Monday, July 04, 2005

Shut Up, Open Your Big Wallet And Just Feed The Damn World...Please?

We spent the weekend at John's parents' river cottage near Reedville, which was great. While we were there, we were able to catch some of the coverage of the Live 8 concert. To be honest, I'd only had heard bits and pieces about it, and never really connected to it that it was related to the actual kick-ass Live Aid concert, in that it was organized by Bob Geldof. Unfortunately I was disappointed about this concert for a number of reasons, and feel it's a disservice to Live Aid by being associated with it. Not that Live Aid was the be-all, end-all, and to be honest, half of the rock stars in the "Do They Know It's Christmas" look really bored and unaffected, like Geldof guilt tripped them into coming, but that's a different story for a different day (I swear, Bananarama look like they're about ready to fall asleep. Watch it sometime, you'll see what I'm talking about). Live Aid was sort of in-your-face about "We need money. You have it. Send it." and people did. That was cool. This concert, however, was meant to "raise awareness to the people and to the prominent politcal leaders who were to begin the G8 Summit next week." That meant that rock stars like Will Smith came out onstage and gave us sad factoids like: every three minutes, an African baby dies, and stuff like that. And Dave Matthews told us that we could just make a difference by making our friends aware of the poverty in Africa.

That's nice and all, but got news for you: awareness and good vibes don't put food into the bellies of starving African babies. Call me a heartless corporate whitey bastard, but I'm of the philosophy that money and skillful political negotiations are more effective. I mean, it's really nice to have a free concert, and to see Annie Lennox and Joss Stone and Destiny's Child interact with the African Children's Choir onstage and everyone's happy and smiling as Madonna sings to a beautiful African teenage girl who was sort of the poster child for those children who survived the devastating famine (she was the girl in white who was paraded around rather shamlessly) and everyone had a really nice time at Will Smith's pre-concert party at Spago, but this whole thing sort of left me feeling empty. Plus, a lot of the musical acts really sucked. I kept thinking "WWGD?" (What Would GWAR Do? The answer: mass decapitations, that's what!) and finally stopped watching after Pink Floyd's set was cut into by MTV (bastards!). Most likely will not be buying this DVD- I'll take a gamble and send the check directly.

Yes, the MTV-VH1 VeeJays made complete arses out of themselves (and I hated their interruptions and pointless banter). Yes, the Philadelphia venue sucked bigtime (their lineup was nothing but rap and Bon Jovi...blecH!). Still, London's stage got loads of good music (much of which was still interrupted; mainly the gods who are Pink Floyd). Okay, Madonna and Mariah coulda' gotten booted off the damn stage and I wouldn't have minded that one bit. Floyd, The Who, and Velvet Revolver were pretty damn good.
Not everything was a total loss--but still, it could have been WAY better.
Yeah, Pink Floyd wasn't bad. But the whole thing just seemed so fake and superficial. Yeah, Destiny's Child say they went to Africa, but how much you wanna bet that they did not live amongst the people? I bet they had nice comfy beds, AC, etc. And that's okay, but don't feed me any B.S. that said you kept it real. Just say, "I'm a rock star. Send money." I won't judge.

I found out that each performer received a gift bag worth about $20, 000. I haven't heard stories of anyone refusing the bag. (I'm still holding out hope that there were some who did).

Although that's a really nice gesture from the promoters, think about how much 1 gift bag...or more like 1/10 of a gift bag, could do for the starving people of Africa. Maybe several villages could afford monthly supplies of food, or the money could be used to help fight the corrupt governments that are barriers to the hunger prevention. Who knows?
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