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the stars are the real heroes

by mg at 04:21 PM on September 22, 2001

So, I watched the Telethon Friday night. I'd actually made a pledge to myself that I wouldn’t watch it, but heck, it was on every TV and radio station, what the hell else was I supposed to do, have a conversation? And after my tirade the other day, I'll be big enough to admit that the telethon wasn't nearly as god-awful as I thought it'd be.

Some moments were even quite cool, the most notable of those moments being Neil Young's rendition of Imagine.

Certainly, there were moments of painful, gut wrenching uncomfortableness. I can’t imagine anyone being able to sit through Willie Nelson's unfathomably awkward performance of America the Beautiful. He sang (I guess that is what you’d call it), and had all the stars as back up singers. It didn’t look like a single one of them wanted to be there, except maybe Cuba Gooding Jr, who looked like he was really into Willie.

It was also pretty embarrassing every time the camera panned across the phone banks and we got a chance to see the likes of Jack Nicholsen, Whoopi Goldberg and Tom Cruise answering calls. It felt like they had so many stars involved they didn’t know what to do with them, so they had them answering phones, holding boom mikes, and holding cue cards.

There were so many people involved, they had to match people up who really had no business being on the same stage together. Like when the members of Limp Bizkit and the Goo Goo Dolls played together on Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here. The leader singer of the Goo Goo Dolls is easily the gayest guy in the world (and I don’t mean that in the homosexual way). It is hard to imagine that he and Fred Durst would be in the same place at the same time unless they were double-teaming a stripper, unless Fred Durst’s badassedness is really just an act put on to help sell records to angry suburban teenagers. But that couldn’t be the case! I guess they just care about helping people so much they put away all those silly distinctions between music styles.

I guess I have to give props to everyone there. I was expecting skits and lame bits and stuff like that. But it was just actors retelling stories and bands playing songs. There weren’t any graphics telling who was who, or announcers saying things like “This is Mariah Carey, her new movie, Glitter opens this weekend, and she is here to talk about all the children who lost a parent in the attack.”

Speaking of Mariah, she must really care about helping people. I mean, even I’ve got to give her credit. She took a break from being a total loon for the whole five minutes it took her to belt out Hero. Actually, she looked very well rested and sane, though as she finished the song and they cut away from her, I could swear I heard a whispered voice saying “Man I’m tired. Positively exhausted.” Good thing Maria doesn’t have to take a lot of time reading all those positive reviews of her new film, Glitter.

I actually felt so good about how the show turned out that I actually called up to donate some money. As I picked up the phone I remembered how I don’t have any money. But I still dialed up anyway, if only to show my support. And with real live Hollywood celebrities manning the phones how could I not call? The first time I rang through I got hold of someone I didn’t recognize. He said his name was Kurt Russell. Oh. I can’t remember the last Kurt Russell movie that came out, much less that I saw, so I asked him if I could talk to a bigger celebrity. I guess he didn’t like that so much because he hung up on me.

I tried calling again and got through to Brad Pitt. I asked him if he whether he thought it was possible that someone could have planned the attacks without knowing it because they have multiple personality disorder. He said “Fight Club is only a movie, I don’t think that could happen in real life.” I said, “fight club?”

Then I told him how even though I wasn’t gay I thought he was really hot and stuff and if, like, someone had a gun to my head and told me I had to have sex with a guy, he would be the one I choose. He asked me whether I planned to donate any money, and I had to tell him no. He hung up on me, but not before giving me his home phone number.

I called again and got hold of Julia Roberts, I told her that my name was Donald Trump, and I’d donate $10 million dollars if she’d take off her top. She told me that the real Donald Trump already called and if she wasn’t going to take of her top for him, she certainly wouldn’t take it off for me. Then she hung up on me too.

I could go on like this forever. But I’ll stop now.

comments (10)

Neal Young REALLY did do a good job on the "Imagine" tune! I was at the hotel and naturally in B.F.E. Texas, they only had five channels to watch. You guessed, everyone had that thing on it. The only one I actually thought did a great job was Neal, of course that was next to my "main guy" Bruce da boss! I only saw bits and pc. of it while going through files and trying to do reports, but I did not see Don Henley so I was a wee bit Bummmmmed out.

We could have totally done WITHOUT Julia Roberts, who by the way has been oh so vocal about everything the Republicans *always* do wrong. This incident being no different.

I did notice that not a single one of them said anything about our Armed forces or about the job the president is doing and so on. They really kept their mouths tightly closed about all of those aspects....(which would lead me to believe that this is the calm before the storm.) All in all Hollywood has been way too quiet for a group who has long been so vocal...

by Pristine at September 23, 2001 1:22 AM

i missed the whole thing, except for neil young's "imagine". somehow, i knew it would be the high-point of the whole affair.

by bobthecorgi at September 23, 2001 9:11 AM

I missed the whole thing, period. Glued to this computer. I figured enough people would post about it in enough detail so I'd feel like I'd seen it anyway -- it's a vicarious life, but somebody's gotta live it, right?

by kd at September 23, 2001 12:47 PM

Although I did have a minor seizure during the Celiene Dion rendition of "America de Veautiful." The doctors gave me some Xanax and a hydrocortisone shot and ordered me to get a lot of rest. I am to stay away from bright lights for several days.

by Charles at September 23, 2001 4:45 PM

I too, watched Willie Nelson. I heard him sing of spacious skies, of amber waves, of purple mountains. I watched him strum his nylon strings. I watched and I sang, I sang and I wondered. I wondered if the verses would end before Old Willie dropped dead.

I too, watched stars in chorus. I saw them in somber stance. I saw them in peaceful sway. I saw them try to mouth the words as Stevie Wonder kept the beat. It sucked that no one knew the lyrics after "Oh beautiful, for pilgrim's feet."

I too, noticed boredom, in almost all the stars, from Goldie Hawn with sagging tits, to a crooked-mouthed Stallone. Oh beautiful, for Dennis Fanz, for chubby Dixie Chicks, for Cuba Gooding's unmatched glee, like Brad Pitt sucking dick.

by Tom at September 23, 2001 5:05 PM

Anyone else find it amusing that America the Beautiful was sung by a Canadian?

by SwingCheese at September 24, 2001 10:53 AM

I missed it. I was working at a liquor store, selling distilled spirits to people that should not be drinking anything (water included,) and listening to the new Megadeth album. "The world needs a hero" seems more appropriate right now, more than ever.

by ethereal at September 24, 2001 11:08 AM

I only saw bits and pieces of it...I did catch Neil Young, and it was awesome...from what I saw of the rest, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

by Wendy at September 24, 2001 1:56 PM

Who but Neil to come out and brazenly sing a "banned" (by Clear Channel) song on nationwide TV! You could pick up an MPEG video of it on Winmx ... it gets passed around along with many of the other nice performances from that night. Neil also played (harmonium) and sang (very softly) with Pearl Jam on "Long Road", and you can't miss him in the finale, standing behind Nelson, playing and swaying in that characteristic way. Paul Simon also played a "forbidden" song. I usually don't like public displays of patriotism but I made an exception for this.

by Johnny at July 12, 2002 6:52 PM

I've met Neil Young a number of times and I have a guitar signed by him....I'm probably his biggest fan.......My old company was called "Hippie Dream Productions".........Do you have Neil Young's home number and could I get it from you???????

Randy Vaughn
Ramona, California

by randy vaughn at December 2, 2003 4:27 AM

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