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Thread: Do they know it’s time to stop band aid?

  1. #1
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Default Do they know it’s time to stop band aid?

    DO THEY KNOW IT’S TIME TO STOP BAND AID?


    The re-release of Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas” (this time, to raise funds in the fight against Ebola) has been a huge commercial success – the single, which features everyone from Harry Styles to Bono singing lines, shot to the top of the national charts on its release on Monday and generated over $2m-worth of cash for the cause in the first five minutes of its release.

    By the time Christmas actually comes, the fundraising single, a re-worked version of the original first released 30 years ago (sample lyric: "A kiss of love can kill you / And there's death in every tear") will probably have raised in the region of $10m.

    So, what’s not to like?

    Plenty, to judge by the furious reaction the song has prompted in the UK national conversation, with a series of accusations that the song is patronizing, racist, counter-productive, reinforces stereotypes and even disrespectful to the predominantly Muslim population of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, who don’t celebrate Christmas.

    The debate became particularly heated when a Liberian academic, Robtel Pailey, and the original Live Aid promoter Harvey Goldsmith went head to head on the BBC’s flagship current affairs radio program, Today.

    Pailey said the song “reinforced stereotypes” and said it described the continent as “unchanging and frozen in time,” adding, “it ‘others’ Africa in many ways…it refers to ‘them versus us’ and that’s incredibly patronizing and problematic.”

    (In fact, the original line, “Tonight thank God it’s them instead of you,” has been replaced with, ‘Well tonight we’re reaching out and touching you.’)

    Goldsmith replied, “Does that mean we have to sit back and do nothing?”

    Miss Pailey said Band Aid should have supported African artists, such as Liberian musicians D12 and Kuzzy, who have released similar tracks to raise money for Ebola.

    Goldsmith replied he had never heard of them.

    The increasingly vicious debate has since migrated into newspaper columns and TV.

    British-Ghanian rapper Fuse ODG wrote in The Guardian that he was "sick of the whole concept of Africa … always being seen as diseased, infested and poverty-stricken."

    Janice Turner, in the Times, wrote, “How outdated the Band Aid single feels. A bunch of old, white, rock titans come together with young, white, X Factor hotties to persuade Britain to heal Africa. Shuffle the lyrics of Do They Know It’s Christmas to replace famine with ebola. Bish, bosh; that’ll do. … The record is raising money but it could have raised spirits too if Bob Geldof had reined in his ego. Why not have Harry Styles, Chris Martin, Bono et al play alongside musicians from Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia?”

    Sir Bob, 63, responded with his usual colorful language to his critics. Appearing on Sky News he said (twice, much to the newscaster’s dismay) that critics who said Band Aid should “stay silent” were “talking bollocks.”

    Jack Lundie, Director of Communications for the British charity Oxfam, defended the single to the Daily Beast. “I think the debate is so heated because people really care passionately about changing the world,” he said. “And there is frustration, because it sometimes feels like stuff isn’t changing. And as a sector, we don’t tell the story of progress well enough.”

    He said he supported the Band Aid single as a “mainstream charitable initiative” that would “bring in people who wouldn’t normally engage”.

    Of the song itself, and the criticism the Christmas-based lyrics have received, Mr Lundie said, “Band Aid is raising money to fight Ebola. The bottom line is that Ebola is terrible and the world is not doing enough. But if we define our approach by an over-literal analysis of pop lyrics, we will end up on a road to nowhere.

    “Its cheesy pop. But if people really want to talk about the line, well, clearly, the song is not questioning whether people in the countries affected by Ebola know there is a holiday on the 25th of December.”



    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/11/22/do-they-know-it-s-time-to-stop-band-aid.html





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  2. #2
    Elite Member rollo's Avatar
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    Of course it's cheesy and repetitive, and its reissue is reminiscent of Elton John's Candle in the Wind when he changed a word or two for Saint Diana. But you can't argue with the sales figures (estimated $10m) and how quickly a new generation downloaded it. As long as it is raising money for Ebola victims and it actually gets to them in time and makes a difference (and sets them up with healthier long term procedures) you can't really split hairs about the historic lyrics and historic people singing them.

  3. #3
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Yes, you can. Especially if you're African.




    'Stop already, Sir Bob': Geldof's Band Aid 30 song unpopular among Africans

    Bob Geldof's Ebola charity single looks set to become a huge international hit, but the project has again run into criticism from a pro-Africa website and a London-born, Ghanian-raised singer. The musician, Fuse ODG, admitted he withdrew because he was "shocked and appalled" by the song's lyrics.


    Singers like Bono, Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant, Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin, Ed Sheeran and One Direction participated in the project, which aimed to prevent Ebola from spreading beyond West Africa.

    It is also far from a hit across the continent it is sung for, if iTunes chart figures are any guide.

    Do They Know It's Christmas has sold over 250,000 copies in three days in the United Kingdom and the country's official charts company predicts it will top the singles chart.

    It is set to raise funds worldwide too, already making No.1 on the iTunes singles chart in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and Canada and No.8 in the United States.


    The song has created less excitement in Africa though, sitting at No.3 in South Africa, but No.8 in Ghana, No.15 in Kenya, No.18 in Egypt, No.26 in Uganda and No.31 in Nigeria. Ebola-affected nations Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea do not have iTunes music charts.

    African website thisisafrica.me published two items opposing the song, one a biting "open letter to Geldof and Band Aid artists" from "a reader".


    Thisisafrica is run from South Africa and Kenya and is "a forum for Africans, by Africans, to reclaim our identity ... heritage and our continent's rightful political, economic and cultural position..."


    "Do Africans know it's Christmas? Could you be more condescending?" the reader wrote.


    "Most Africans are black and can sing songs themselves," the letter continued, and added: "There is already an Ebola song produced in Africa by Africans which is a million times better than your song you probably didn't know that because you don't really know anything about Africa do you?"


    The song is called Africa Stop Ebola and is sung by Tiken Jah Fakoly, Amadou & Mariam, Salif Keita, Oumou Sangare.


    The reader reserved the harshest criticism for the Do They Know It's Christmas video clip: "Have you no shame? You use a dying (or dead) woman as the opening scene to your music video?


    "That is somebody's child; that is somebody's mother, somebody's provider, but you have used her as an object to fulfil your selfish goal of bringing attention to yourself."


    The website also ran an editorial which pleaded: "Stop already, Sir Bob, and tell Bono to stop with you while you're at it." It included a clip for a 2012 parody song called Africa for Norway, which shows "rapper Breezy V" pleading for Africans to send their radiators to Norway. "People don't ignore starving people, so why should we ignore cold people?" he asks.


    Fuse ODG, whose real name is Nana Richard Abiona was approached by Geldof to sing on Do They Know It's Christmas.


    He was "honoured to be asked" and initially agreed to appear - alongside stars including One Direction and Ed Sheeran - but dropped out days before recording because he felt the reworked lyrics incorrectly portrayed Africa.

    Fuse was especially troubled by the new lines "where a kiss of love can kill you and there's death in every tear" and "there's no peace and joy in west Africa this Christmas".


    "For the past four years I have gone to Ghana at Christmas for the sole purpose of peace and joy," he wrote in an article for British newspaper The Guardian. "So for me to sing these lyrics would simply be a lie."


    "I, like many others, am sick of the whole concept of Africa - a resource-rich continent with unbridled potential - always being seen as diseased, infested and poverty-stricken."


    Fuse acknowledges Band Aid's "good intentions" but believes continued shock tactics and negative images will cause long-term damage.


    Earlier this week Damon Albarn also criticised the song, which debuted in 1984.


    Read 'Stop already, Sir Bob': Geldof's Band Aid 30 song unpopular among Africans
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  4. #4
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    We got this, Bob Geldof, so back off'

    As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.


    Bob Geldof may well be the only writer of one of the best-known songs of all time to admit that his multi-million selling anthem is truly awful and that he now finds himself irritated when he hears it on the radio.

    "I am responsible for two of the worst songs in history," the shouty Irish singer and activist said in 2010. "One is 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' and the other one is 'We Are The World'."

    But that hasn't stopped him re-recording the former, originally released in 1984 to raise funds to fight to the Ethiopia famine, and now incongruously synonymous with Christmas in Britain.

    The problem is that a lot of people agree with his assessment, and many of them are from countries on the very continent he is trying to help.

    The original campaign, and similar well-meaning Western efforts, have led to an image of an Africa full of countries, and people, unable to help themselves and constantly looking to foreigners for help.

    When it was announced last week that, in response to Ebola, Geldof was planning to record a song he thinks is terrible for the fourth time, there was an eruption of criticism from Africans on Twitter and elsewhere.

    Though the original was recorded to raise money for Ethiopia, African critics say the stigma its simplistic message left behind affected not only that country, but a continent of 54 hugely-varied nations.

    Detractors say an unintended legacy hinders investment, hurts tourism and inspires the sort of aid that has a negative impact.

    There are, of course, also Africans who have no problem with it - any initiative that raises money to respond to an underfunded disaster is welcome, they say. Questions about dignity can be debated later. The money raised by One Direction, Coldplay, Bono, Ed Sheeran and others is as welcome as anybody else's.

    But, with the power of celebrity hogging the media coverage, critical voices from the continent itself can often find themselves drowned out. So we spoke to them to find out why they don't want this sort of help.

    The first question we asked, with tongue firmly in cheek, was the one Geldof has wondered aloud through the power of song several times over the last 30 years: Whether or not they know of a thing called Christmas?

    These are their responses.

    Do you know it's Christmas?
    According to some estimates, the Christian population in Nigeria alone is almost three times the number of Christians in England and Wales. How couldn't they know it’s Christmas? Bishop Arinze from Nigeria was at one point even in the running to be the next Pope.

    Just sample the grotesque tone of the lyrics, dripping with the "White Man's Burden." It was awful 30 years ago, and it's awful today. If they wanted a spike in record sales because we are nearing Christmas, this was not a great move.

    What do you think of Western charity songs like this as a response to African emergencies?
    I think the fundamental problem with the "saving" Africa posture is that it is predicated on the notion that Africa/Africans are agency-less, which for me is problematic because it is the continuation of never-ending paternalistic tendencies towards Africa.

    Also, the idea that Africa needs to be saved in 2014 by washed up C-list pop artists is a perverse example of a messiah complex.

    For instance, Nigeria and Senegal had outbreaks of Ebola, and they dealt with them effectively. DR Congo has had a couple of Ebola outbreaks, and they've dealt with them. But this is hardly mentioned in the hysteria-fuelled reportage about Ebola. Don't get me wrong; in the three worst affected countries the impact of Ebola has been devastating.

    But I'd be hard pressed to think a Geldof-led charity song is the way to address it.

    Do you know it's Christmas?
    I was two years old when this phrase actually signified something. It baffles me that this old relic is being conjured up again in the 21st century. It was offensive then, and it remains offensive now. It would be best to leave it where it belongs: in the dustbins of history.

    What do you think of Western charity songs like this as a response to African emergencies?
    Western charity songs like the one being proposed by Geldof are not only patronising, they're redundant and unoriginal. Producing an Ebola song now to raise money, nearly one year after the first reported case in Guinea, is belated at best. It reeks of the "white saviour complex" because it negates local efforts that have come before it.

    Ebola-related songs have already been written and produced by African artists themselves, so what's the point of reinventing the wheel?

    In May, Liberian musicians Samuel 'Shadow' Morgan and Edwin 'D-12' Tweh wrote and produced 'Ebola in Town'. The lyrics were informative and the percussive beats so hot that it became an immediate hit.

    And just last month, the song 'Africa Stop Ebola' was produced by Malian, Ivorian, Congolese, and Guinean musicians.

    We got this, Geldof, so back off. If you really want to help, buy a gazillion CDs of the two songs and send them to your friends as stocking stuffers with a note that says: "African solutions to African problems".

    Instead of trying to remain relevant, Geldof and co. would do well to acknowledge the ingenuity of local artists and stop trying to steal the limelight!

    Do you know it’s Christmas?
    I would ask does Geldof know when it's Christmas time in Ethiopia? As perhaps the fact that we celebrate Christmas a few weeks later on the 7th of January could have misled him into thinking we don't know when it is. Reassure him from us that, after his last three reminders, we are well aware and don't need any more prompting.

    What do you think of Western charity songs like this as a response to African emergencies?
    I think such celebrity-led initiatives have come to do more harm than the "good" they were intended for. And, even worse, is that it's hard to imagine that the people behind it do not see the harm they are doing.

    Ethiopia has for the last few years been trying extremely hard to change its image as a poster child for poverty. It has been trying to depict a new bright image to the world so as to attract tourists and foreign direct investment. But this uphill battle is always hindered when such reminders of the past appear again on the screens of the people that are trying to be persuaded.

    Africa's only hope of success against poverty is through sustained, structured and equitable economic growth brought about through things such as investment and tourism. It's hard to imagine how a few dollars raised every so often can possibly outweigh the damage it does by blemishing the continent's image.

    Do you know it's Christmas?
    Christmas coincides with the high tourist season. If you travel during this period within Tanzania, the pilot will clamour to present the best views of Mount Kilimanjaro's snow-capped peaks. This sight must be bewildering to everyone who knows the lyric: "And there won't be snow in Africa this Christmas time".

    Geldof said the lyrics will be changed for the current version. Will the revisions account for how the holiday's commercialism also exists within the continent, albeit with far less spectacle? The image of Africans buying each other presents and celebrating with large spreads of food directly contradicts the ultimate gift of all, that of aid being brought in by the wisemen.

    What do you think of Western charity songs like this as a response to African emergencies?
    The oft-quoted observation by Marx that "history repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce" applies here for both its acuteness and how it has become a cliche. The Band Aid songs reflect this pattern. They begin as an attempt to respond to catastrophe and then excise all historical context and specificity.

    The meaning that remains is that one should help as "well tonight, thank God it's them instead of you". This erases the history of state actions in fostering armed conflict and the deliberate displacement of civilians. The 1984 and 1989 Ethiopia famine relief editions did not recognise this history. The genocide in South Sudan was also absent in the 2004 version to raise money for Darfur.

    So you have messages that are interchangeable, where each emergency is met with lyrics that already fit.

    Western complicity within global relations of power is also unmentioned. There is a movement underway in Guinea that uses popular culture, traditional art forms and the radio to deconstruct stigma and raise awareness about Ebola. There are similar projects in Liberia and Nigeria. These efforts are the transformative ones.

    Do you know it's Christmas?
    Well, self-important celebrities are getting together to do a charity single latching on to the issue of the day to raise money for "those poor people over there" so I guess it must be. But given everyone I know is thinking and talking about politics and forthcoming elections in Nigeria, or the latest fight on Twitter, Christmas seems very far away.

    What do you think of Western charity songs like this as a response to African emergencies?
    It's yet another classic sign of white Western saviourism, in this case with celebrities swooping in to "save" the people of Africa. Not only does this take away the agency of people living in African countries who are the ones who actually lead and make change happen, but it perpetuates stereotypes of conflict, poverty and disease as the single story of the continent.

    This is likely to exacerbate the discrimination of Africans as potential Ebola-carriers that we have already seen. It is also a manifestation of increasing celebritisation whereby every possible topic has a famous musician or actor attached who become "experts" listened to at the expense of the actual people whose lives are affected. Darfur has George Clooney. Ending poverty has Bono. Now Ebola has Bob Geldof. Research shows that it's the celebrities and their image not the causes that benefit the most.

    If the purpose of Bob Geldof and others is really to help the Ebola response rather than burnish their own profiles as modern day saints, they would donate money behind the scenes. The money that will be raised through this Ebola single could easily be raised by these rich musicians having a whip round among themselves and their friends.

    Do you know it's Christmas?
    Yes. Sadly, the hokey marketing and commercialised mall songs have arrived, and driving through central Durban on the way to the beach today, I saw hundreds of incongruous light decorations - especially those snow sleds - being put up on the main road, ready for our steamy 30 degrees plus summertime days.

    What do you think of Western charity songs like this as a response to African emergencies?
    The political problem with these celebrity bashes, including the most recent legacy of Live 8 and its Make Poverty History allies just over nine years ago, is that dazzling, back-slapping performances resulted in lost focus when it came to structural power.

    Because the emphasis on charity doesn't address economic injustice and neoliberalism, the celebs' superficiality allowed a dubious "Africa Rising" narrative to emerge in fast-growing West Africa, especially Liberia and Sierra Leone. GDP growth through extraction makes these countries poorer in terms of not only broadly measured wealth, but also the society's ability to contend with health and welfare crises.

    'We got this, Bob Geldof, so back off' - Al Jazeera English



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  5. #5
    Elite Member rollo's Avatar
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    If you (or rather, your fellow countrymen) want help, you can't be too picky.

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    ^^^^
    that's not true at all.
    In fact, a lot of aid isn't effective because it's conceived and executed with western values and culture in mind, and rejected by local populations. With the Ebola crisis, they didn't start seeing a change on the ground until they started working with local populations and community leaders and got them involved in efforts to get people to stop traditional burial practices. Development and aid (beyond emergency food and medical help, I mean) are only effective in the medium and long term if you work with local populations and take their culture and beliefs into account.

    Yes, geldof et al's intentions are good and it's raising money but come on! It's 2014, not 1984. What was acceptable and delightfully cheesy in 1984 is now condescending and tone-deaf (and I don't mean the song itself, though the new one is even worse than the original).
    Damon Albarn was right to speak out and he would have done a much better job of putting together an ensemble of western and African musicians, like he did with his Mali Music project. It should have been a collaborative effort, a song made with African musicians with lyrics that don't come off like Kipling for the new millennium.

    That said, I know he's a dick but I get a kick out of sir bob:
    "I am responsible for two of the worst songs in history," the shouty Irish singer and activist said in 2010. "One is 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' and the other one is 'We Are The World'."
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

  7. #7
    Gold Member Catty's Avatar
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    Never found the song offensive but wish they would have someone write something completely new instead of remaking an old song over and over agaon. All these musicians and singers and nobody can write a new song????
    Kathie_Moffett likes this.

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    Elite Member dksnj's Avatar
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    I always thought this line was fucked up:

    “Tonight thank God it’s them instead of you,”
    Vera Donovan: (Dolores Claiborne) : Sometimes you have to be a high-riding bitch to survive. Sometimes being a bitch is all a woman has to hold onto.

  9. #9
    Elite Member Belt Up's Avatar
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    Rita Ora's on it, nuff said.
    gas_chick likes this.
    Who lit the fuse on your tampon?

  10. #10
    Elite Member rollo's Avatar
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    ^ So you're buying it then?

  11. #11
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Tea and Kittens @teaandkittens
    Follow

    We're proud to announce Kitten Aid 2014. It's like Band Aid 30, but silent and 100% Bono Free: http://www.teaandkittens.co.uk/
    3:56 AM - 19 Nov 2014



    As for Bob, African famine was the best thing that ever happened to him. 30 years ago he was a washed up, poor, former Boomtown Rat. Post- Band and Live Aid he was a multimillionaire.



    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


    If I wanted the government in my womb I'd fuck a Senator

  12. #12
    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    Bono free is pretty much the best argument to get people to buy something
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

  13. #13
    Elite Member rollo's Avatar
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    It's not called emergency aid for nothing. I don't think the muse is going to strike these oldsters in time to get the perfect single out.

  14. #14
    Elite Member Belt Up's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rollo View Post
    ^ So you're buying it then?
    Yes, that's your Christmas gift sorted
    Who lit the fuse on your tampon?

  15. #15
    Elite Member rollo's Avatar
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    You're too kind.

    But at least it's for charity.

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