Monday, June 25, 2007

No Escape for Newsworthy Americans

Bill Gates and Cameron Diaz are making headlines in Peru this weekend.

Ms. Diaz is there apparently to recover from some personal heartbreak or other and to get away from the helicopters hovering over the house of her neighbor, Paris Hilton.

Mr. Gates came to attend a reenactment of the Festival of the Sun in the ancient Incan capital of Cuzco.

Both have attracted considerable attention: Mr. Gates for the royal treatment he is receiving as the donor of $27.8 million to get new cervical cancer vaccines to women in poor countries such as Peru, Ms. Diaz for her shoulder bag inscribed with Mao’s slogan, “Serve the People,” which is not going down well in a country devastated during a bloody insurgency by the Maoist Shining Path.

The burdens of celebrity follow its bearers everywhere, even when they are trying to get off somewhere for a quiet vacation.

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