Saturday, September 17, 2005

Aesthetics Of Disaster Relief

Everyone is still shouting at everyone else about the inundation of New Orleans. To be sure, there's plenty of blame to go around: failures of local, state, and federal gov't in quick succession, etc, etc. But I don't think anyone has started taking random pot-shots at charitable organizations yet.

It's not much, but I can get the ball rolling: the first Red Cross TV spot to begin running, about a day after it became clear that things were going comprehensively pear-shaped on the Gulf coast, consisted of a sober montage of black-and-white pictures of devastation and human suffering along with a number to call and pledge donations. No problems there. Then, however, some genius decided to jazz things up a bit by having Johnny Cash accompany the misery, singing "Bridge Over Troubled Water".

I think they pulled it off the air fairly quickly, but still, for Christ's sake. We can only be thankful that the Man in Black never covered "When The Levee Breaks".