Angelina Jolie took time away from shilling Mr. and Mrs. Smith last week to fly herself down to Sierra Leone, in order to put in some face time with that country's president and survivors of their 11-year civil war. But before your heart melts into an icky-sticky puddle like an Easter peep left out in the sun, consider this: is the tat-loving single mom/Oscar winner/ U.N. ambassador really doing any good? Celebrity hater Bill O'Reilly says no (but then, he would, wouldn't he?), but as Jonathan Curiel suggested in yesterday's San Francisco Chronicle, even if Jolie and her do-gooding celebrity friends fail to accomplish any hands-on change, they have a powerful figurehead effect when they associate themselves with humanitarian causes. "In today's celebrity-obsessed culture," Curiel writes, "There may no better way to publicize a cause than having someone beautiful and famous show up and say, "This is important, and here is why."" The global gaze does tend to follow the shiny things, but does it stay with them? Isn't this kind of like saying Rainforest Barbie is going to get everyone to start recycling? Do pictures in US Weekly of Angie Jolie communing with orphans lead to any real global change?