Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Taking time off from his tour of multi-thousand dollar speaking engagements, Bob Geldof has tried to keep the spin of the success of Live 8 going (presumably to help sales of the book and the DVD, some of the money of which will actually make it to Africa). Nice choice of imagery, too, Bob:

Bob Geldof has warned politicians that Live 8 was a "devastating bomb" which will encourage the youngsters of today fight for what is right.

What the world needs now is a few more bombs, Bob. Wonderfully, he doesn't conclude that Live8 has taught a very different lesson: that activism requires little more than listening to an Elton John song or two and applauding; or else that you put your faith in a charismatic leader who promises change, only to discover the changes they deliver are in their lecture tour rates.

"It wasn't the blinking of an eye - it was a devastating bomb.

"The effect forever on the economic life of Africa is there.

"The aid agencies are now marketing the young like big companies because the agencies truly understand."

There is much about this that just leaves me wanting to sob and sob. It's a victory that campaigns for social justice have to be treated like they're a campaign for Dairylea Dunkers? That the future is so bleak Bob believes the only way of engaging people in the suffering of others is by getting Bono and Macca to do something from the Beatles back catalogue?

And how does an aid agency work like a big companies' marketing campaign anyway? Wouldn't something like that lead to a situation where things that don't fit with the big message get dropped off the stage? You know, imagine a situation where thousands are starving to death in Niger while a bunch of celebs hold the world's attention calling for justice for Africa, but not a soul mentions that immediate humanitarian disaster because the PR team don't want to confuse the message by mentioning specific cases.

Big bomb? That's one word for it, Bob.

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