23 January 2010

Driven to Tears

Last night I got caught up in the Haiti telethons, I found them to be oddly watchable. I think something about them appeals to the part of me that likes awards shows. Generally, I tend to avoid anything having to do with Ben Mulroney, but my affinity for celebrities asking for my money somehow outweighs my hatred of him. I must be more shallow than I previously suspected.

The Canadian telethon had, let us say, less of a budget than the American version. I thought it was interesting how they had a person there from each network. It was weird, however, how they arranged the recognizable Canadians behind them, so that while Ben was blathering on you saw poor little Rachel McAdams standing all awkard off to his side, trying to react appropriately to what he was saying. There were people there in uniform, but no one talked to them. George Strombolopolous (I think that spelling is approximately right) had a little intervew with Mike Holmes. Mike Holmes is awesome, he should run for Prime Minister. It seemed like George really wanted Holmes to make some kind of crazy pledge, like, "If Canada donates $30 million dollars tonight I, Mike Holmes, will personally go down to Haiti and rebuild it myself!  Don't you think Holmes in Haiti has a better ring to it than Holmes in New Orleans? Make it Right!" Of course, he did no such thing, but I would not be surprised if he does go down there to build a few homes.

The best performance of the night was easily K'naan. Of all the performances, I felt his was the most fitting.

The Hip played too. And as soon as they come on, I had this thought: have The Hip stopped playing New Orleans is Sinking since Katrina? Probably not, but I do wonder. I thought a lot about New Orleans while watching these shows. They haven't recovered yet, and they're part of one of the richest nations. How long is it going to take Haiti? That was kind of the clincher in me deciding to donate again (I've already given via a Halifax for Haiti benefit concert). Also, the government is matching donations, and I think they've lifted the initial cap they put on that. So, nows the time to really get my money's worth. Hopefully, I've inspired you to give a little (or a lot). Come on. Do it. You know you want to. Everybody else is.

I had intended to watch the American telethon just long enough to see Bono and The Edge. I only watched the first hour, though, and they didn't show. I had to find them on YouTube this morning. They wrote a song, Stranded (Haiti mon amour) with a bunch of people over the phone. I know this because some person with less of a life than me has already written the Wikipedia page for the day-old song.

Anyway, if you've ever wanted to see Bono play back-up singer to Jay Z, or hear Bono sing in french, or ever wanted to see just how short that little Irish man is as Rhianna towers over him, watch the clip below.

I read that Rhianna pledged to stop wearing pants until Haiti is rebuild. What a philantropist!

Okay, so I should admit that I didn't really watch the full first hour of the American telethon. I was flipping between it and a movie called Swarm, which turned out basically to be Gentically Modified Killer Ants On A Plane, which totally held my attention more than Taylor Swift. So, maybe I'm not as shallow as I thought. I did see some of the performances, and of the ones I did see I have to say that Stings was the most appropriate. He played Driven to Tears, a 30 year old Police song that is still relevant (and, this may not be the time nor the place, but Sting has got some nice arms).

The part of the song that resonates with me is "Seems that when some innocent die/All we can offer them is a page in a some magazine/Too many cameras and not enough food." I wonder about that when I see all the dozens of news people in Haiti. Who is feeding those reporters? Are they sharing? How can they be impartial? Can they really just stand there and report what's happening and not get involved? The Chronicle Herald has someone embedded on one of the Navy ships that left Hali last week. His stories are very compelling. He said that the Navy men were officially told to not give out their personal rations of food and water to the Haitians, but then all the Navy men told they reporter that they were already planning to give away their rations. But the journalists, are they giving up what they have? Or are they just there to watch?

I just read an article about the repatriation of the RCMP officers killed in the quake. I'm making myself sad. I should stop now. Maybe I should donate again.

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