Man, I am SO torn. I have major respect for the President and the First Lady, and I just can’t lay sarcasm into any endeavor that raises money for those who need it. Indeed, this is a microcosm of what is my major problem with this sort of thing.
Instead of sarcasm, I’ll give honest criticism about the fundraising videos in general. I won’t lie, despite knowing that it will make me look like a total hater to many people, but I find this type of fundraising utterly deplorable.
Before I go on, you should know I’ve worked for a long time with the “at risk” community. I’ve worked with criminals, the poor, and the mentally ill. I’ve seen how charitable donations and government money have been spent well, and otherwise. On top of this, I’m also a filmmaker, and I know all too well how messages can be manipulated…
…and manipulative; which is just what these images and music are. They are pulling on your heartstrings. even worse, this works! I know it’s hard to imagine how this could be bad; they’re connecting to you, and doing it to raise money for a good cause. Well, to me, this is as bad as when Ronald Reagan would get letters from some destitute, and immediately cut a personal check to help the poor soul out. That was bad because he was destroying the same destitute communities with his policies. Like Reagan, when we shed a tear at the little black babies and whip out our cells to text-donate, yet ignore how the world banks and governments have landed them in the tsetse fly-infested hellhole they’re in, we’re effectively bleeding them dry with one hand while spoon-feeding them with the other. Some people don’t even donate, but only tune in to feel better; a common problem with telethons. Not to mention, these images are touted on one of the greatest bastions of celebrity culture; something that is responsible for more unhappiness that most people give it credit for.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not immune to these images. The piece with Annie Lennox, a woman who clearly understands the difference between personal charity and social justice, was quite literally a tearjerker for me. This is one of the reasons I gave to Idol Gives Back tonight. I don’t tell you this to impress you, but to impress upon you an important point: I feel that personal giving will, and should always have it’s place.
Like I said at the start, I find it hard to attack anything that tries to eradicate world disease, illiteracy and hunger, and attracts the attention of Jennifer Garner, Victoria Beckham, Captain Sully, Jonah Hill, Russell Brand, Bill and Melinda Gates, Ban Ki-Moon, Morgan Freeman, Regina Benjamin, Slash, Jim Carrey, David Arquette, Annie Lennox, Ben Affleck and Octomom for crissake. It was great seeing them all on the box tonight. Except for Wanda Sykes, we could always do without her.
I suppose what I’m trying to say is, I think this sort of fund-raising is covering up a major part of the problem, and your time would be better spent here, which is an organisation (mentioned tonight!) that actually knocks the governments into shape, but of course, you should give back. I’d imagine that all those celebrities are, and not just through their time.
Anyway, soapbox put away for a little while, and on with the show:
The gang start by lip-synching Keeping the Dream Alive by Münchener Freiheit – It just goes to show that Crystal is a foregone finale conclusion when they’re putting her front and center at this point, but I won’t complain about beautiful Lacey coming back, already dressed for our marriage.
Jonah Hill and Russell Brand deliver a little satire in the form of a failed telethon. Not too shabby, especially the part with Slash.
Black Eyed Peas with Rock That Body
Shite vocals, ridiculous shoulder pads, and I cannot stand the poster girl of skank known as Fergie, with her massive f**k-me-boots. I suppose I should be thankful that she had the Brazilian wax. Her va looks like it’s been laminated.
George Lopez has literally the biggest head I have ever seen, and I have a big head, but at least his jokes weren’t too bad. The one about Cowell’s fake diddies was decent.
The Ford ad had some cool bullet time shots, but I’m wondering where that money could’ve went.
So, the voting: Crystal and Casey go to the center. One is safe? Crystal surely? Ha ha, Casey.
Aaron and Lee. Same deal? One of them is safe? Then it’s Aaron, I’m afraid. Like I said…
Jeff Beck and Joss Stone with I put a spell on you.
I barely looked up at this one.
Alicia Keys with Un-Thinkable (I’m Ready)/Empire State of Mind Part 2.
Bit of a weird vocal at times, and I’m not a great fan of the music, but this girl is brimming with talent.
Carrie Underwood with Change.
There you go, some issues raised by Carrie. Maybe a good counterpoint to my spiel. Also, not a fan, but she has easily the best technical performance of the night.
Oh, piss off, Wanda.
More voting: Siobhan, Mike and Tim up. It must be Tim… and Tim is out!
Siobhan is safe. Mike is safe. What did I say?
At this point, I thought we’d reverted to a live appearance by a homeless recipient of Idol Gives Back, but apparently it’s former Idol winner, David Cook.
Mary J Blige et al, with Stairway to Heaven.
More shoulder pads, but fun to listen to.
Elton John with Your Song.
I thought he was dead.
Finally, we find out who it is that’s on their merry way. First safe is Aaron. He was a possibility, but I’m glad he’s around for a little while longer.
Now, who voted most, the teeny-boopers or the cougars? WHAT. DID. I. SAY? See ya later, Tim. Aha! Ahahahaha! Mercifully, we are spared the normal sing-off, even though there’s five minutes left.
Waddaya know! Idol does Give Back, after all.