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Paging Bob Geldof

It was only a matter of time before the self-anointed pop stars, legends and entertainment kings and queens came out of the woodwork to show an outpouring of love, sympathy and a willingness to chip in to the tsunami-ravaged lands. I don't mean to sound cynical (wait, yes I do), but the stars and their benefits are just a bit tiresome, not to mention unnecessary. My first thought upon hearing that there would be telethons, albums and concerts all in the name of tsunami relief was where were these people last year when 40,000* lay dead in Bam, Iran? Plenty of Iranian entertainers came through, but I don't recall the head honcho of NBC planning a telethon to help out. Why the difference in humanitarian aid? I don't know. When you think about it, the amount of people and organizations rushing to donate money and goods to the hard hit regions seems overwhelmingly good, altruistic and heart warming on first glance, but perhaps on further reflection you might say to yourself - imagine if Amazon just randomly put up a front page link one day during the year for people to donate to AIDS awareness or starving kids in America? How much money could they raise for other causes? And hey, where is the telethon/album for the people who have lost their homes and businesses in hurricanes and wildfires? It's so easy to be cynical. Mega stars stumping for a cause just gives my cynicism that bitter twinge. I get a bad taste in my mouth every time a group of celebrities (or psuedo celebrities) get together to try to get you, their fans, to donate to a cause. I think, instead of spending time getting all these people together, renting a studio, writing a song, recording the song, putting the album in stores, waiting for the constant airplay to kick in and, in essence, begging their public to send money to whatever they are singing about - why don't they all just reach into their pockets and donate a cool million each? Sondra did it. Leonardo did it. It seems a hell of lot more sensible, logistically and monetarily, to just cut a check and get the money where it's going. But, no. Rather than donate out of their own bank accounts, they'd rather reach out to you - you who buys their albums and t-shirts, you who probably has $24 in your bank account at the moment and no gas in your car - to put the dollars in the coffer because, hey, they are donating their time, man. They are donating their talents. And that should be enough. Right? Any moment now Bruce Springsteen will hold a press conference, with Bono on one side and Sting on the other. They'll announce a huge show at some vast stadium, maybe two stadiums - one in the U.S. and one in the U.K. Bob Geldof will come out of obscurity to smile for the cameras and remind people that he was at the forefront of the pop-star-as-philanthropist movement. Tickets will be $50 and up. There will be t-shirts, water and food for sale at the show, as well as frisbees and beach balls imprinted with the TsunamiAid logo, which will be copyrighted and trademarked and perhaps drawn by a famous artists. The shows will be simulcast on Pay-per-View. The second the concert is over and the now broke fans have gone home, the DVD and CD will be for sale. Millions and millions of dollars will be raised. By the fans of these stars. Yet the stars will get the credit for raising the money. We don't need overripe pop stars to get us to donate. How much has Amazon raised already? How much in private donations have been given? How many people have already volunteered to go over and help with the recovery efforts? We did this all without the benefit of some guy with a hit record telling us to. Instead of putting together a big show with overhead costs, instead of dragging has been stars out of the B-movie retirement home to answer phones on a telethon, instead of cajoling, pleading and guilting their fans into coughing up more (in the guise of pop culture paraphernalia) than they already gave - why don't they all just reach into their pockets and say, here, here's a million to the cause. I don't even care if they stage a press conference where they are holding up a huge, fake check and presenting it to that scarred super model who got stuck in the tree. Give the media your best smile. Boast about how much you gave. Feel smug. As long as you're not putting on this act like you raised shitloads of money when all you did beg the people who afford you your million dollar homes to give it up for the TsunamiAid©) fund. I give it less than 24 hours before either Springsteen or Sting, flanked by the members of a reunited-minus-one Queen, announces a huge concert. And less than 24 hours after that before the website and subsequent store go up. You may commence with flaming my blatant cynicism Update: AHA! LiveAid 2, coming soon to a stadium near you! *edited

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Comments

I agree with your cynicism, but from a different angle.

What's taking these elite music makers so long?

It seems to me they all mobilized pretty quickly a dozen weeks ago to launch a huge tour to help defeat President Bush. If they could turn in on so fast then, why is it taking so long now?

(A hat tip, by the way, to Sandra Bullock's donation; she's not included in the above criticism)

I think it might just have something to do with the fact that quite a bit of the entertainment industry go to that part of the world on holiday.

Complete agreement.

Somehow I don't think this disaster is lacking in the public awareness to the extent that we need a bunch of "stars" to plead for us to give. I think the public and the corporate world have made an amazing amount of contributions- and more will continue to come.

I am (sadly) a little cynical about celebrities and causes of the moment.

Not about Sandra Bullock, though- I know this isn't the first time she's given major bucks for relief efforts.

I agree with you to a point and like Charlie above me said, what's taking them so long?
Good job Sandra and Leo as much as I'm not a fan of their work, I admire their selflessness.
What's hard is everyone is asking the American people to keep giving. Not that we won't but the president pledged so much American money (our tax dollars) and then asked us to give on our own, the stars will now ask us, amazon is asking us etc etc etc.
I gave what I could. A small $10 but it's not enough. Will never be enough. I want to see our biggest companies donate millions. I want to see Trump and Gates and the fortune 500 jump up to the task and help us regular joe schmoes help those people.

No flaming deserved or needed. In fact I'm probably a larger cynic than you. That couple million bucks donated by Sondra and Leonardo is also tax deductable.

Go ahead, out cynic that.

Note to Kat, I believe Gates gave a cool $3 million thru his foundation.

Preach it sister! Man, what a way to get the blood boiling in the morning!

Kudos to Bullock and DiCaprio - I won't even begrudge the fact that they made press releases about their giving; it will still save lives.

Time to rent "While You Were Sleeping" - the number one movie on my list of "The only 5 Chick Flicks worth watching".

A Concert For the People Close to Proximity to Bangladesh would not only raise money (yours), but more importantly raise consciousness about this low profile disaster. If the rock stars don't act, how will the word get out about this tragedy?

>> If the rock stars don't act, how will the word get out about this tragedy?<<

Say what? Wait a moment, do you mean there's only constant coverage on my local TV news, and on FNC, but only on my cable company?

Voluntary assistance is now considered a right. This renders gratitude unnecessary.

Scooch over on the cynic train, girl! I need a window seat!

Why DON'T they just give a million each like Sandy? You'd think one of them would be all, "I'll see your $1 million, Ms. Bullock, and I'll raise you TEN!" Then it would be a "I gave more money, please love me more and buy my next album!" free-for-all.

But, like you said, nooooooo. They want people like my brother in college who lives on ramen noodles to fork over $50 for tickets.

Lisa - that's $40 for a ticket and $10 to get stroked of by ticketmaster, right?

I've always thought this comment from Michael Caine was extremely wise: ""If you want to help the homeless, you don't make a movie about the homeless. You make Terminator 2 and give the money to the homeless."

It all about the publicity. Bullock only upped the antie to get the other Hollywood deadbeats to chime in. Too bad it was only Leo who has shown what he is made of.

channelling Jimmy Buffett's "Overkill":

...
Rap) Out in Hollywood where paper money rolls, they feed their egos
instead of their souls.
A million here, a million there, a mindless corporate dance.
Gettin' paid for fuckin' off in the South of France.
They don't do the shows, but they act like the stars.
They fly around in G-4's and suck on big cigars.
It ain't about the talent, it ain't about the skill.
It's all about the silly stupid horseshit deal!

...

Not that I like saying nice things about them, but Linkin Park donated $100,000 of their own as well.

Don't be dissin' the LP.

Linkin Park did their bit on the 29th, and very quietly.

If we

Bam, Iran - 400,000 dead? - more like 40,000, methinks.

Couldn't agree with you more.

Yep, and what is especially tragic, M, is that those 40,000 in and around Barn, Iran failed to die in a democracy.

I get a bad taste in my mouth every time a group of celebrities (or psuedo celebrities) get together to try to get you, their fans, to donate to a cause.

How about when blog celebrities do it? Is it cool then?

Note to Kat, I believe Gates gave a cool $3 million thru his foundation.

Thank you. I was unaware of that.

Allah....ouch!

As for Geldof, he was sincere. He created the whole "feed the world" event because he believed in it. Some joined in because it became so big that they had to attach their names to it. Bob never did it for the personal glory, he's a good guy in my book.

I don't care if giving is done for selfish, self-aggrandizing purposes or for wonderful, humility-based reasons. Money for disaster relief is needed. Period.

I will hold my cynicism until the money is collected.

I'm outraged!

All you people - from both sides of the political alley - who are using the disaster in Asia as a springboard to frothing at the mouth about people/politicians/religions/organizations you hate - are big, giant, fucking assholes.

I can't believe someone would politicize the tsunami distaster! I guess that makes you an asshole, huh Michele?

The righteous outrage! It courses through my veins.

PS -

a. it's just possible that more or additional money can be raised via goods and services exchanged for charity than charity alone

b. you have no idea how much money the celebrity's give in addition to money raised. Kind of hard to bitch in a vacuum.

Outraged!

I don't care how much money DiCaprio gave ... I still can't stand to watch him act. But, good for him. How much money has Babs given?

you have no idea how much money the celebrity's give in addition to money raised.

Celebrities.

Thanks, come again.

Captain Outrage? Is that Allah's new nom-de-blog? He did mention the possibility of such a thing in that Protein Wisdom string michele linked to a bit back. I hope it isn't, since, above all, I loved Allah for his spelling skills.

I can say with certainty that Mr. Outrage is not Allah.

Allah,
How about when blog celebrities do it? Is it cool then?

If michele or even Powerline or the other big guys pulled in over a million a post, you'd have a point.

However, michele can't even afford a DARN COFEEMAKER!.

It's the difference between "the guys at the job" collecting to help a co-worker in a crisis - and the CEO having a bake sale (with cameras rolling) to "help" said co-worker.

Geez.

Celebrities.

A typo! Outrageous! I'm outraged! So is my 8th grade English teacher!

I just couldn't think/type straight with all of the righteous outrage coursing through my veins at the moment! It's those "big, giant, fucking assholes" who are "who are using the disaster in Asia as a springboard to frothing at the mouth about people/politicians/religions/organizations you hate" that have me twitching! They've got me sooooo steeeeeamed!

Outrageous!

You might want to take something for that Bill, Captain.

It's the difference between "the guys at the job" collecting to help a co-worker in a crisis - and the CEO having a bake sale (with cameras rolling) to "help" said co-worker.

In this case it's more like "the guys at the job" collecting -- with cameras rolling. Big smiles!

Outrageous! OUTRAGEOUS! Oh, my left arm just went numb ... that's ... outrageous! So ... so ... outraged ... chest hurts ... calling 9-11 ... what's taking them so long ... outrageous ... it may kill me, but it feels so right ... the outrage ...

I hope that guy from Stray Cats plays at one of these benefits. I like his big band stuff.

I'd really prefer if he played his Stray Cats stuff. Gonna rock this town, baby.

With cameras rolling, limos and hotel suites paid for, and dressing rooms filled with champagne and caviar ...

but think of the wonderful music! Who can forget Sting's "We're Sending Our Love Down a Well", for poor little Timmy O'Toole?

There's a hole in my heart,
As deep as a well,
For that poor little boy,
Who's stuck halfway to hell,

Though we can't get him out,
We'll do the next best thing,
We go on TV,
And sing, sing, sing.

And we're sending our love down the well,
All the way down.
We're sending our love down the well,
Down that well.

I sooooooo want to marry Sandra B.
/god she is such a sweetheart.
/if I can't have her, I guess you would do Michele ;-)

No one gave a rat's behind when people died in the earthquake in Bam, Iran?

Perhaps it's because the assholes of Iran are too busy acquiring a nuclear weapons capability and trying to find delivery vehicles for same.

I think your cynicism might be fueled by the ideological differences between you and said celebrities. Anti-war/"anti-American elites" who use their sway to help others, even if they gain something for it. Either way, as long as something is being done.

No, not really btsi. Not at all. I have nothing against Bono or Geldof.

I guess the question is whether or not something is being done, how big an effect it has, and how much accolades said "stars" are taking for their effort. Sting and the rainforest ... he didn't do shit (and some say he made the problems worse because he didn't understand the issues.)