Idol Gives Back...WHAT?

Apr 11, 2008

Oh Hollywood, you can make even the vilest of societal bane into good TV. Idol Gives Back 2008, in all its grandeur, left me feeling empty, not inspired, not philanthropic, empty.

I didn’t get Snoop Dogg’s lofty platitudes. Carrie Underwood’s gut-wrenching song about the inherent selfishness of her fellow man didn’t make me feel bad. I wondered how many starving children she could save by turning that gossamer dress into food. Bono didn’t get to me at all. He always seems to be assuaging his own guilt over the enormous fame and money he has. He looks so cool and hip squatting next to those people who have absolutely nothing. Maria Shriver’s blathering? Nothing. And I just couldn’t reconcile the image of Annie Lennox singing from that opulent Idol stage with the perfectly scripted film of her visit to that horrifically downtrodden family far away. It seemed too tidy to tie it all up with a song.

I was particularly amused watching Fergie, writhing and twisting her svelte, leather-clad body all around the not-so-svelte frame of rocker, Ann Wilson, not only out-presencing her, but clearly out-singing the rock and roll icon.

Yes, I felt empty watching all the pomp and circumstance of the Idol Gives Back Telethon. They, in true Hollywood fashion, put on a great show. They all must be exhausted by their benevolence.

I believe that whenever you see a need you should meet it and get the job done. I would have been on the floor in a puddle of my own tears had Annie Lennox put that 15 year old orphaned boy and his three baby siblings in her jet and set them up in a house on her property for the rest of their lives instead of waving goodbye, crying hysterically while the camera rolled, then singing that sad song.

Surely Beckham and Posh could bring several entire villages of the poor and sick to any one of their houses and see to it that they never suffer another moment of destitution.

Miley and Billy Ray should have stuffed their bus chock full of Hannah Montana merchandise and showered every single poverty-ravaged Kentucky girl with it and kept the goods coming…forever.

So…I think I’m catching on. Idol Gives Back really means that WE’RE supposed to give back?

I would have been extremely shaken up to see Simon, Paula, Randy, Bono, Keifer, Celine, Snoop, Posh and David, the Mannings, Maria and Arnold, Mrs. Doubtfire, Billy Ray and Miley, and all of their contemporaries exemplifying real giving back by selling some of what THEY have and giving it to the poor and seeing THEM physically meeting those needs they brought into my living room.

Now that would have been very moving. THAT would have inspired me