Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Live 8 thing again, a good podcast, and a crazy thursday night

Thursday night was mental. In no particular order it included a £20 curry, getting a best friend pulled by the most sexually aggressive girl in the bar, crazy dancing to 90s dance music, dirty dancing with some unclean looking girls, and playing volleyball in our courtyard with a big exercise ball thing. At 3am. Until somebody complained a little.


Podcast Recommendation

This is quite interesting. Radio 1 have always done quite excellent 30 minute documentaries as part of it's evening output. They still are, but now they're podcasting them as well. This week's is about aliens and that, which is pretty mental. If that doesn't float your boat, there's also about 40 previous documentaries spread across this page and in this archive.

That Live 8 debate again

So that post about the whole Live 8 thing a few days ago stirred up a fair bit of interest. First of all was the response from that Biffo chap himself. Which was rubbish.

Muldoon: Ok. Interesting read. I have to say that you've totally missed my point, however.

The point I'm making is not that Live 8 was a crap way to run a charitable campaign (though it was certainly a wasted opportunity to make a lot of money for good causes in ADDITION to the main Make Poverty History cause).

What I'm saying is that Live 8 was a misguided ego trip which got in the way of far bigger issues.

Also, saying "Countries are neither corporations or charities, they are democracies" is, frankly, ludicrous.

I didn't miss his point at all. Why split the focus of the event, thus taking it away from the simple need to get people behind the cause? By charging people ticket prices, it also would've stopped a lot of people having that initial interest in taking part in the whole event. Which then would mean they were less likely to pay attention to the actual cause.

Much better than that, and much better than anything I could ever write, was the response that came in from an old friend Tom Bangay.

mulders. what.

firstly, bono getting bush to write off $5bn of 3rd world debt achieved more than both live aids did, and it's still a drop in the ocean. not that i'm defending bono, he's a cunt. i'm guessing that this blogger's ire at geldof stemmed from the fact that he was nominated for the nobel peace prize, which is so horrendously offensive i don't even know what to say. the banker who won it probably has less porsches, sunglasses, emission-orgifying tours etc than 2 rock stars, for a start.

"I can think of one issue that could, subjectively, be seen as a bigger issue here, obviously Climate Change. Now I believe that's something to worry about as well, but what is it about us that we only care about a death if it's in our own back garden?"

The deaths that come from climate change won't occur here. well, they will, but only on the scale of the 40,000 or so deaths in southern europe from the heatwaves in 2003, for example. the countries that will be hit the hardest, and first, by climate change will be third world countries, who won't have the money to build flood defences (i.e. bangladesh where in 40 years, 20% of the habitable land will be underwater, displacing tens of millions of people and causing massive death due to sanitation, destruction of agriculture etc), won't have the resources to sustain agriculture (kenya), etc. that's the main reason behind US indifference to climate change; they can afford to protect themselves, they can literally buy themselves some time. climate change, like it or not, IS bigger deal than african poverty because it will compound it hugely and have a global effect. and there is NOTHING we can do about it (to a certain, initial, extent), even if we stop emissions tomorrow temperature is going to rise about 6 degrees, which is about the same magnitude of temperature shift that caused the last ice age, so you can appreciate the gravity of the situation.

now i'm not slagging off live 8 per se, it's commendable to do SOMETHING. but as far as changing attitudes goes; what's changed? have we become this altruistic caring society where people give all their surplus income to stop famine? have we bollocks. people turned up, enjoyed the great live acts and went back to dodging charity workers with clipboard in the streets. have you got a standing order to oxfam mark? when you talk about 'the movement', you don't actually think that the global audience of millions are now card-carrying poverty activists who go collecting door to door? the people who care enough to be activists were activists before bob geldof said 'hey let's get keane and dizzee rascal to cover do they know it's christmas'.

"A Government in a democracy will do the will of its population to stay in power. This is why the theory behind Live 8 worked so well: it was about getting everybody to stand up, and tell their own leaders that this is what they want to see happen."

gaaaaah. taking the US as an example, sure they loved the live aid concerts, but did it make one iota of difference to the Bush administration's attitude toward foreign aid? US military spending in 2006 totals 441.6 BILLION dollars. if the US gave 10 percent of that to write off 3rd world debt it would be a start, the reality doesn't come anywhere near to that. ours is much lower at a trifling $66bn, and our travails in Africa are woefully inadequate too. assuming (and i'm conceding a lot here) that the nation now apparently cares more about dying africans than it does about x factor and ipod nanos, how exactly is that democratic will being put into practice?

regardless of all that live 8 did generate what £5m? if every act who played donated 10% of their cash from their record deals instead we'd have had a lot more money with a lot smaller carbon footprint. i'm not saying there's anything wrong with a concert to raise awareness; but to think that in REAL terms it actually made a shred of difference is hopelessly naive.

He puts up a farely convincing argument doesn't he? That's why I like Tom. Well, that and he let me have sex with him once. Still, I see some things I can argue here. I don't see what people's beef is with Bono. Unless it's his music of course. For starters 20% of the money U2 make between them goes straight to charity, So there's one rock star act doing exactly what you suggest. Oh, and ego? The band have been doing it for years, and the fact that they give this money was brought into the public's domain against their will.

Whilst I agree that there's been no huge massive global attitude change, on one day one hell of a lot of people stood up and told their Governments that they want this thing to happen. Is the public fickle? Sure. Did they return to voting in Strictly Come Dancing instead? Sure. But that's why the idea of a short, sharp event to put the issue on the agenda was logical. That's how the zeitgeist works.

So some good was done in working for the fortunes of Africa. Not enough, sure. But I see Live 8 as something done by people who wanted to do the good thing, and that they did it in the best way they could go about it. And then people call them c**ts.

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