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humanity wins out, tonight

This may be a surprise to those of you who know how jaded and cynical I am, but tonight I’m feeling very good about being a human being. (That’s a joke, for those of you who don’t know me …) The TV telecast raising funds for Haiti is on right now – some no doubt famous country western singer is singing a song for Haiti. I’ve been begged by Wyclef Jean, Halle Berry, Leo Dicaprio and the glorious George Clooney to donate; Coldplay, the glorious Bruce Springsteen and Stevie Wonder, so far, have sung. When the camera flashes by the phone banks taking donations, le tout Hollywood royalty is on display, including, strangely, Mel Gibson, not noted for his empathy.

Earlier we saw the Canadian version on practically every Canadian channel, with Canadian royalty on display – Strombo, Ben Mulroney et al, with our Governor General and famous Geddy Lee and the glorious Celine and others exhorting us to give. I do have to wonder at the extent of this involvement and compassion; though the tsunami evoked a great deal of empathy, there wasn’t this level of support. Was that because that disaster was on the other side of the earth, whereas Haiti is so close to North America? Or is it simply that our global media network is now so incredibly expansive that everything that happens becomes worldwide instantly? I wonder, when the next disaster happens – a crop failure or terrible drought in Africa next week, for example – will we see this outpouring again? With so much going to Haiti, when there is such incredible need all over the planet – what will happen to the others?
Oh well – at least our world has jumped on this very good bandwagon. Jon Stewart, my most beloved, is talking now. I have already donated (to Development and Peace), or I would be picking up the phone.
Earlier, I listened to CBC radio replay a broadcast of a beautiful story by the greatly-mourned Paul Quarrington, while reading a long, affectionate obit of him in the Globe. Canada is a small country that honours its fallen, even mere writers and musicians.
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And on a merrier note – imagine my joy on seeing an article in the Star today headlined, “If the bigger shoe fits, wear it.” It’s about – be still my beating heart – how women’s feet are getting bigger. Several well-known fashionistas are quoted as saying they wear size 11. Size 11! Is it possible? What alternative universe have I fallen into, I of the big feet, sometimes, occasionally, size 11 too? (Usually much, much smaller, 10 1/2 sometimes, and even, on a few occasions, a tiny tiny 10!) I who have spent an adult lifetime unable to buy fashionable shoes for my giant awkward feet, have just read an article about how big shoes will soon be more available for us big foots. In all of this darkness, a little light.
Okay, I shouldn’t be flippant. But big shoes are no small matter to me.
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Back to the telethon: My God, Morgan Freeman, whom I just saw as Nelson Mandela, was speaking to me. Steven Spielberg chatted with a Presbyterian Minister from Wyoming. Bill Clinton! I have to tell you that I’ve been near tears a few times. The Americans have organised the most stunning star-studded evening, flowing seamlessly from famous people making music to famous people speaking to us, telling us stories from the rubble, to shots of famous people taking pledges. And all I can think, besides how wonderful this is, is … if only it happened every week. Even once a month, for God’s sake. Let’s just keep this going, please. It’s wondrous.
Madonna, with a choir of millions. Backstage must be unbelievable. What is beautiful is that at the end of each song, there is not the usual screaming accolate – there is silence. Ben Stiller. Okay, I’ll stop my chronicle.
Tomorrow, the demonstration against proroguing Parliament. There are more than 210,000 members of Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament. Okay, it’s not a global disaster, but it’s a small meaningful fight for our country, and I’ll be there.
Justin Timberlake singing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” Never thought I’d see the day.
Okay, real tears, I can’t help it – someone very talented singing “Let it be.” Gets me every time. Over and out, before I get any more maudlin.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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