Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Band Aid 30

My skepticism with Geldof's scheme here really started with Live 8 back in 2005 (20 years too late?) when Geldof said: "we did this 20 years ago and nothing has changed so we must do it again". Apparently he has heard it said that doing the same thing over with failing results is a good use of everybody's time.

Well Geldof is back, now to fight ebola, which apparently everybody had been ignoring until now. Also, apparently, the problem here is money rather than local skepticism of medical solutions and lack of resources and infrastructure.

First, interview bits from an Al Jazeera piece:
I would ask does Geldof know when it's Christmas time in Ethiopia? As perhaps the fact that we celebrate Christmas a few weeks later on the 7th of January could have misled him into thinking we don't know when it is. Reassure him from us that, after his last three reminders, we are well aware and don't need any more prompting.
The oft-quoted observation by Marx that "history repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce" applies here for both its acuteness and how it has become a cliche. The Band Aid songs reflect this pattern. They begin as an attempt to respond to catastrophe and then excise all historical context and specificity.  
and also
The political problem with these celebrity bashes, including the most recent legacy of Live 8 and its Make Poverty History allies just over nine years ago, is that dazzling, back-slapping performances resulted in lost focus when it came to structural power. 

Bringing it back "home", a different view. Bryony Gordon writes about the comment Geldof and co. appear to be making about their public, those they expect to "donate" cash to their cause.  Some excerpts (emphasis mine. And yikes, I'm on page with a Gallagher brother):
Later, we learnt that Adele had quietly made a private donation to Oxfam. But in the shallow, self-promoting world of celebrity, the simple and silent act of handing over money to charity is not the done thing – that’s what we impoverished plebs do.
Instead, the rich and famous donate their precious time, and for this they expect to be celebrated and congratulated, as if before they flashed their expensively whitened teeth in the video for a song, we had no idea that Ebola was a problem
It’s not the troops deployed to Sierra Leone who are going to make a real difference – that honour will go to Geldof and his merry army of pop stars...
Which all reminds me of something Noel Gallagher said during Live 8 nine years ago: “Correct me if I’m wrong, but are they hoping that one of these guys from the G8 is on a quick fifteen-minute break at Gleneagles and sees Annie Lennox seeing 'Sweet Dreams’ and thinks 'f**k me, she might have a point there, … we should really drop the debt, you know’. It’s not going to happen, is it?

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