20th century, Brown said, "Senator Thurmond has been able to stay afloat all these years, and he's great for our country. When the young whippersnappers get out of line, whether Democrat or Republican, an old man can walk up and say, 'Wait a minute, son, it goes this way.' And that's great for our country."
Brown went so far as to hire Strom Thurmond Jr. as his personal attorney. For Thurmond's birthday in 1993, Brown led the whole crowd in a sing-along to the aging racist, and oh boy is it uncomfortable.
When pressed, Brown responded with retorts like "Can't do all black," or more simply, "He's a friend of mine," which both raise more questions than they answer. Does not "doing all black" mean supporting the occasional racist to balance it out? Did he mean personal friends? Did they ... did they go roller-skating together?!
Wilford Brimley Really Wanted To Keep Cockfighting Legal
These days, most people know Wilford Brimley for looking like the Deku Tree, or maybe for personally delivering diabetes testing supplies right to your door, but he's also a dedicated political activist. And as with most people in his demographic, you probably really wish he wasn't. What's he passionate about? Well, cockfighting, for starters.
Although cockfighting is now illegal in all 50 states, some were slower to ban than others, with Louisiana bringing up the rear in 2007. It must have been a sad day for Brimley, who had been working tirelessly to defend the people's right to battle cocks.
In 1998, he spoke passionately against an upcoming ban in Arizona, and again in 2005 in New Mexico, where he lived at the time.
To be fair, it's not that Brimley is a huge fan of abusing chickens specifically. His reasoning is that if the government starts dictating which animals we can cage-match for fun, what's to stop them from outlawing, say, hunting dogs? The answer is "several things," but Brimley insisted he was merely "trying to protect a lifestyle of freedom and choice for my grandchildren," who were unavailable for comment, but presumably would have rather had an extra fiver in their birthday cards.
Peter I. Santiago makes Bizarre Concoctions on Facebook. Liking the page entitles you to Free Chicken Liver Coffee. Follow Mike Bedard on Twitter. You read his words, so you owe him that much.
For further reading on the horses in Central Park, check out The Horses of Central Park, by Michael Slade.
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For more, check out The 6 Most Misguided Causes Ever Made Famous By Celebrities and 23 Insane Things Your Favorite Celebrities Believe.
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