In the past week, the world has watched as the people of Haiti struggle to move beyond the aftermath from a catastrophic earthquake and aftershocks that crippled the city and killed thousands. Yesterday, I watched the first fifteen minutes of Oprah with special guest Wyclef Jean. No, I don’t normally watch Oprah, but I was home sick and wanted to see some of what Wyclef had to say.
Within in minutes, Wyclef was brought to tears as he described the chaos. You have to be less than human, like Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson, to not feel for the people stuck in an apocalypse, which is what Wyclef called the chaos. He even described how he had to dig a good friend out from the rubble after a building collapsed on him and police officers.
No one sitting at home watching the news can fully comprehend what is really happening. The visuals that were shown on Oprah of the devastation coupled by the description of Wyclef provided a glimpse of the death that remains on the streets and rubble. Wyclef and Oprah reminded the audience of the limitations of a camera lens to show the whole story. The graphic portraits painted by the senses are left out. The 360 degree perspective isn’t fully experienced. We don’t smell the rotting of flesh or taste of dust that permeates the air.
Last week, Viola wrote about musicians who were urging fans to help the people of Haiti.
I received an email from Paste Magazine earlier this week about Songs For Haiti, a music-centered relief effort to aid the struggling people of Haiti. Here is a little more from the release:
Whether people donate through Paste or through another charity (just have to say where); all will have access to the vault of “Songs For Haiti” MP3s. 100% of the money contributed through the Paste site will be spread equally among three charities active in Haiti relief: Doctors Without Borders, The Red Cross, and Wyclef Jean’s Yele Haiti Earthquake Fund. [Please note: donations submitted directly through “Songs For Haiti” are not tax deductible, since Paste is not a charitable organization.]
“We obviously don’t think people would need incentive to donate in this effort, but perhaps the campaign will inspire more music fans to get involved, or to encourage people who have already donated, to donate again,” said Josh Jackson, Paste Magazine’s Editor-In-Chief. “Music has always been a force that brings people together, and to have so many fantastic artists drop everything to contribute to this effort was very touching,” Jackson added.
“Songs For Haiti” is one of the largest relief efforts yet to emerge from the entertainment world.
The catalog includes unreleased songs from a diverse array of artists such as Ludacris, Of Montreal, Andrew Bird, Hanson, Low Anthem, Umphrey’s McGee, Switchfoot, Derek Webb, and over 200 others.