N.O. Still Reeling, Even With Hollywood's Help

The entire music industry from country and rap to hip-hop and rock and roll -- and of course, jazz -- really put its money where its mouth is. Rapper Kanye West's mouth spewed some very incendiary comments about President Bush at a New Orleans benefit, saying, "George Bush does not care about black people." While the other 18 celebrity guests such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Lindsay Lohan, Tim McGraw, Mike Meyers and Oscar winner Hillary Swank all united to raise more money and closed the show with a heartfelt rendition of "When the Saints Go Marching In," other musical greats like Dave Matthews hosted a benefit concert in Denver, Colo.

Alan Jackson, Keith Urban and Alison Krauss all performed at a Grand Ol Opry benefit and Velvet Revolver played a benefit concert in Orlando, Fla. Other musicians like Celine Dion and the partners of her Las Vegas show also gave a million dollars. The billionaire bling boyz like P. Diddy and Jay-Z also gave a cool million apiece, while music networks like MTV, VH-1 and CMT aired specials with music legends. The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Usher, Alicia Keyes, Sheryl Crow, Kanye West and Green Day all got together to put a little love in our hearts and make this world a better place by raising millions of development dollars. On and on the list goes.

So do the math. Survey the situation, and ask yourself: Where has all this money gone? As we drove past the continuous unrelenting, un-repaired, devastation I couldn't help but wonder what has happened to the countless hard earned millions of dollars people have given in the name of charity and relief, because for far too many displaced people, there still is no relief.

They say that where trouble goes, angels follow. Well at least Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, New Orleans' new additions, have not only taken up residence but have also helped rebuild a better city. Pitt is bringing in the green mentality to put a clean spin on the city's future, geographically and environmentally. He teamed up with the Global Green organization to create a design competition and build eco-friendly and economically friendly housing.

The help has been allocated. Now it has to arrive. Somebody has got to "show me the money" and get a bigger and better dose of results. Looking around this once beautifully haunting city, I was just haunted by the echo of mothers, children, brothers and sisters marching from their past while praying for their future, chanting "Two years too long to wait."

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