Sunday, July 03, 2005

Running...Out of...Time to Disrespect Live 8

FRESH UPDATE: Today's Washington Post does a great article on the contrast between views from Live 8, the G-8, and what Africans themselves believe they need. (I've long favored ending American farm subisdies as well as supporting free and fair trade in coffee. When I slurp my Kenya AA, I want the local grower to get paid for its fabulousness.)

Regarding Live 8 itself and not just the object of its benevolence... oh, the muddle-headed ethics on display there. My previous disses here and here.

Power Line reports that, as an inducement for viewers to donate, Live 8 commentators are actually repeating the fact that poverty is worse in Africa than it was during Live Aid 20 years ago! Hmmm.... (tapping finger to chin) if we could only figure out why....

Thanks to the excellent Aussie blogger, Tim Blair, here's info on how local shelters, serving Canada's presumably also impoverished homeless community, weren't allowed to set up a food drive outside Toronto's Live 8 concert. The decision, to retard the dilution of charitable giving of course, was not communicated to those planning concurrent activities until this week, and reportedly comes from Sir Bob himself.

"I feel good about curing poverty today, but I totally love my new watch!"
Here's news about the $4,000 to $15,000 goody bags of luxury items arranged for the Live 8 musicians who are appearing for "free." You may argue that although thunder follows lightning, the artists might not have expected posh treatment at this particular event. Then notice that it was the concert's organizer itself who contracted a PR firm to solicit the swag. Do you imagine that PR firm volunteered its services? If they did, it wasn't in the quote, and seems the kind of thing a publicity firm would insist upon bragging about in print. So where did the fees come from to pay Nicole Cashman et al t0 troll for trinkets? Not out of the profits for the poor surely.

Could Live 8 not have given out goody bags of calligraphied IOUs, listing tony items as dollar amounts being donated to the cause? Well, no, because the manufacturer gets his own stuff at cost, and doesn't sacrifice the actual marked-up retail value. And such gifties for celebrity wearing are treated taxably as business promotional write-offs not charity. But it's not about the money and self-aggrandizment and Hugo Boss suits, okay, it's about the kids!

But soon it will be over (sigh), and criticizing the almost-guaranteed mismanagement and skimming to follow will be all I'll have left.


April said...

...Live 8 commentators are actually repeating the fact that poverty is worse in Africa than it was during Live Aid 20 years ago! Hmmm.... (tapping finger to chin) if we could only figure out why....

I don't think Africa is more impoverished today because of Live Aid, really. That would be giving way too much import to Live Aid. Live Aid was a feel-good for rock music lovers. It made me feel good..AND it did do some good.

Africa is in more dire poverty now because it's the butthole of the universe, or, more likely, 2,000 miles UP the butthole of the universe, a distinction that used to belong to New Orleans.

Apparently, the people in Africa have yet to get over that "tribal" thing. Vis a vis the Sudan, and the Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda. And corrupt dictators supported by the U.S. of A. You'd think a place so rich in natural resources would be one of the wealthiest countries in the world..but no.

Too bad about the goody stupid is that? If my band played Live 8...the goodie bags would be, oh, I don't know...looked at, admired for their shiny-ness and expense, and then sold for charity, at least in my case. Can't speak for the others. I don't need a fucking I-Pod or a high-smeg cell phone.

Goodie bags are a growing phenom! There are people who make their livings assembling goodie bags for celebs, who, by now, expect them.

Henway Twingo said...

I am Not saying Live Aid created the poverty. I'm saying that vastly corrupted governments (unaddressed or even acknowledged by the Live 8 crowd) foster poverty, and giving the tyrants monetary rewards only made it worse. This puts me opposite Sir Bob, who despite seeing the civilized world throw hundreds of billions down the black hole, still publicly declares that poverty is the progenitor of corruption. That implies, to me, that all poor folk are helplessly immoral, a paternal condescension if ever I heard one. I can't believe poverty bred Africa's corruption, since, when no one had anything worth stealing, there wasn't anything to gain. Oh, but racketeering flourished once there was something to steal and no accountability- bags of aid money from abroad allowing thugs to aggrandize themselves at the expense of their people. We can't keep throwing money without conditions for systemic reform at this problem and expect any change.

Despite Iraq's much-publicized tribal system, the huge majority of violent insurgents are foreign nationals. And despite their fondest hopes, the Iraqi civil war hasn't happened, proving again that disparate tribes can manage to operate together. The Rwandan massacre was sanctioned, hidden, and encouraged by a gov't who saw the excuse within it for extermination of its own political opposition. Under fair civil governance and with popular representation, I don't believe that genocide could have occurred.

It used to be only bags of drugs were required to coddle shallow celebrities- now they need other merchandise they could afford to buy, too.