:: Saturday, 2 July 2005 ::
Made a mistake last night and tuned in late to see some Live8 acts.
Oh, Lord, they were working so hard and so earnestly.
Singing their songs.
Will Smith, an actor, declared the concerts the "biggest thing on the planet" or words to that effect.
Yah, Will, you ignorant jackass. The Tour de France is happening and will be attended by more folks and watched by more folks, and the World Cup soccer happens every four years and shits all over these confused concerts for sheer weight of human interest.
"Make Poverty History".
"Make me look like I did when I was 20".
Just as realistic.
Ya know, while I think on it, the World Cup is one place where African nations can be represented and treated as successful human beings, not starving bloat-bellied babies crushed by evil western indifference and venal World Bank loans.
Bog Geldof sat in an interview and declared that a few years back George Bush did not even know where Africa is, and now he is increasing aid donations.
Why the gratuitous slag of Bush, Bob?
Geldof has recognised Bush's good works for Africa before - why not now, when lots of folks are watching?
I think it is because Geldof is an earnest pain in the arse but no fool and he knows most folks going to these concerts will not be Bush fans, but I guess you take your raised fists where you can find 'em.
For mine, these concerts are a wank and a waste of time. Pink Floyd getting back together for it is the only reason to think twice about going along, but, then, old rockers are really awful, aren't they?
Have a read of this and this and this.
Then ask yourself if Geldof is right - money is not the issue, the solution is debt forgiveness and freer trade and all that without focussing on corruption to prevent the debt forgiveness and aid.
I get his point - things are so dire in parts of Africa that standing on principle to withhold more aid on account of corruption is actually no longer a reasonable choice cos it will lead to deaths, that is how late in the day it is.
This pisses me off royally - it is the most awful tactic of all, to let yourself get so dirty and poor that your neighbour has no choice but to be a good samaritan.
To behave so disgracefully and yet demand sympathy.
What is the disgrace?
Mugabe. Obasanjo. Etcetera. And their constant howling about colonialism whenever whitey has the gaul to point out that Africa's problems stem from a lot of fat despots in dresses. Mad Mugabe - Zimbabwe's President - said of John Howard - Australia's Prime Minister - when there was the meeting of Commonwealth leaders, and Howard challenged Mugabe's right to attend cos of his appalling record of leadership in his plummenting country, called Howard a colonialist racist.
Oz was a colony too.
Anyhoo, having gotten pissed off, what do I do next? Stay pissed off?
What on earth is the point of that?
I put a plug on my nose and grugdingly, grumblingly get with the debt relief and aid program.
But having said okeedokie to Geldof, I am going to keep on doing what I have always done about Africa. Noting that bunches of the leadership in various countries is corrupt. I am going to stay informed about Africa - when in doubt check out the Head Heeb (now linked at left)- and I am going to notice whether they are improving or not.
Cos the aid is fine - there is lots of it - and the aid and the debt forgiveness and the opened markets for food after all this Live8 self-indulgence will be fine too.
The unwillingness to use that money well, and to do decent works with it is the problem.
And that is a homegrown problem.
Have I any reason to imagine Africa will get it together after this latest push?
Botswana. Highest African nation on the Transparency International Index.
And the nation described in those beuatiful 'No.1 Ladies Detective Agency' books.
Well, now, if they can get it together why not others?
:: WB 6:21 pm [link+] ::