If you’re like me, when you read a newspaper artcle about bans on air travel in Europe or the sex-abuse scandal in the church, you may find yourself wondering, “What would the actor Matthew Modine think about this?”
Thanks to New York’s Metro, we now know. Metro, a free daily, asked Modine to “guest-edit” the paper for Earth Day, because Modine is an enthusiastic environmentalist and a famous actor, and because, well, someone ought to edit it.
In case you’re wondering what a guest editor does, perhaps I should explain that Modine’s photo appears several times in this edition of Metro, as does a column he’s written about the joys and sorrows of bicycling in the city. But his most impressive contribution is the series of opinions he offers on the big stories of the day. These opinions are presented as sidebars. Next to a story about how the air-travel ban is affecting Europe’s air quality, for example, there’s a box with a headshot of Modine and, under the words ”Modine’s View,” the following aperςu:
The planes not flying has shown how much we consume from other parts of the world…. We realize what we can do without. Not to disrespect the French, but does anyone outside France need to drink water from France?
I hadn’t thought about it that way. Modine is even more perspicacious about the sex-abuse scandal:
Since the child molestation thing has come up, once again, the pope appears to wilting [sic] like a flower lacking water. I cannot imagine the pressure and responsibility of being the head of a church with a long and painful history of child abuse.
Yes, there are things not even a celebrity can imagine.
This is probably as good a place as any to announce that we’ve invited Bill Donohue to guest-edit the August issue of Commonweal — on the condition that he turn off his fax machine for all of that month. You know, for the environment.