Helping You Get the Most Out of Your Misery






This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Thursday, September 08, 2005


Every Little Bit Helps

In this time of national emergency, when so many people are suffering so greatly, Americans want more than ever to chip in. We all feel the need to do something to help our countrymen who have been so tragically affected by this disaster. Celebrities feel this need especially keenly, possibly because they spend so very much of their time sitting on their asses watching their bank account grow fatter in return for looking at a camera occasionally and saying words that someone else gives them.

Oprah shed her spotlight this week on the victims of Hurricane Katrina and on what some famous people were doing to help. For two days, she broadcast shows that featured such luminaries as Chris Rock meeting with the evacuees and bringing them much-needed supplies. Matthew McConaughey took a boat and ferried around survivors and rescued trapped pets. John Travolta and Kelly Preston used their plane to bring literally tons of food, water and other necessities to the people of the Gulf Coast. Even those of us who tend toward cynicism couldn't help but be moved by the stories of the people the stars were helping, nor could we resist admiring what these show biz types--whether motivated by actual concern for others, an opportunity for some good P.R. or by a desire to show how supercool Scientologists are--were trying to do.

Oprah was not alone in wanting to help those hit hardest by this devastation. Maury Povich, too, wanted to use the bully pulpit of his television program to aid those in need. And so he gathered his celebrity friends, who, while not, perhaps, as famous or successful as the members of Oprah's Angel Network, still wished to be put to use. Maury sent them on missions of mercy, to be documented in a two-part special which will be broadcast next week. Here's a partial list of the superstars who heeded his call:
  • Gary Burghoff brought two cartons of Pall Malls to the tobacoless smokers, huddled and nicotine-starved, who are living in the Astrodome.
  • Carol Channing donated badly needed wigs to evacuees who had to leave their fake hair behind.
  • Carrot Top joined with National Guard units in New Orleans, using his comedic props to help stop looting.
  • Corey Feldman was able to unite Marciela Gonzalez with other Mexican people. It got Ms. Gonzalez no closer to finding her daughter and five grandchildren, but it did enable Feldman to communicate to her through the new-found translators exactly who he was and why he hadn't worked so much since Dream a Little Dream.
  • Displaced people staying in a church basement in Hattiesburg, MS were visited by Dom DeLuise, who brought his special-recipe spicy chili. Unfortunately, many of the evacuees were subsequently forced to spend the night outside when they were stricken with horrendous gas.
  • Joan Rivers was asked to leave a tent city in a suburb of Lafayette, LA after her face frightened several small children she was attempting to hug.
  • Melanie Griffith's donation of a stack of autographed pictures was greatly appreciated by relief workers in Baton Rouge.
These brave celebrities have shown us that we should all do what we can. Thanks, Maury.