It's an awesome, catchy song but it is also the most vapid example of post colonial elitist missionary ignorance produced in the 1980's. It is amusing to see Bono in there, although he does get to deliver the most cynical lyric. It did eventually lead Geldof to produce Live Aid, which WAS a good thing.
Africa's endless infighting and border conflicts and civil wars have an awful lot to do with colonization by europeans, drawing borders across and through tribal boundaries, forcing people who really don't like eachother to live in the same space. And post-colonial Africa is fucked because, after setting up a supposedly democratic structure of government, corruption runs rampant, and governments frequently lose touch with the needs of their people (or don't care due to ethnic hatred) and you get situations like the Ethiopian famine of the early-mid-1980's.
The "international community" express sympathy and extend some aid but it's not enough. People like Bob Geldof and Midge Ure, who remember the Concert for Bangladesh and want to try to do a good thing for Ethiopia and convene a benefit recording to sell and send the profits toward famine relief.
The resulting song, however, "Do They Know It's Christmas", while catchy, is shameless pandering to europeans, and in particular anglo Christians.
- what the heck do Africans care about Christmas? "There won't be snow in Africa..." well, aside from that weird dusting in the north a week ago, which was a once-a-century occurrence, there definitely won't be snow in Africa, anytime...
- Ethiopia, while predominantly christian (thanks Europe) is also a third Muslim and the Muslim population make up the poorest portion of the population. the famine in Ethiopia was largely caused by the policies of christian governments in the country.
.... anyway I just find the lyrics crass. Oooh let's sing a song and help the people we pretty much led into the situation they're in.
..but I'm being humbuggy about it. it's just something that bothers me and probably no one else - I remember my class did a collection for the Tears are Not Enough thing that went around the next spring that year and we had fun with it. I always liked the selfless attitude behind the Canadian effort.
Yes, I understand it's complicated over there. I don't think these singers were responsible for that though. They just decided to raise some money, and their name was devised as recognition that their effort was just a temporary solution to a larger problem.
At least the entirety of the money went to the cause.
I recently watched the We Are the World vid and I tell ya, that is somethin else.
Like can u imagine if they tried to do something like this today? I'd be scared of the auto tuned, lip synching atrocity it would surely be. :O
I don't see any harm in that sentiment. I thank god every day that I have what I have due to what I've been gifted in my life. Just as I curse others like Kobe Bryant cause I didn't get his vertical jumping ability.
How many rivers run through Ethiopia and how many were flowing in 1985?
You see, this is why I constantly go on my rants about why the 80's were the greatest decade of all time. Nobody gave a shit about trivialities like your talking about. They realized millions of people were starving and donated money to help them after hearing a touching song. Can u imagine people today? Just like they did to that touching viral video about Kony. People were made aware of something horrible and were ready to donate. But oh no, here come the critics to completely shut down that.
Yeah well we didn't have the internet in 1985, so how do you expect anyone to know that there are rivers in some country on another continent huh!?
Jeesh I thought I was the scrooge of Christmas. I feel bad for just going on a rant on a friends page about how this holiday is all bull. My main point being the people starving around the world while we jerk off to our new ipods.
I mean I watched that documentary about the pink ribbon thing for breast cancer but that doesn't mean I go around telling anyone who is wearing a pink ribbon that they shouldn't be or that they should not donate to breast cancer.