Wednesday, April 9, 2008

American Idol Gives Back: Reese Witherspoon, Alicia Keyes

Keith Urban brings us back from break, then Reese Witherspoon talks about the Children's Defense Fund, she went to New Orleans to check out their educational programs.

The Freedom School program tries to break the cycle of poverty and violence; as Rob Lowe's Sam Seaborn character on the West Wing once said:

Education is the silver bullet. Education is everything. We don't need little changes. We need gigantic revolutionary changes. Schools should be palaces. Competition for the best teachers should be fierce. They should be getting six-figure salaries. Schools should be incredibly expensive for government and absolutely free of charge for its citizens, just like national defense. That is my position. I just haven't figured out how to do it yet.
Man, what did we do before googling/wikipedia?!

Seasons of Love from the Idol contestants, one of those group sings that are sometimes surprisingly good. It's not bad in this case; the song's not great, it comes across as a bit ponderous, self-indulgent Simon would call it. They're flanked by choirs; Ryan says you can download it on iTunes, the net proceeds will go to charity.

Dane Cook introduces Alicia Keyes journeying across Africa. Wow, the cinematography is great on this clip; it's totally movie-quality. Keyes has the perfect voice for the narration, it's compelling and strong, yet compassionate.

Keyes gets off a great line, if AIDs/HIV got half the attention the media gives to celebrity dramas, this problem would be halfway solved. I disagree with the whole it's the media's fault aspect of it, but truly, it's amazing how much time we spend on things that don't matter and that we know 2 years from now we won't care one whit about.

So--take 10 minutes to read wikipedia's entry on HIV/AIDs in Africa. There are a bunch of charts and graphs, it may only take 5. :-)

You can donate at 1-877-436-5243 or

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