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Pseudo-messianic Live 8 celebrities

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Ugh, but this Live8 nonsense turns my stomach. The cheap egotism and particularly the delusions of grandeur among the participants really make me want to give these people a good old fashioned attitude adjustment up side the head.

This event had little or nothing to do with helping out poor people, and everything to do with pop singers wanting to think that they are powerful historical figures with messianic powers.

Bob Geldof to the G8 leaders: “Now feel the force of the gale that’s hit you.”

Look at this photo of Geldof.

He looks like he thinks he’s Jesus and Malcolm X all rolled into one.

Riiiiiight. They put on a show, much like Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland in the old movies- except that they didn’t think that a little song and dance made them Christ figures.

That would be as opposed to, say, Chris Martin of Coldplay. Coldplay’s Chris Martin announced from the London stage, “[This is] the greatest thing that’s ever been organized in the history of the world.”

As a student of Nietzsche and Ayn Rand, I’m all in favor of egoism. You should earn it honestly, though. As Nietzsche might say, it makes me sick to my stomach to watch these people lying to themselves and making these big public displays of cheap self-glorification.

Bob Geldof, for example, is a fairly accomplished songwriter, and has to his credit at least one modern standard, “I Don’t Like Mondays.” That’s an outstanding and also a famous song. There’s pretty fair honor and bragging rights in that.

But no, that’s not good enough. He has to convince himself that he’s some kind of prince among men. He’s leading a people’s uprising against the evil corporations. “Now feel the force of the gale that’s hit you.”

In fact, he organized a concert. He’s a concert promoter. Giving him maximum credit, he has made a fairly impressive technical achievement simply by getting all these things executed simultaneously across multiple stages on multiple continents. That seems to show some impressive managerial skills.

But that still does not make him Jesus returned. Nor does it justify this cheesy statement he made in a letter to British newspapers in which he presumes to speak for the world: “Everyone taking part in these concerts is there because the many generations watching will not tolerate the further pain of the poor while we have the means to prevent it. We will not applaud half-measures, or politics as usual. This must be a historic breakthrough. Do not disappoint us. Do not betray the desires of billions and the hopes of the poorest of our world.” In my best imitation of the Church Lady, I say “Well, we like ourselves, don’t we Mr Geldof?”

In short, these people are just stroking themselves off in public. Being a more modest person, I think masturbation should be a private thing. Call me old fashioned if you will. Stuff like this leaves me feeling vaguely embarrassed just for being a fan of pop music.

Speaking truth to deludees of grandeur, Noel Gallagher of Oasis said:

“Correct me if I am wrong, but are they hoping that one of these guys from the G8 is going to see Annie Lennox singing ‘Sweet Dreams’ and think ‘f**k me, she might have a point there’?”

“Or Keane doing ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ and some Japanese businessman looks at him and says ‘we should really drop that debt, you know’?”

“It isn’t going to happen is it?”

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  • I find it all hypocritical… I cannot describe how offense that “Christmas” song is… singing about “Do They Know It’s Christmas” and all that rot. I think it’s offensive to the people in Africa!!! Hero complexes all over the place… shucks man.

  • I don’t want to sound bitter, it’s just I think the idea of someone name ‘Sir’ a title from a country that colonised the developing world mercilessly, racked up the situations leading to intense poverty, cannot really understand… how can you sing about conditions you haven’t experienced. How can you attack poverty if you live in a mansion, mate? You’ve touched a personal nerve with this one, as I’ve gotten into arguments with people over this…. I always get these looks like I should be appreciating Geldof, but I think he’s a hypocrite.

  • Al, great points. David Gilmour seems to be setting a different stance

    Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour has called on his fellow Live8 artists to give any profits they make from the show to charity.
    He announced that he would not profit from the Hyde Park concert as it emerged that some acts saw their album sales rise by more than 1,000 per cent in one day thanks to their performances on Saturday.
    Woolworths music boss Jim Batchelor said: ‘Our stores have been inundated with customers wanting CDs of the Live8 artists and we are busy re-ordering back catalogue titles.’

    HMV’s Gennaro Castaldo added: ‘It’s likely this impact will become more pronounced through the week, as more fans respond to the combined efforts of the weekend’s televised event, the G8 summit and all the ensuing publicity.’

    According to HMV, sales of Pink Floyd’s ‘best of’ album Echoes went up by 1,343 per cent. Sales of albums by the Who rose by 863 per cent, Annie Lennox by 500 per cent, Dido by 412 per cent, Razorlight by 335 per cent and Robbie Williams by 320 per cent.

    It was all a plot by the RIAA and their affiliates! Hegel would be pleased

  • Great article Al – it’s high time the cynics put these pompous politically correct jerkoffs in their place. What gives these spoiled scumbag artists the right to talk down to people and appoint themselves unofficial representatives of the world.

    Just because we listen to your music assholes doesn’t mean we have to listen to a damn word you have to say.

  • Steve Withers

    The Al Barger’s sneering derision of Live8 is a testament to succes of the event. As Gandhi said: First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you….then you win.

    Laugh away….on to the next stage.

  • At least you spelled Gandhi’s name correctly. I have to give you credit for that, Steve.

    But seriously, I hope you’re right. I hope this really is the beginning of the end for absolute poverty. It’s long past time we banished extreme poverty to the dustheap of history.

    Sadly there is still a great deal of work ahead in that struggle. I hope you and those who share your views are willing to keep it up for as long as it takes.

  • Joe

    I think Live 8 was a great Idea..a great show for a great purpose. I can’t figure out why bloggers just can’t side with doing good. I’m appalled at the rhetoric and spatting going on especially in conservative circle. I consider myself a conservative yet I don’t agree at all with them on this one.Perhaps blogsters simply take their own opinions far too seriously. Myself included.

    BTW I think Chris Martin was right. It was the greatest rock show ever organized. Sorry but that’s the truth.

    Peace and Al Barger needs to chill and do right!

  • Sister Ray

    Joe, bloggers are probably all in favor of doing good. The point Al is making is that Live 8 didn’t do any real good except “raise awareness” of poverty. As if nobody had any idea that there was poverty in the world until a bunch of musicians told us so.

  • Dan

    heh, heh, Church Lady’s got a point.

    I dunno, I try not to be cynical, but Geldof’s competitive altruism makes me cringe. It’s the combination of egoistic fervor, condescension, and ultimately, ignorance, that is most bewildering.

    Maybe Geldof should seek therapy. Or at least have a conversation with this African:


  • Dan

    I wonder what was wrong with the comment I left here before? Censored?

  • Dan

    never mind

  • Louis

    Contrary to what Geldorf, Bono or any other Live8 celebrity thinks (and why would anyone care what a celebrity thinks anyway?), Africa is a an immensely wealthy place: gold, rubber diamonds, oil, copper, etc, etc, etc. But guess what? It is run by a bunch of thug crimminals, murderous tribal chieftans, warlords and religious zealots. Not to mention your average bad guy dictators and their military henchmen. Until these people are stopped — and I do mean by any means possible — no amount of money or debt relief or celebrity endorsemnts will end the suffering.