I’ve been plugged out of the matrix for a few weeks now so haven’t blogged for a while. However, I am fascinated by the current debate around the re-release of Do They Know It’s Christmas?, this time the cause is the Ebola ‘crisis’ by BandAid 30. I remember the original release, I was 9 in 1984. It still evokes strong emotions from me. However, watching the usual collection of political programmes this morning, I was curious to see the debate raging in the public arena about this kind of celeb charity. I have revisited the lyrics of the original song as well as the updated version. And they are shocking. Shocking in the way they feed into the perception of Africa; a land of fly-ridden, potbellied, starving children. An arid land ‘where no rivers flow’. Without differentiation between its 54 states and diverse cultures. And of course, the West’s need to ‘save’ Africa.
So I have been left pondering Geldof’s words; you don’t have to like us; you don’t have to like the song. Just buy it. Help raise awareness and money.
And the original effort raised 8.4 million pounds. That’s not to be sniffed at. But it worries me that 30 years on, with revised lyrics, there is still this tendency to portray Africa as this land of despair, death and disease.
I can feel a blog coming on but in the meantime, I really liked this and thought I’d share it as I’m gathering my thoughts on the topic. I’d really like to know what you think. Will you be buying the track?
Does the end justify the means?
In recent weeks Israel – Palestine has probably taken up more column inches worldwide than it has in years. In fact the ‘conflict’ has enjoyed a showbiz makeover, gaining a place in every Hollywood rag and becoming a topic of conversation on daytime talk shows.
It’s entry and new found status is not however because the gossip pages have become conflict conscious or felt the humanitarian need to report on the everyday life of Palestinians under occupation. It’s because Palestine has caused much trauma in the life of one celebrity starlet.
Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson, like any ‘star’ worth their weight in gold added to her repertoire of bombshell, beauty queen and leading lady, the must have title of Oxfam Ambassador.
Since 2007 Ms Johansson has been seen talking to refugees in Kenya’s Dadaab Refugee Camp, spent time at an Oxfam funded girls school…
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