Last week’s episode of 30 Rock didn’t just have a great title: “Operation Righteous Cowboy Lightning” (Wouldn’t that be a great band name? Anyone?). The episode, like most of the series, was brilliantly written even with a ridiculous set up: Jack attempts to pre-tape a benefit for a disaster that hasn’t happened yet.

The episode is a smart send up of celeb endorsed charity work, cleverly showing the results of ratings-driven motives instead of cause or solution driven thinking. The pre-taped song passionately delievered by Jenna “Help The People The Thing That Happened Happened To” shows, in a hilarious way, how empty these proceedings can often be. Not to spoil it for you, but the episode doesn’t end with a solution. This shallow attempt at charity actually ends up being a ratings success. They’ve given the people what they want (and helped no one) – Yay America!

As Love in Stereo launches into our second year we want to be intentional about actually making a difference and not simply raising awareness. We want our motives to be solution-driven and not attention-seeking. We want the art we create to rise out of the needs of people and not be neatly pre-packed or shallow. Our hope is to give voice to those who need it and to bring change. It’s not about us.

This episode made me laugh, but also made me cringe. There’s a lot of noise in the non-profit world. One concern we’ve had with Love In Stereo was that we didn’t want to just create more noise. We want to create change not noise. I’m forced to seriously look at what we’re doing . . . by a sitcom. Gee, thanks 30 Rock! Now I’m paranoid that we’ll be singing empty soulless songs like “Help the People the Thing That Happened Happened To”. It sounds crazy, but because of this ridiculous episode I’m committed to doing, saying and being more.

30 Rock often does what great comedy has always done: make us laugh at the truth and ourselves (especially when it’s painful.)

What say you?

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One Comment


  1. ty clark:

    Word!

    5:57 pm on February 3rd, 2011

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