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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."
30 Rock


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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Let's Hear It For The Boy

Most of the time we hear about a slew of celebrities who have one interest and one interest alone, THEMSELVES.

Anna Nicole Smith created a website where she charged for people to get a glimpse into her life. A few years back, Gary Coleman baffled former fans by asking for sympathy in the form of compensation, leaving them to ask, What you talking about, Coleman? Meanwhile Dustin "Screech" Diamond of Saved By The Bell continues to scrounge for pity money to "save his home", as well as his career. It's a move that's just too sleazy, even by Zack Morris standards. Yes, they are pity parties, plain and simple, table for one. In fact, there's only one person in this world who pities these fools and that my friends, is none other than Mr. T.

This is why it's so refreshing when a celebrity comes along and tries to turn their big time status into big time profit for others. Paul Newman, a man I've blogged about before, is the first name that comes to mind. Sure, he gave back to the people by making some kick ass movies, but he needed a little something on the side, sorta like say a side salad. And so he launched a line of foods like salad dressings, popcorn and spaghetti sauces, all in the name of a good cause. Millions of dollars have since been donated in the name of charity due to Newman putting his money where his mouth is, nearly literally.

So now, jumping on the do good bandwagon, we have Kevin Bacon. Bacon isn't stupid. He realized that any venture needs a gimmick. Only problem is, he didn't have to think the gimmick up, he just had to capitalize on one that was handed to him. This is the popular "drinking game" known as Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

In case you've been living under a rock the last ten years or so, let me explain. Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon was born out of the idea of Six Degrees of Seperation, a movie that does not, in fact, star Kevin Bacon but is a mere few degrees away from him when you consider Donald Sutherland who was in Six Degrees of Seperation was also in Heaven Help Us with Mary Stuart Masterson who was in Digging To China with...Kevin Bacon. Discuss.

The premise itself, is a simple one and follows the adage that it really is a small world after all. Basically anyone in the world, rich or poor, black or white, can be connected within a few short steps. This idea caught fire with character actor Kevin Bacon's career, merely because he was seemingly showing up in everything at the time, many projects of which featured ensemble casts which made connections even more apparent. Not only has he done sixty-one films, he also starred in television and has directed and sung as half of a duo featuring him and his brother, known as The Bacon Brothers. Ten years ago you played in your dorm room. Fast forward a decade and you're making the dream a reality on shows like ABC's semi-defunct, Six Degrees and places like MySpace Facebook and Friendster.

But Kevin Bacon looked around and saw that these types of ventures were looking for connections in all the wrong places. And so was conceived. In lamest terms, SixDegrees the website is like the supermarket of charity donations. Simply visit the site, choose a participating celebrity and link up the charity of their choosing, just like that. The celebrities themselves even range in status from the well known celebrities like Jessica Simpson, posing for not so well known causes like, Operation Smile, Inc to obscure "celebrities" like Dash Mihok campaigning for more well known conditions such as Tourette's Syndrome.

Of course the star charity to donate to on SixDegrees is that of Kevin Bacon's link to Network For Good which in turn once again leads you to a link that lets you donate to anything you want to, within reason of course. Some might say this is a bit like walking around in circles and leaves Bacon coming across as quite the noncommittal fellow, but then again, having many loose connections is what Kevin Bacon is best known for, right?

Whether it be uniting a desolate town under one nation of rhythm or getting people to raise their glasses at happy hour on a Friday night, leave it to Kevin Bacon to find the rainbow connection. The rockers, the actors, the drunkards, the donaters...and even, me.



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