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Apr
29

the song remains the same

(submitted to/rejected by the editors of a book being released to benefit for the victims of Superstorm Sandy. In the end I think it raised about $8.)

 

Perhaps there is no harder thing for a country to go through than when part of it goes through some sort of tragic event. While that area struggles to overcome whatever traumatic occurrence it underwent, the rest of the country is forced to sit helplessly as their TV programming is constantly interrupted by updates and annoying reporters rifling off a depressing list of casualties and property damage assessments.

The horror.

And what’s worse is that it doesn’t end there. In fact, the worst is yet to come. It takes a day or two for musicians and celebrities to realize that another opportunity for self-promotion is upon them. Once stirred from their hibernation by their agents and publicity people they emerge from their lavish caves filled with the same avarice that is usually reserved for the largest bears … but no amount of honey will do the trick here. Oh no.

They need to do benefits.

What could possibly be wrong with doing a benefit concert to raise money for the people affected by a natural disaster you might be asking yourself? Everything I answer.

Even the most naive of us has to ask themself why these rich and famous people wouldn’t just donate the smallest microscopic portion of their considerable wealth to the cause instead of staging an elaborate concert which raises only a fraction of the money due to overhead expenses if in fact they were so upset by the misery heaped upon the victims of said calamity. Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Billy Joel and Paul McCartney are obviously so distraught that they can’t find their checkbooks but instead will spend a night singing their greatest hits in front of a large crowd of frothing consumers. Songs that coincidentally are still available for purchase at any number of locations throughout the country. I’m sure the next day we will see their images plastered all over the place showing their concern for their fellow man.

What heroes. What truly beautiful human beings.

It’s also funny how many lesser known musicians were also moved by the tragedy to such a degree that they did everything in their power to try and get added to the bill. Everything, of course, but spending time helping the people in need or donating any of their own money.

There will also be heaping helpings of athletes that will wear special armbands or colored shoelaces which will immediately rebuild houses almost like magic. Politicians, eager to get in on the sympathy bandwagon, will hurry down to the hardest hit areas to take a few pictures with the beleaguered parties before being hustled back into their limos and helicopters and whisked back to civilization.

Occasionally the stars, literally, will align and Springsteen and President Obama will be on Air Force One together trying to outdo each other with their concerned glances out the window before the whirring of cameras die down and they can return to basking in the reflected glow of “I can’t believe I’m sitting next to …”

Now some of you might be scratching your chin and wondering if I’m being too cynical here … but not many of you. The country has been through it too many times. That’s why we roll our eyes and complain

to ourselves about the media coverage and how the masses can be so easily manipulated. Then there are the really cynical amongst you.

The ones that even I can’t fool with my mock outrage.

This story starts to roll around in your head for a bit when all of a sudden you say to yourself “Wait a minute …” I can almost hear the pieces coming together.

“I wonder if Lance Manion gives a shit or if he wrote this just to get his name out there?”

There’s the scene in Jurassic Park where the cagy old game warden realizes that the velociraptor has outsmarted him and he’s about to be savagely mauled. Instead of fear he sort of smiles to himself and respectfully says “Clever girl” before being torn to shreds.

That’s how I feel if you’re calling me out.

It was this deep admiration I have for you that stopped me from originally typing “I wonder if Lance Manion gives a shit or if he wrote this just to get his name out there in the hopes I’d go to his eponymous website and download his new book The Ball Washer? Out now!”

The truth is that perhaps one of you is a powerful literary agent and after reading this story you would be caught up in the moment and think what a great unselfish guy I am for donating it to help the victims of Superstorm Sandy and sign me to a lucrative writing deal at which time I would get an enormous advance and in my first interview I would relate the story of how I got noticed and then the interviewer would ask me if I could would I trade this newfound success to have the storm have never happened and I would mist up and say “Of course, I’m just one man. I would give it all up to help all those people who were affected “and the interviewer would get a little choked up and make a mental note to give whatever bullshit I cranked out a positive review when it finally crossed his desk.

But you, my clever girl, know that if I were given that choice I would look straight into the eyes of New Jersey and say the following:  “Batten down the hatches, bitches.”

Luckily not everyone is as big a fraud as Springsteen, Bon Jovi and I.

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