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still here

April 23, 2008 Leave a comment

just drowning in academia. I’ll be back next week.

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Categories: else, school

Politicians on American Idol – we are shamed by the Brits.

April 13, 2008 Leave a comment

One last set of thoughts on this Idol Gives Back thing. The Thursday night show featured short clips from Sen. Obama (let’s get this over with), Sen. Clinton (deer in headlights), and Sen. McCain (really not funny) offering their cudos to the effort and encouraging people to like them best because they care the most about the world’s poor. Each of these amounted to little more than face time for the candidates.

Here’s the propaganda.

But the political moment of the event came from Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown who pledged funding for 20 million bed nets to help prevent malaria in Africa. That’s 200 million dollars to save the lives of more than 40 million people – most of them children. Why? Because it’s the right thing to do. Are you listening Oklahoma Senators Coburne and Inhofe who voted against extending aid to the world’s poor?

Here’s the clip of Brown’s announcement. Sorry for the gratuitous Seacresting.

So Idol gave back. . .

April 13, 2008 1 comment

A whole lot of thoughts from the Idol Gives Back shows this week.

Best musical moment – Annie Lennox singing Many Rivers That is what passion sounds like. A close runner up was Carrie Underwood’s version of Praying for Time.

Most painful musical moment – Feel free to pick one or all – Mariah Carey, Fergie, Teri Hatcher (really? Teri Hatcher?).

Most awkward musical moment – Why in the world did they choose to end the show with the contestants doing the show choir step-touch to Shout to the Lord? Or at least the modified version “sanitized for public consumption”. Too weird. And then they fired it back out the next night. Learn from mistakes people.

Least funny comedian – Again, toss it up. Robin Williams – didn’t work, Sarah Silverman – nah, Ben Stiller – someone should tell this guy that Zoolander is a character, not a way of life.

Great comic moment – Jimmy Kimmel wearing out Simon over the whole tight shirt thing. Or Seacrest dancing.

Overall – I liked the show better than last year. I thought most of the faces were sincerely affected by what they encountered. But I have to wonder – of the money raised (60 million so far) how much came out of celebrity pockets? They tell me I can do without $20 (which I can), but many of those folks can do without $1,000,000 – so did they? I know they offer their time and faces and those do help, but do they follow their own advice? And what about the corporate “partners”? American Idol is an ATM machine for AT&T – with the text voting, AT&T makes millions every week. So how much did they “give back”? Last year it was ten cents per text vote. That means for every text vote, the poor got 10 cents and AT&T got 89. Is that giving or taking?

I appreciate that this show and the people behind it are tying to use their influence for the betterment of the world, but I often wonder about these celebrity cause things – how many of these people are just trying to ease some of the guilt of all that they have in the face of a world without? I know there are some genuine heroes in the celeb world, but this many?

Thanks Idol for raising awareness. And doing some good in the world. Listed below are links to each of the organizations that will benefit from Idol Gives Back. Skip the middleman and donate directly. Or maybe use these to check back in and give again in July or August. Without Kobe Bryant telling you to.