web counter The Madness of MokcikNab: Hey Jude
The Madness of MokcikNab
Motives, movements and melodrama in the life of a thirty something mum.

Sunday, July 03, 2005
Hey Jude

Tell me the truth, did you watch AF or did you watch Live 8 trying to make poverty history, on Saturday night?

I admit, in the beginning, I was flipping the channels back and forth -- I was curious to see if Mawi could do the Antonio Banderas song (the way he sang it, it was the Banderas version), but other than that, I wouldn't miss Live8 for the Wooooorrrld.

To listen to Gilmour and Waters weave their magic on stage; strumming their fingers to pitch perfection, I can't help but agree with my brother Firhad : everyone with a Billboard hit today are but pretenders to the throne. In a way, many of them are unabashed about the forgery : GreenDay, for instance, dressed like The Jam and had kohl and hair like Robert Smith. I almost (almost!) forgave them for desecrating the memory of Freddie Mercury.

Annie Lennox, who sang with a backdrop of a huge video of her time with women and children with HIV, was particularly moving. Yet, at the back of my mind, I wondered if this will be enough to move anything. Despite 5 billion people harking to the call to get their hands out of their pockets, and put their fists into the air, you wonder if they're not just there to enjoy the music. Would the noise be loud enough to make Eight Men in A Room, sit up and listen? I suspect there will be a token gesture, to save political face and all that, but to expect governments to even modify the way they do business, is a different ballgame altogether.

It was apt that the massive come-together started with Paul McCartney and Bono doing Sgt Pepper : it was twenty years ago today, and sadly little has changed in the course of time. In 1985, when Bob Geldof reinvented himself from Rat to rescuer, it was to save Ethiopia from the brink of famine. As we speak, Ethiopia, and much of Africa, is still on that precipice of poverty. And the truth is, while Africa's need is perhaps the most spectacular, there are still people forced to eat siput babi in our own country.

My husband thinks there will be another Band-Aid do twenty years from now; and it's hard for me not to believe him. I admire Bono greatly, this man with the voice of an angel and the conscience of a latter-day prophet, but I am skeptical that a bunch of kind-hearted musicians could hold the attention of a public weaned on MTV, long enough to make a difference. Let's not even think about the rich conservatives set in their ways, who've made their fortune on "infrastructure" and "financial aid".

There has been many begrudging reviews of Jeffrey Sach's book, The End of Poverty, which has a foreword and a cover picture of Bono. I'm buying it tomorrow, just to find out if it's really possible to eradicate debt and penury by 2025. To find out what you and I can really do, apart from being embarrased to see how fat Simon le Bon or Vince Neil has become.


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