Thursday, June 23, 2005

Hell freezes over, Noel Gallagher makes sense 

In the continuing saga of Live 8, now comes Oasis' outspoken Noel Gallagher with his comment on the latest awareness-raising concert project:
"Correct me if I'm wrong, but are they hoping that one of these guys from the G8 is on a quick 15 minute break at Gleneagles (in Scotland) and sees Annie Lennox singing 'Sweet Dreams' and thinks, 'F**k me, she might have a point there, you know?'

"Keane doing 'Somewhere Only We Know' and some Japanese businessman going, 'Aw, look at him... we should really f**king drop that debt, you know.'

"It's not going to happen, is it?"
Well, it's not supposed work quite like that - I think Geldof & Co want to raise the awareness of the general public, which in turn might start exerting some pressure on their elected representatives to change current policies towards Africa and the rest of the developing world. This might or might not work as well as your next awareness-raising campaign, but Gallagher nevertheless raises an interesting point (yes, the end is most definitely nigh) - in the greater scheme of things, Live 8 is looking increasingly more like an afterthought, an effect rather than a cause. You see, pretty much all the major debates about Africa have already taken place over the past few years, and more or less all the important decisions have already been made by the world leaders (some of them quite recently, and some of them probably haven't come to light yet), all with a very limited input from rock concerts.

That the new paradigm in helping the developing world is increasingly on the agenda owes to an unusual and fortuitous combination of factors and personalities: President Bush's compassionate conservatism breaking onto the international stage, successful lobbying efforts by conservative Christian leaders, Tony Blair's Christian socialist inclinations combined with a desire to secure an even firmer place in history, and not the least, some politically smart networking and lobbying by people like Geldof and Bono, who actually didn't have to in the process sing a single note for Africa's supper.

I love music, but music doesn't change the world. People do. Live 8 might only obscure the fact that some much-needed changes have already been happening for some time now and will keep on unfolding regardless of the artistic input from 50 Cents, Faith Hill and the reformed Pink Floyd.


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