A few things that have made me stop and wonder today:
- The emails I get in my inbox from my state legislators asking me to chip in $3 to help pass a bill in the House. Example: my state’s Democratic Senator, Patty Murray, whom I support wholeheartedly, managed to help craft a budget proposal that was recently passed in the Senate. This morning, I got an email soliciting money so they can get it passed in the House because they’re anticipating a fight. Where do those donations go? Am I buying the vocal support of a Senator with my $3? Would they not fight loudly and passionately for that budget anyway since they (presumably) believe in it? Or am I paying for a a lobbyist’s time to go pester a Congressperson to pass it? What exactly is my money doing? I doubt there’s time to put together a media campaign with television and radio advertisements, so I’m confused here. On top of that, I’m sick of being asked for “just $3 to show my support.” I capitulated during the Presidential campaign, but now I just want the elected officials to sit down and do their damn jobs without expecting more money for them. They get paid. Do the right thing, already, and leave my inbox alone!
- I was one of those people on Facebook who changed my profile picture to the equal sign that stands for marriage equality for all Americans. I was happy to do it. Hell, I even spent ten minutes fiddling with the settings on my iPhone to make it happen because I didn’t have my computer with me yesterday morning. But I have to say, idealist that I am, I hope the multitudes of people who changed their profile pictures don’t have any bearing on the outcome of the case. Seriously. I want the justices of the Supreme Court to do their jobs as well and decide the case on its merits. I want them to listen to the logical arguments (not the frantic speculation of the Christian Coalition that the moral fabric of society will be torn irreparably if we allow gays to marry), discuss the issues, and render a LEGAL decision like they are supposed to. I don’t want them to poll Americans or look at their Facebook or Twitter feeds. They are judges. The day we let public opinion influence their decisions is the day we might as well open the doors of the courthouse to lobbyists with their pockets stuffed full of cash.
- Eve and her class are attending WeDay today, a celebration of the many acts of philanthropy by school children around the world. There are 15,000 students from all over the state of Washington attending this amazing event in an effort to learn from each other how to mobilize their own efforts to make the world a better place for us all. There are corporate sponsors (of course) and actors and philanthropists presenting to drum up excitement and Jennifer Hudson was slated to perform. After two hours of amazing speeches by people who have made substantive change in their own way (including one man who came and told a harrowing story of his time as a child soldier in the Congo), Jennifer Hudson came on stage. And sang “Night of Your Life.” I don’t know about you, but I hadn’t ever heard the song and I was confused. Here are a few of the lyrics:
…My love ain’t easy
You gon’ have to put in some work
You can’t buy me a drink, thinking I’mma fall for your flirt
You gotta make it right
If you wanna go spend some time
You gotta raise the bar tonight…
…So now love me, baby treat me rightAnd we’ll be riding it from morning til midnightIf you love me til the end of timeThen I will promise you the night of your life…
I could have ya, if I wanted toDown on one knee, in front of me where them bells ringingI could claim ya, be your saviorWrap your heart inside of these arms and you’ll never leaveI could have your hands tied, round my body all up on meBoy you’ll be stuck to me, if I wanted with no releaseI’ll have you begging, wishing now I give a piece
So, tell me, what does that have to do with philanthropy? Giving back to your community? Changing the world? Seriously? She sang the song, and then walked off stage. Not a word about this room full of students who had to earn tickets to this event by engaging in fundraising efforts for charitable organizations, by working for a cause. And she sings a song about hooking up with a guy in a bar. I’m glad she asked to be treated right, but the message seems a little cloudy to me. I can only hope that it gets drowned out by the other, more meaningful ones of the day.
There's something always so stinky about celebrities and philanthropy. I know they bring money in by their very presence, but that schmooze element has always bothered me. I can't bear going to benefits anymore — even those that I serve on the boards of — mainly because of the courting of the wealthy, "honoring" them, etc. And yes, that song is entirely inappropriate.
Good point about wanting the decision to be swayed by public opinion!
Dear Kari, like you, I want a legal decision from the US Supreme Court. But I have to admit that I have less admiration for the Court than I used to. It seems to have become so much more conservative, filled as it is with so many strict constructionists. Sometimes it reminds me of the Taney Court of the 19th century.
As to the celebrity singing an inappropriate song for that wonderful gathering, I simply shake my head and wonder at the lack of appreciation and respect for those children gathered there to learn about how they might become philanthropists. Peace.
You always make me think about life in broader strokes and with words that I wish were my own. It's been nice spending some time catching up with you this morning. I forget, until I'm with you, how much I admire you.
Wow. That is bizzare about Jennifer Hudson.
Government is so corrupt I can't even comment.
Love your little philantrohpists. We Day sounds awesome.