American Idol has been pimping a huge, major, ginormous announcement since the beginning of the season. Speculation had focused on a surprise guest... Michael Jackson... Bono... The Pope... Or maybe a songwriting contest...
Turns out it's a charity drive for Africa and (ugh) Katrina victims.
My response? WTF?????
Good cause. More power to you. Rotsa ruck. Whatever. Here's the problem though... I don't buy Simon as a philanthropist. Sorry, but I don't. I know that some of the "Evil Simon" thing is at least partly a character. I'm sure his heart isn't pure evil. That being said, I just don't get the idea that he's out there helping the tots.
We don't watch AI for tenderness and love. We watch it for heartless, merciless competition. Why does EVERYTHING have to be touchy feeling mush?
I will say this in all seriousness though... I think we really do need to be doing as much as we possibly can in sub-Saharan Africa. This is a vast region that is very much in play between the West and radical Islam. It's also an area that has the potential for huge amounts of undiscovered natural resources. Finally, it's a region so desperately poor that a little well-focused aid can go a long way. Dubya has done an enormous amount for the cause of AIDS in Africa. He has gotten precious little credit for it, of course, but is that really surprising?