What is Osama Bin Laden Doing About Haiti?

January 23, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

I don’t know but I do know what many people, businesses, organizations and governments are; they are helping.

As I watched Hope For Haiti on January 22nd, I was taken by how we as a people mobilize every time there is a disaster.  I was also taken by the amazing performances that took place all night.  Singer after singer gave one of the best performances of their careers; simple and heartfelt.  I have never been a Justin Timberlake but watching him sing with Matt Morris Hallelujah, I was blown away.  His performance was just of great depth and sincerity.

Performers, without any big sets or costumes, just stood on a stage and delivered something from the heart that I’m sure touched everyone watching.  It was a night of amazing simple beauty and I hope these talented people remember how effective they were by just singing from within and trusting they have something to give and share.

I hope that we as a people also remember how it felt to come together and help, and how it felt to be part of a world community that cares.  I also hope we can continue to do that without having to wait for another crisis to remember to care for each other.

Now going back to Osama and his peeps, they are certainly not helping Haiti.  They are too busy killing and maiming others in the name of god.  He continues to believe that his Muslim world is being poisoned and desecrated by infidels – read us – and has found plenty of firebrand clerics to offer Quranic backing for his belief that terrorism is glorious and that all methods of war are justified in the battle against the infidels.  So he’s probably thinking, just like Pat Robertson (read lunatics) that god gave the Haitians what they deserved.

We live in a world that is full of dissent cause by poverty, dictatorship, and terrorism.  Maybe if we, the people that have more stable governments and economies, could show compassion as part of our daily lives and truly show interest in being a part of the world community, maybe people like Bin Laden would have a harder time portraying us as evil.

I’m not being naïve and recognize that part of being human is to have a certain level of selfishness, my home, my money, my family, and that is okay, we just need to add the caring part a little bit more.

So my hat is off to Shakira, Wyclef Jean, Alicia Keys, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift, Coldplay, Rihanna, U2 and all the singers for their incredible performance and all the actors and directors answering the phones but mostly to all of us that gave money and showed up.

If we can pull together such an effort in only ten days, imagine what we could do if each one of us spent 10 minutes a day doing something for someone else.  It is in my opinion an idea worth pursuing.


Madonna, Kabbalah And Spiritual Trends

November 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

So I’m here in my native town Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, producing a Canadian film.  About ten days ago Madonna was in town collecting money for SFK and her Raising Malawi charity.  SFK stands for Spirituality For Kids, a Kabbalah Center effort and Raising Malawi is a Madonna, Michael Berg (son of Kabbalah Center founder) project.

Her stay here was very profitable; it seems that she was able to get a $10,000,000 pledge from a couple of business men as well as a commitment from Rio de Janeiro’s mayor to apply the educational and spiritual methods of SFK to Rio de Janeiro public schools.

While I believe that every child in this planet is entitled to help, I wonder why these same business men don’t usually invest in taking the thousands of children off the streets of their own towns as well as help the other thousands that live in favelas (shanty towns) that surround their homes.  The answer is simple: Madonna.

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So Why Would You Be A Madonna Fan?

August 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

That’s exactly what a former coworker (who will remain nameless) at Warner Bros. Records asked me one Grammy Awards night.  That year, 1990 something or other, a lot of the headquartered staff were watching a live feed of music’s most celebrated night right here in Burbank … the show was being broadcast from the East coast. Obviously everybody in the industry doesn’t go to all the Grammys, all the time, as some outside of “tin pan alley” would presume.  Anyway, everybody is having pizza, telling jokes, taking bets (for no money of course), checking the audience for WB artists, as well as wetting our individual whistles with a little vino, a little brew, a little fruit juice (remember, this is California )….  You get my drift; we’re having a great time.

A few hours or so into the show, a Best Pop Album, category was announced.  Naturally, we’re all pulling for Madonna’s “Ray of Light” project. The envelope. please .. And the winner is “Bingo”.   No, Bingo didn’t win, Madonna did … as she did so often during one of the most incredible runs of any pop icon. Well, I was ecstatic, nonetheless.  To my knowledge, I’ve never been called “Poker Face Jones”; that evening was no exception.  I was legitimately thrilled about her being the recipient of the honor she had been given. Looking back, I guess it showed, my excitement was pretty evident.

It was then that the ringing question of the evening was echoed from a WB staffer, who incidentally worked in the Pop promotion department: “So, why would you be a Madonna fan … you’re in the Jazz department? For a brief moment I was stunned … was this a trick question … was my friend serious … was he ready to be placed in a corner of the conference room with a dunce cap?  As I continued to try to make some sense of what I couldn’t imagine, he continued to baffle me with the notion that because Madonna was on the company’s Pop roster, she wouldn’t generate dollars for my department’s budget!!   I was quick to inform him that profits, budgets, expenditures and all those monetary “goodies” were the farthest thing from my mind. 

I simply explained to “Mr Finance” that my joy came from my appreciation for her as a talent and that she had won over our competition.  My thought was, and still is, that when you’re a family, as we positioned our mindsets to be at WB,  you root for all of your relatives … not just the ones who have the best jobs or the most degrees or trophies.  As a company and as a family, we pulled for each other, no matter what genre; no matter what background or influence.  When you think about it, music of one kind or another has influenced another kind to become another kind of music.  So it is with people, the more we explain and support the other, the more enabled and enriched the other becomes.  The more we become involved with the welfare of our neighbor … across the street or around the world, the music will be for everybody.

That’s how I could become a  Madonna fan ….