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Old 07-03-2005, 07:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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The Live 8 Concerts... Music and Politics doing the Tango

So the live 8 concert by Sir Bob Geldof passed us this weekend. Despite seeing Pink Floyd, a band beyond talent, reunite for one last show, I think the entire thing was a bit of a bust, both in action and in purpose. First and foremost, Geldof has one song, and he gets to get up there and sing it (or atleast he tries to sing) one more time.
The biggest problem I have with the whole thing, is the serious lack of African Artists, to help the African Population, and the whole idea of cancelling foreign debt. Its like taking some unemployed low-classman with a maxxed out credit card, and clearing it. He gets to spend until its maxxed out again. The real shame is that Africa needs resources. The climate is impossible to farm, and thus it has problems feeding its population. Whats more, the continent lives on the Chinese Treadmill method of 500 B.C.E., whereby they need food so they birth people to grow it. To feed them they need more food. Dance boy dance.

I suppose this is just a start on the politics of bigger questions. So I will ask two, one for the interest in Live 8, and the other for all the hardcore political analysts following the millenia-long africa crisis.

1. Was Live 8 a Success, or could all the money spent running the concerts that merely were to put pressure on the G8, been used for better things?

2. If debt relief isn't the problem, what should we do?

The last one is very broad.

I must say though, Trade Justice is a cup of java I could sure go for. I think Sir Bob had something with that.

Peace, Love and Happiness,

Mouse
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Old 07-06-2005, 08:25 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Was Live 8 a Success, or could all the money spent running the concerts that merely were to put pressure on the G8, been used for better things?
Could have been used for much better things.
Quote:
If debt relief isn't the problem, what should we do?
Export capitalism, get tough on corruption, start using (banned) pesticides again that kill the flies and mosquitos that cause more deaths than the pesticides ever did.

Live8 was a big show of 'good intentions' but good intentions have got Africa nothing in the last century they need action. real reform.

Quote:
What rocks is capitalism... yeah, yeah, yeah
By Mark Steyn
(Filed: 05/07/2005)

'To sneer at such events," cautioned The Sunday Telegraph apropos Live8, "demeans the generosity which they embody".

Oh, dear. If you can't sneer at rock stars in the Telegraph, where can you? None the less, if not exactly a full-blown sneer, I did feel a faint early Sir Cliff-like curl of the lip coming on during the opening moments of Saturday's festivities, when Sir Paul McCartney stepped onstage.

Not because Sir Paul was any better or worse than Sir Elton or Sir Bob or any other member of the aristorockracy, but because it reminded me of why I'm sceptical about the "generosity" which these events "embody".

Seven years ago, you'll recall, Sir Paul's wife died of cancer. Linda McCartney had been a resident of the United Kingdom for three decades but her Manhattan tax lawyers, Winthrop Stimson Putnam & Roberts, devoted considerable energy in her final months to establishing her right to have her estate probated in New York state.

That way she could set up a "qualified domestic marital trust" that would... Yeah, yeah, yeah, in the immortal words of Lennon and/or McCartney. Big deal, you say. We're into world peace and saving the planet and feeding Africa. What difference does it make which jurisdiction some squaresville suit files the boring paperwork in?

Okay, I'll cut to the chase. By filing for probate in New York rather than the United Kingdom, Linda McCartney avoided the 40 per cent death duties levied by Her Majesty's Government. That way, her family gets all 100 per cent - and 100 per cent of Linda McCartney's estate isn't to be sneezed at.

For purposes of comparison, Bob Geldof's original Live Aid concert in 1985 raised 50 million. Lady McCartney's estate was estimated at around 150 million. In other words, had she paid her 40 per cent death duties, the British Treasury would have raised more money than Sir Bob did with Bananarama and all the gang at Wembley Stadium that day.

Given that she'd enjoyed all the blessings of life in these islands since 1968, Gordon Brown might have felt justified in reprising Sir Bob's heartfelt catchphrase at Wembley: "Give us yer fokkin' money!" But she didn't. She kept it for herself. And good for her. I only wish I could afford her lawyers.

I don't presume to know what was in her mind, but perhaps she figured that for the causes she cared about - vegetarianism, animal rights, the usual stuff - her money would do more good if it stayed in private hands rather than getting tossed down the great sucking maw of the Treasury where an extra 60 million quid makes barely a ripple.

And, while one might query whether Sir Paul (with his own fortune of 500 million) or young Stella really need an extra 15 million or so apiece, in the end Linda McCartney made a wise decision in concluding that her estate would do more good kept out of Mr Brown's hands, or even re-routed to Africa, where it might just about have defrayed the costs of the deflowering ceremony for the King of Swaziland's latest wife.

And that's why the Live8 bonanza was so misguided. Two decades ago, Sir Bob was at least demanding we give him our own fokkin' money. This time round, all he was asking was that we join him into bullying the G8 blokes to give us their taxpayers' fokkin' money.

Or as Dave Gilmour of Pink Floyd put it: "I want to do everything I can to persuade the G8 leaders to make huge commitments to the relief of poverty and increased aid to the Third World. It's crazy that America gives such a paltry percentage of its GNP to the starving nations."

No, it's not. It's no more crazy than Linda McCartney giving such a paltry percentage of her estate - ie, 0 per cent - to Gordon Brown. And, while Britain may be a Bananarama republic, it's not yet the full-blown thing.

Africa is a hard place to help. I had a letter from a reader the other day who works with a small Canadian charity in West Africa. They bought a 14-year-old SUV for 1,500 Canadian dollars to ferry food and supplies to the school they run in a rural village. Customs officials are demanding a payment of $8,000 before they'll release it.

There are thousands of incidents like that all over Africa every day of the week. Yet, throughout the weekend's events, Dave Gilmour and Co were too busy Rocking Against Bush to spare a few moments to Boogie Against Bureaucracy or Caterwaul Against Corruption or Ululate Against Usurpation. Instead, Madonna urged the people to "start a revolution". Like Africa hasn't had enough of those these past 40 years?

Let's take it as read that Sir Bob and Sir Bono are exceptionally well informed and articulate on Africa's problems. Why then didn't they get the rest of the guys round for a meeting beforehand with graphs and pie charts and bullet points in bright magic markers, so that Sir Dave and Dame Madonna would understand that Africa's problem is not a lack of "aid". The tragedy of Live8 is that its message was as cobwebbed as its repertoire.

Don't get me wrong. I love old rockers - not for the songs, which are awful, but for their business affairs, which so totally rock. In 1997, David Bowie became the first pop star to hold a bond offering himself. How about that? Fifty-five million dollars' worth of Bowie "class A royalty-backed notes" were snapped up in minutes after Moody's in New York gave them their coveted triple-A rating.

Once upon a time, rock stars weren't rated by Moody, they were moody - they self-destructed, they choked to death in their own vomit, they hoped to die before they got old. Instead, judging from Sir Pete Townshend on Saturday, they got older than anyone's ever been. Today, Paul McCartney is a businessman: he owns the publishing rights to Annie and Guys & Dolls. These faux revolutionaries are capitalists red in tooth and claw.

The system that enriched them could enrich Africa. But capitalism's the one cause the poseurs never speak up for. The rockers demand we give our fokkin' money to African dictators to manage, while they give their fokkin' money to Winthrop Stimson Putnam & Roberts to manage. Which of those models makes more sense?
source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/m...ixopinion.html
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Old 07-06-2005, 08:34 AM   #3 (permalink)
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personnally, i think the concert was a failure. they didn't collect money, just awareness. we are aware that Africa has many problems, many of which stem back to imperialism by the nations that are now collecting the debts. this concert should have been more pro-active.
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Old 07-06-2005, 08:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Well, I wouldn't go so far as to call it a failure. It did re-unite pink floyd for one last show, thats gotta count for something.
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Old 07-06-2005, 10:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It was just dumb. A bunch of singers just wanted a tax write off so that they can continue to count the money that they make. They also want to feel good about themselves but they hardly do anything else unless they can get press coverage for it.
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Old 07-06-2005, 11:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Hmm, I think the point of this has been lost somewhere along the line. The exposure and press coverage hasn't hurt the reputations of the celebrities involved, sure, but would anyone have cared if they hadn't been there? In truth, it was never about the celebrities, they weren't really anything more than a tool to raise Live 8's profile as much as possible, which was essential in making the event as huge as it was and drawing the worldwide audience it did.

Still, there's some warped western logic behind throwing a series of huge, expensive parties to raise awareness of the situation in Africa, but if that's what it takes to get peoples attention then so be it. After all, we're all talking about it now, aren't we? With that being the case, surely constructive criticism of the concerts themselves should lead to suggestions (from people other than politicians) of better, more efficient ways in which the west can assist Africa, as well as improved methods of raising awareness that will, in the end, benefit the continent's poverty stricken populations.

It would be foolish to forget that raising awareness was the primary objective the concerts were designed to achieve, and in fairness Africa has been pushed far higher up the G8 agenda than it perhaps would have been had they not taken place. No one has ignored Live 8 and the issue is on the table at the exact right time. I don't know if anything of substance will come from it or if the G8 leaders will simply bicker until a paper agreement is reluctantly reached or what, but like I said, at least they're talking about it and talking about it seriously. It's debatable whether that would have truly been the case had Live 8 never occurred.

Word to Geldof.
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