Thursday, June 30, 2005

Live 8

Somewhat tongue and cheek, I've posted about the white bracelet I picked up at the U2 concert and the e-mail I received from one.org from Selma Hayek promoting their cause and of course the Live 8 concerts this weekend in Philadelphia, London, Berlin, Rome, Paris, and other places.

I am sure these will be great shows, but I find myself feeling somewhat cynical about them being anything else. Live 8 will not exactly be a celebration of African culture. There's no getting around the fact that the artists that participate will be promoting themselves as much as the cause.

The one.org platform has great intention at its heart, but also perhaps an unrealistic faith in African governments and non-governmental organizations. The UN after all gave us the oil-for-food program. The Somalia crisis was caused by a fight to distribute aid. Making large financial gestures almost allows us to depressingly the problem, keep it over there, and say we're helping.

Here's a link to a very interesting op-ed in today's USAToday by Laura Vanderkam that talks about the role remittances -- money sent home by immigrants to the United States -- plays in elevating the standards of living in poorer countries.

In the mean time I'm with Noel Gallagher from Oasis:

"Correct me if I'm wrong, but are they hoping that one of these guys from the G8 is on a quick 15 minute break at Gleneagles (in Scotland) and sees ANNIE LENNOX singing SWEET DREAMS and thinks, 'F**k me, she might have a point there, you know?'

"KEANE doing SOMEWHERE ONLY WE KNOW and some Japanese businessman going, 'Aw, look at him... we should really f**king drop that debt, you know.'

"It's not going to happen, is it?"



...uhhm, well maybe if U2 plays "Where the Streets Have No Name."


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