Thursday, September 01, 2005

Ain't No Sunshine

Everyone knows what's going on in New Orleans and the Gulf coast. Everyone knows the destruction that this latest hurricane has caused. I leave the real news to the real news people. But I feel like if I don't at least mention this event, it will seem like I'm ignorant to the turmoil going on around us. I'm not. Quite simply, this is a pop culture blog. I don't mind mixing social issues with entertainment, but I don't want to rehash the same old depressing news. So, I'm going to look at this ordeal with my good eye closed and my pop eye open.

First off, let's just address the whole "Katrina and the Waves" thing. Ok, it was funny the first 5 times I heard it. It was funny before people started dying and a whole city was engulfed. Some hundred-something puns later, it's more than lost its appeal. No one is walking on sunshine. It's old, it's tired, it's disrespectful at this point. Move on.

Secondly, this story aggravates me. I was checking out Yahoo! for the latest news and this is one of the first stories I came across. It seems that Fats Domino, who was reported missing during the storm, has been picked up recently by a rescue boat. Now, I'm not aggravated because he was rescued, don't get me wrong. I like Fats. I dig his tunes. It would have been a shame if he had been a casualty of this disaster. I'm glad that he's alive and well. But, is his life any more important than anyone else's? I wish I heard more rescue stories in the wake of this catastrophe...about anyone. But this always happens when any type of tragedy strikes. If there is a celebrity involved, their loss or misfortune always overshadows everyone else's. Not saying that it's not newsworthy, because everyone knows who he is, but it just irks me. And I'm sure it irks the families of those who are still missing and/or presumed dead. I'm sure they feel that their loved ones deserve a full-page story as well.

Also in the very same story, it's noted that singer-songwriter Allen Toussaint (if he's jazz, I don't know him) was also reported as missing. The writer goes on to say that, "Fox News reported that Toussaint may be among the 20,000-plus refugees seeking shelter in the Super Dome". And there it is. There are over 20,000 folks out there, missing, lost, homeless, desperate and destitute, and two guys get the spotlight shone on them simply because they're in show biz? Again, I realize that the media focuses on celebrities because of the name recognition. Obviously they're not going to pick a random person to write about. But in an event of this magnitude, why single anyone out? They're all people, struggling to keep their homes, their families and their lives. Am I overreacting? Does this bother anyone else?

Celebrities do, however, have the power to help greatly with relief efforts. (Not all of them choose to help though, which is sickening considering how much money they make. Even the C-list celebs.) Several benefits have been set up already to aid victims of Katrina. We can all make a difference as well, by donating funds to the Red Cross, United Way, or other charitable organizations.

Courtesy of Yahoo! News, the following are the televised events that will be airing in the coming week:

Friday, 9/2/05 - A Concert for Hurricane Relief, airing on NBC, MSNBC and CNBC at 8 p.m. The hour-long special, hosted by Today show co-host Matt Lauer in New York, is scheduled to include performances by Wynton Marsalis, Harry Connick Jr. and Tim McGraw. Leonardo DiCaprio and other celebrities are expected to participate.

Sunday, 9/4/05 - Jerry Lewis' Telethon for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The first four hours and concluding four hours will feature celebrity appeals for donations for hurricane victims. The annual Labor Day weekend broadcast begins at 9 p.m. Sunday and ends at 5:30 p.m. Monday (check local listings for stations).

Friday, 9/9/05 - BET's telethon will air as a two-part, four-hour broadcast. From 6 - 7:30 pm, the network will present a special edition of 106 & Park: BET's Top 10 Live, followed by the telethon, which continues until 10 pm. Russell Simmons, Chris Rock, Wynton Marsalis and rappers Master P, Juvenile and David Banner are among those scheduled to appear. Announced Thursday, the initiative is in partnership with the National Urban League and the American Red Cross.

Saturday, 9/10/05 - An aid effort by MTV Networks, starting with Saturday's music special airing on MTV, VH1 and CMT. Scheduled performers include Green Day, Ludacris, Gretchen Wilson, Usher, Alicia Keys, John Mellencamp, The Dave Matthews Band, Rob Thomas and Linkin Park's Chester Bennington. The special also will be available on MTV2, mtvU and VH1 Classic, as well as broadband video networks MTV Overdrive and VSpot.


Sangroncito said...

I hesitated to blog about the hurricane, too, because like your my blog isn't about current events, but I couldn't help myself. My sadness and outrage is too great. I think we'll both be back to regular broadcasting soon. Hugs, Sangroncito

BadGod said...

I doubt anyone cares about my opinion of the hurricane, so I just let it go.

What everyone does care about, is that the fact that, yes, you are bookmarked. And pearl jam blows ass.

Lee Ann said...

I have a friend from New Orleans that I have still not heard from. The idea of people still on roof tops just blows my mind. I get what you are saying about singling out celebrities. The devastation hits everyone the same, whether they are known or unknown, rich or poor, white or black....the wrath of nature is much bigger than that. Birmingham has opened the Civic Center to those who have become stranded with no homes to go back to and transferred patients to our hospitals. Incredible magnitude of damage.

Kate said...

I saw this thing on CNN. It was asking Dave Pirner (who has a home in New Orleans) and Ellen Degeneres who grew up in Louisiana and Harry Connick Jr. how they were faring thru the whole thing. Seemed kind of strange seeing Dave Pirner there, I mean no disrepect, but it seemed the editor or journalist wanted to have more of a celebrity slant on the whole thing and wanted to list three people in his piece. Just cause they're famous doesn;t mean they're more important. They should start focusing on any good that will come out of this, any signs of humanity being dsplayed. The current news is making me sick to my stomach!

pia said...

Most of the people left in New Orleans were poor blacks who couldn't afford to leave and people are blaming them for being stupid.

Sick sick world

Masha said...

It must also suck for college students who went to schools in New Orleans. Especially Freshmen

Alecia said...

I think that a lot of people out there, unfortunately and fortunately, have never lived through something traumatic. I say, unfortunately, because when you have, the life around you is suddenly perceived in a much clearer way. Things you wouldn't have noticed before you notice. People's lives around you matter more, even those that you don't know. I find jokes, and such during times like these offense and tacky as well. And I have very litte patience for those who don't attempt to "get it"; to understand.

Excellent post.

Doggie Extraordinaire's Mom said...

I had started typing a paragraph about Katrina for posting on my blog and changed my mind. SO glad you addressed it, and with such intelligence and sensitivity. Nice job. You really should be working for VH1 or your network of choice.

Bonanza Jellybean said...

I hated that damn Walking on Sunshine song when it came out. Still do.

Johnny Wadd said...

Nice to see all the preperation work by the dept of homeland security is working so well with everything.


Doggie Extraordinaire's Mom said...

Have you seen this?

Brooks said...

if anything, who really cares about how the celebrities are faring through the tragedy, these people could lose a house in louisiana and rebuild three more houses with their incomes. the television media has gotten sick with trying to grab people's attention with whatever angle they can find to fill up 24 hours of non-stop sensationalist crap. how about all this energy being focused into saving the people still stranded down there after almost a week?

Anonymous said...

All this disaster has done, other than depress me, is confirm that Bush is an idiot egomaniac and that poeple are cruel. And no matter what anyone says, if this happened in a all white area, poor or not, those people would have ben rescued a very long time before they were. It's a god damn discrace.



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