The Iron Fist of Charity
"This is the greatest thing
that's ever been in the entire history of the world."
Chris Martin - Coldplay - Live 8
Let that soak in for a moment. Let it roll off your tongue and really sink in. "This is the greatest thing that's ever been in the entire history of the world." Wow. Now that, my friend, is a pretty strong statement.
Let's think about this for a moment. If I understand Chris correctly, what he's saying is that the Live 8 concert was greater than:
The Building of The Great Pyramid of Giza
The Discovery of Penicillin and Antibiotics
The Invention of the Telegraph
The Discovery of Bacteria
The Principals of Newton's Law of Gravity
The Invention of the Computer Microchip
The Discovery of Pasturization
The Invention of the Printing Press
The Discovery of the Polio Vaccine
The Birth, Death and Ressurection of Jesus Christ
Whoa. Now, I knew Geldof was good ... but not that good. In fact, Bob told the G8 conference leaders, "Now feel the force of the gale that's hit you." Hmmm ... sounds like somebody's been buying their own hype.
Don't get me wrong ... the principals behind Live 8 are noble enough. Highlighting the plight of struggling African nations is a worthy cause. I just can't help feeling like the money that was spent on these concerts could feed an African nation. I mean, the majority of Africans can't even afford to own a TV ... and yet we've spent millions on satellite feeds and concert venues. Doesn't anyone else think we might have missed the bigger picture here?
In fact, did you know that celebrities appearing at the Philadelphia venue may have performed for free, but each received a goodie bag worth over $12,000? It's true. Celebrities were given a Hugo Boss duffel bag loaded with high-fashion trinkets including Hugo Boss suits, XM satellite radios and subscriptions, Gibson guitars, and Bertolucci watches. Am I totally missing something here? Why weren't those funds used to help the poorest of the poor in our world?
Call me a cynic, but even in a perfect world where the G8 leaders agree to forgive all third-world debt, I don't see the leaders of those nations saying, "Wow, that's great! Thanks, guys! Now we have all the money we need to improve our country's infrastructure and make great advances in agriculture and technology!" They're in a deep hole and can't make the payments on that debt to begin with. So yes, forgiving the debt is a good start ... but we're miles away from making their corner of the world a healthy, hospitable place to live.
Noel Gallagher, in an extremely rare moment of clarity, hit the nail on the head when he said, "Correct me if I am wrong, but are they hoping that one of these guys from the G8 is going to see Annie Lennox singing 'Sweet Dreams' and think 'fuck me, she might have a point there'?"
My point, exactly Noel. But, maybe in the big scheme of things, doing something is better than doing nothing ... so, get on that stage and sing Supernova like a good monkey.
and it's a world of dread and fear
Where the only water flowing
is the bitter sting of tears
Band Aid - Do They Know It's Christmas