who's walking where?

Danny Schechter writes about Live 8. I agree with him.

I know some wmtc readers are excited about the concerts (Hi G!). Let's not debate it. Each to her/his own. For my part, this is bread and circuses.

"The Limits of 'Live 8' and the G8 in Making Poverty History".


Anonymous said...

I agree with you on a certain level about that, actually. History is on no one's side here in terms of an actual difference being made.

Still, there is always hope that people will take the message to heart. Is it realistic for such an event, and a list of signatures (no matter how large) to prompt the governments of the G8 to simply drop everything else to make the stated aid target work? No.

But, many other countries have made it work (Sweden, Netherlands among others), so it is possible. And I think the important thing here is the sense of hope and belief in the human spirit that did prevail. We all need a reminder that we do have a voice now and again. And if the message, as opposed to just the concert, is taken home with even a quarter of those who went - a difference will be made. A mouth will be given a voice.

I don't see this event as something that will prompt immediate change. I see it (through somewhat rosy lenses, I admit) as something that will get people thinking, as something that will hopefully be leaving a passion in people to find out more about Africa, to get involved with organizations aiding the country, to stand up and do something as opposed to nothing.

And that's what Live 8 to me was. Something good in place of nothing at all. And no harm can come of that. They may not reach their lofty goals, but I do believe that change, on the level of the individual's approach to Africa (ie acknowledge it exists, and that human beings are all the same, and that we can all make a difference), will be made for the better because of this event.

Kyle_From_Ottawa said...

Personally, I don't think you'll solve Africa's problems until you tackle the internal corruption first.

A lot of my coworkers came from third world countries, and they know that corruption is one of the reasons poor countries are so poor. If you give $10 million in aid, you're lucky if $1 million actually reaches the poor.

Of course, the other problem is that developed nations usually have strings attached to their aid dollars, such as giving money for equipment, and then requiring the receiving nation to purchase the equipment from the donor nation.

The last problem is the lack of a middle class. Nations like China and India are rising out of poverty because they have a growing middle class. Likewise, growth in Latin America stalled because the middle class was experiencing financial pain (like the Argentina crises). This is probably the hardest issue to solve for Africa.

allan said...

From the article:

"Live 8 ended with a nostalgic grand finale sing-along of "Hey Jude," a song that Sir Paul McCartney wrote for John Lennon's son Julian after his father was killed."

Lennon was killed in 1980, so this is kind of impossible, seeing as the Beatles recorded the song.

Wikipedia says McCartney wrote it around the time of the Lennons' divorce.

That sounds better. ... Carry on.

laura k said...

Good catch! I didn't see that.

McCartney did write a song for Julian Lennon, though I don't remember what it was, as it was quite forgettable (for me). Perhaps a McCartney fan among us will know. Sleepybomb, perhaps.

barefoot hiker said...

Hey, Jude... don't make it bad... take a sad song, and make it better...

Not all that bad a song, till the second half, which is just McCartney noodling and background singers going "na, na na, na na na naaaa, na na na naaaaa, hey, Juuuuude..." 433,217 times.