Its not often that I feel sorry for hipsters, and obviously, I understand their preferred method of garnering sympathy often relies on comparing their plight as “artists” in high-priced Brooklyn lofts often involves comparing themselves to other oppressed cultures, most of whom have endured more harrowing strife than being unable to afford designer donuts to accompany their Sunday New York Times. But sometimes, you have to be on the side of the hipsters. Even if it is just to ensure that the next Florence + The Machine album is available on vinyl.
Brooklyn and Staten Island are hurting. Staten Islanders in particular are pleading for help and city services. They are short on food, clean water, and especially electricity, their homes were destroyed. But apparently, New York City, whose mayor, Michael Bloomberg is enjoying a tiny bit of stardom as Barack Obama’s most recent bestest friend ever, seems to have other priorities for his generators, pumps and city services.
In the powerless neighborhoods of New York, especially in the public housing projects, life is beyond recognizable from a week ago. Elevators to high-rise buildings are inoperable, water and sewage is cut off, and there is for many, no end in sight. Yesterday the National Guard arrived to bring food and water for the first time. Residents waited in long lines for hours to claim it. Those who could not make it down flights of stairs to do so, the elderly and disabled, are especially vulnerable.
There is a massive reallocation of resources about to take place. Generators and food trucks are being disbursed this weekend in New York City. For Sandy survivors? No. For runners in the New York City Marathon. Mayor Bloomberg, in his infinite wisdom, has decided to divert desperately needed resources during an unprecedented tragedy to a marathon. The route these runners will take brings them through neighborhoods, past homes and apartments, that were destroyed a week prior. These runners currently have reservations for hotel rooms that are occupied by those displaced from their homes, many hotels are honoring these reservations, and if they are not, the hotels are forced to fight with marathon attendees to keep evacuees housed in their hotels. These runners will be protected by a police department that is already unable to protect homes and businesses from looting.
Awesome. Heckuva job, Bloomie.
But wait. Not only are precious resources being redirected so that runners don’t miss a marathon that might just turn into a tour of hurricane devastation, but as it happens, electricity and creature comforts are being corralled away from hurricane victims for another special event taking place in New York City: a televised celebrity fundraiser for hurricane victims.
Kevin Bacon, Mary J. Blige, Tina Fey (NBC’s “30 Rock”), James Gandolfini, Al Roker (NBC’s “Today”) and Jon Stewart are the newest stars to join NBCUniversal’s broadcast of “Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together.” The one-hour live benefit telethon will air Friday, November 2, (8-9 pm ET) across the networks of NBCUniversal, including NBC, Bravo, CNBC, E!, G4, MSNBC, Style, Syfy and USA.
The NBC Sports Network and The Weather Channel also have now signed on to air the event.
Bacon, Blige, Fey, Gandolfini, Roker and Stewart join the current lineup of previously announced performers, including Christina Aguilera (NBC’s “The Voice”), Jon Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, and Sting, with appearances by Jimmy Fallon (NBC’s “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”) and NBC News’ Brian Williams.
Hosted by NBC “Today” anchor Matt Lauer, the telethon will be broadcast from the New York studios of NBC at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. It will air live across the East Coast and tape-delayed on the West. Additional networks are expected to join the broadcast of the telethon prior to airtime.
If they don’t have bread, let them eat cake! From a dumpster! Five day rule!