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"This is the most exciting day of my life...and I was pulled on stage once to dance at a Bruce Springsteen concert."
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Saturday, January 08, 2005

Put Your Money Where Your Tsunami Is

Now that the initial shock of the tsunami is wearing off, I'm beginning to hear a lot more about what people actually plan to do about it. For starters, lots of aid is being sent over. On a smaller scale, my school is collecting donations for the tsunami relief effort, or as many kids in my class innocently referred to it today, "the salami".

But the more and more I hear about what ordinary people like you and me are doing, the more curious I get about what the rich and (sometimes) beautiful are up to. Let me preface this by saying this is not the usual morbid curiosity mode I kick into whenever anything remotely pop culture related pops up. This instead is a call for celebrities to shut up and put up.

I for one am SICK of celebrities talking about what a horrible tragedy this is and doing just that; talking. No one needs your words, "insert famous celebrity name here". Unless of course, I'm sadly mistaken and verbiage is indeed a form of currency in other parts of the world.

That child starving over there in Sri Lanka doesn't care about your public service annoucement, and cares even less about you Molly Sims. Gracing us with your presence at a telethon is not going to rebuild houses, George Clooney. And where do you think you're going Brad Pitt? Over to the countries that were ravaged? You're right. Seeing Brad definitely takes precendence over eating, anyday. But just in case, maybe you could throw a few granola bars into that backpack of yours, k?

Here are a few other "notable celebrity contribution" highlights:

1. They say: Olivia Newton-John, Boy George, and Robin and Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees are teaming up to record a single that is aimed to raise money.

I say: Note the word aimed. Come on now. Let's be realistic. How much money have any of these folks made on music since 1984?

2. They say: Jay Leno announced he would be auctioning off an autographed Harley Davidson motorcycle and proceeds will go to the Red Cross.

3. They say: Chow Yun-Fat, star of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" is auctioning off a photograph he took.

I say: To draw you a real world analogy, this would be like if Chow Yun-Fat and Jay Leno got together and had one big giant lemonade stand for a good cause. Translation, you're both worth millions so you can save your 8x10's and pop-a-wheelies.

I know, I know. Some celebrities (i.e. Sandra "1 million, now we're talking" Bullock and Leonardo "sizable, yet unmentionable donation" Dicaprio) hearts are in the right places. But for every Sandra, there's a Tom Cruise, Will Smith and every member of the enigma that is the country singing group Alabama out there to prove otherwise.

Think about how much money an actress like Julia Roberts gets for making one, single freakin' movie. Consider how much money Ozzy Osbourne was worth before making a mockery of himself of MTV. Mull over how many times Oprah Winfrey could buy and sell ALL OF US and rename this country Winfreyica. (Seriously. It all hinges on a mere snap of the fingers people.)

Face it. These people have power. These people have influence. But perhaps most importantly, these people have MONEY, and in most cases, lots of it. If EVERY SINGLE ONE of these Hollywood bigwigs put up a mill it wouldn't solve the problem, but it would at least make a dent. Instead it's regular folks that are scraping together what they can, sending it over and crossing their fingers.

So until I hear about the likes of Jim Carrey, Hugh Hefner, Barbra Streisand, Kelsey Grammar, any Friends cast member, Paris Hilton, Tom Hanks, Harrison Ford, Angelina Jolie, (insert deep breath here) Michael Jackson, David Letterman, Britney Spears, Rosie O'Donnell, Madonna, Prince, J-Lo, Celine Dion etc. etc. coughing it up, they can save their songs, souvenirs and special appearances for someone who collects, not for someone who needs money.

NOTE: Something told me I should have included this earlier, but I didn't. If you've gotten this far, know that I am in no way affiliated with Hollywood and therefore I am not privy to any specific information regarding who gave what. I'm sure there are some celebrities who chose to donate privately. If it happens to be someone on my list, then I apologize. This list was written in theory. All I do know is that for every celebrity who has donated, there are at least another five who should. I also realize that doing something, anything is better than nothing. Celebs lending their time and faces is something, but I guarantee you the people who are suffering, if given a choice, would rather have their money, clothing, shelter or food than their PR any day. I also personally feel that if what takes an average American to get off the couch and donate is a celebrity telling them to do so, that's a problem in itself.



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