I like so many others was forced into watching that horribly depressing Haiti telethon which dominated all tv stations everywhere. As I watched the horrible film footage, though, I couldn’t help but be cynical as I thought about why Americans once again are called to aid another impoverished country when Americans are suffering the worst financial crisis since The Great Depression. Without a doubt, this was certainly an unexpected and terrible event, but where are Haiti’s leaders? Where’s the millions we’ve already given? What happened to tourist dollars?
Then, there’s the ridiculousness of out-of-control fundraising. What happened to the Red Cross surplus from Louisiana?? Are you telling me that those music performers weren’t also thinking about record sales?? When was the last time Wyclef or Madonna made a successful album? Who bought out those primetime timeslots to air this nonsense??
Think about it, people. Aren’t you pissed that while America’s raising your taxes & stripping away your health-care benefits, that they are demanding that you "dig deeper" into your wallets to help rebuild a country that already had a government stealing from its people? Why do we constantly have to find the means to sacrifice stretch and rebuild when George Clooney single-handedly can donate $1 million of his own personal stash and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie can afford to adopt their own rainbow coallition?? Let’s not forget the speedy bill-pass to make sure Americans can get a tax break for their generosity. What the government doesn’t tell you is that right now tax breaks generally benefit those who earn the most. Does that sound fair?! Oh, wait. I’m being a bit negative, right. Well, where were the local police in Haiti? Did I see any coverage of them. Of course not. They were too busy protecting the tourists and wealthy. Tell me they weren’t. Puhlease.
Now onto that hilarious telethon. Taylor Swift’s non-existent coversation and Stephen Spieldberg’s over-indulgent one. What was that perforamnce of Halleluyah by Justin Timberlake? Didn’t anybody ever hear those lyrics before? Not exactly appropriate. Then Madge’s Like A Prayer performance. May as well have been Like A Virgin. RobPat’s and Brad Pitt’s beards could have done show all by themselves. What about the odd-pairing of The Champ, Mohammad Ali & Chris Rock? It was funny as Chris is explaining that a clearly pre-written statement on a teleprompter came from/ The Champ. The look on Mohammad’s face betrayed that story. Beyonce’s maudlin version of Halo was better, but I could of done without the term, Haiti. That was overkill. Too bad I didn’t see Katy Perry sing her rendering of "I Kissed A (Haitian) And I Liked It". Or, Lady GaGa, for that matter with her calypso version of "Papa-(Chango)". Lameness.
Now that we’re committed to World Aid, looks like the rest of us will have to live off Ramen noodles & table scraps. That’s ok though. At least we’ll know where we’re vacationing next year…that is if we can afford it.