Saturday, July 02, 2005

Live 8 -- Some Thoughts

live8live.com
makepovertyhistory.ca

Some thoughts as I watch CTV's eye-spinning all-day coverage:

  • A CTV reporter reports that the "white" press in South Africa barely mentions the Johannesburg concert, which is mostly "black" in attendance and performances. Western aid, just trade, and debt relief cannot solve Africa's poverty and disease as long as hatred flourishes inside her countries.
  • South African back-up singers are big, buxom, and clothed.
  • Elton's back-up singers are mixed, colourful, and clothed.
  • A real woman singer, helping to open in Johannesburg, dressed so you focussed on her talent (amazing talent!) not her bod.
  • That's a nice change from the female American (back-up) singers who are like soft-porn versions of 19th C women: seemingly brainless property existing solely for male pleasure.
  • Real music, real people, real teeth.
  • From my T.O. perspective it's strange to see such uniform-looking audiences.
  • We're loud and proud of our colours. A Canadian flag in Hyde Park!
  • Johannesburg, London, Barrie had excellent openings, excellent because both entertaining and reflecting the message well.
  • Philadelphia has the busiest stage (ack! my eyes!!!), London the snazziest.
  • London had the best show, but Barrie was no slouch!
  • Nelson Mandela said that it's easy to make promises, but not to act. So true for our PM. After killing the deficit, Paul Martin surrounded himself with sycophants, upped his cool factor with Bono, and did no more. Maybe our people power will give him the courage to act.
  • Geldof points a spotlight on Africa's distress, but Bruce Cockburn speaks out our consciences.
  • To all those carping Canadians complaining about our has-been line-up: since when is Sam Roberts and Simple Plan and Jann Arden and K'Naan and the high-spirited DobaCaracol has-beens? What does that make Sir Paul, Sir Elton, and U2?
  • It's hard to lift weights when rockin' to Sam Roberts.
  • Bruce is our equivalent of the British "Sir."
  • Bruce is an unusual rocker. He doesn't dye his hair.
  • Black stage and stage lighting are no match for the Canadian sun.
  • Black clothing on large stages in strong sun is not cool, it's invisible.
  • Smart performers wore white.
  • Music inspires, moves, energizes.
  • Skepticism is the devil whipping up our fear of stepping out of our comfort zone.
  • Critics scoffed at the lack of African performers in the Canadian line-up, but why mum on the dearth of women singers?
  • We may have had only three African performers, but the English, in typical colonial fashion, relegated theirs to a side concert. The Hyde Park concert is shorter than ours, so they had the time to add at least a few.
  • The G8 needs to stop propping up corrupt African leaders.
  • Annie Lennox never disappoints.
  • Canada has her own drums: celtic, inuit, african, aboriginal.
  • What is it with crowds and successful female singers who follow their own path? First Sinead O'Connor, now Celine Dion. Disgusting!
  • Ever noticed that Canadians sing a lot about the road or highway. It must be all those hours-long road trips visiting the relatives.
  • Witty cynicism may appeal to the literati, but it isn't a sign of intelligence, only of bitter quitting born out of a sense of powerlessness.
  • One individual ruminating on a problem found a solution and touched off people power. Only history will decide if it worked. But there will be an historical record because he tried instead of falling into easy cynicism.

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