Kanye West sullies Live 8

Kanye, PLEASE get your facts straight before mouthing off to the world on the Live 8 broadcast.

AIDS is manmade and purposely introduced into Africa?

You’re making a (at least very arguably) noble cause look bad with this kind of stuff.

The meme that AIDS is a manmade disease released to control/eradicate black populations in America, the Caribbean and Africa is powerful and pervasive one in some quarters. I bought into it for awhile in college.

It could also stem from distrust after the Tuskeegee syphillis “experiment,” a truly disgusting moment in history.

A few minutes’ conversation with my Pop tipped me to Edward Hooper’s The River, which is an exhaustive compliation that persistently (but not conclusively) makes the case for AIDS being created by polio vaccine trials. He says there’s a copy in the house somewhere, I expect I’ll take a stab at reading it this summer.

Live 8 was a joke well before Kanye West took the stage.

Only if you have your sense of humor.

No. It’s pretty much a joke. I wonder if anyone has started a blog on the “creature comforts” a ton of these stars are requiring backstage.

BTw, is it true that each band gets 15 minutes stage time?

I have a theory that Kanye is batshit crazy. No seriously, watch any interview he’s ever given*.

*Granted I haven’t seen them all, but from what I have- he’s friggin’ crazy.

Or notice that it’s a free concert - not to raise money, but to raise awareness. Because, you know, raising awareness among 14 year old pop music fans will really help the problem. (Is there anyone who’s actually politically aware enough to vote and actually have some political power who doesn’t know about debt relief? Have these obnoxious events ever made a difference in the past?)

I have a certain distaste for these events that basically say, “Let’s all do the same things we normally do, but in the name of debt relief/breast cancer/AIDS research/a free Tibet/random trendy cause of the week.”

Plus, if it’s about sub-Saharan Africa, how about giving fifteen minutes to a few African musicians? Shouldn’t people from, you know, Africa, be permitted to participate?

I hate these self-congratulatory wankfests. I fully support debt relief efforts, but this isn’t going to do a damn thing to further the cause. Spreading lies about AIDS has always been a fun hobby among musicians, so I can’t get any more pissed about this than about the Foo Fighters publicly endorsing the moronic notion that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS.

I’m starting to see where folks are coming from when they wish celebrities would stop mouthing off about things they don’t understand.

Yeah, it’s the 14-year-olds who were really excited about the Pink Floyd reunion.

You think all people who vote are politically aware?

Canada’s Live 8 show featured African Guitar Summit… but that’s about it. I don’t know about the shows in other countries.

Who in blue fuck is Kanye West?

A rapper who recorded a medicore* album while his jaw was wired shut. Hits include: “Through the Wire” (get the pun?), “Jesus Walks” and others I can’t remember. There was a video with Anna Nicole Smith…that’s all I’ve got.

*His talent is debatable, but I really thought his album was waaaaaay over-rated.

There was a show in Johannesburg with a lot of African artists, and as one would expect a number performed in Paris. Youssou N’Dour, anyone? (Incidentally, isn’t Dave Mattews an African?)

Kanye West put on a good show today, and I don’t even like rap. I was there live.

I think this event is raising awareness, and has added pressure to the G-8 not to be so stingy. Those armchairs must be mighty comfy, padding the lazy asses of the do-nothing critics…

As opposed to the forty-something voters (who aren’t aware of very well-known political issues but are suddenly going to become interested) who want to see the Black Eyed Peas, Destiny’s Child, Jay-Z, Lincoln Park, Maroon 5, and P Diddy? I’m not saying there’s nothing that older folks would be interested in; it’s a sort of broad lineup (mostly crappy, though) but it tilts pretty heavily towards the young. It’s a teen-pop extravaganza.

I think that third world debt-relief has become a trendy and fairly well-known issue; few people are not aware of it, and those who aren’t are not going to be tremendously impressed to see Def Leppard promoting it (seriously, Def Leppard? Fercrissakes! :)) I also know that in the U.S., at least, foreign aid is not a popular issue and most people, even if they feel deeply troubled at the moment by the plight of AIDS victims in Zambia, are not generally interested in it. While this might lead people to be briefly flush with the desire to see debt be forgiven, I don’t think a pop music show is the way to induce lasting changes in people’s opinions.

Further, most of the issues involved are far to complex to explain in this format. A lot of this has to do with the rise of these international, inherently unaccountable organizations like the IMF. How do you explain the negative effects of “financial austerity” programs that have been imposed upon these countries in a five minute speech between Rob Thomas and Sarah McLachlan?

I don’t like these self-congratulatory nonsense festivals. Especially if the performers are going to be spreading misinformation, the way Kanye West apparently is. Sharing paranoid lies about AIDS is not going to help these issues. And that sort of shallow, erroneous thinking is what this kind of thing promulgates. I don’t think good intentions are worth that much, so I’m not terribly impressed by the depth of Toby Keith’s desire to help orphans in the DRC. I don’t think this will make much of a difference, because the issue is already very widely known and the actual complexity of it and the real keys to fixing it are not amenable to explanation during a pop concert.

At least in principle, I don’t understand this criticism. If you are having a big event for charity to raise awareness, fundraise, or whatever, it doesn’t seem to me there is of necessity an obligation to include the subjects of the charity in the method of fundraising.

The acts involved were presumably asked to be involved because they’d attract attention. If, as it happens, the acts that will attract attention are a bunch of white guys from LA then there are logical reasons to choose them.


And the UK line-up got criticized for being exactly the opposite. I thought a fair job was done in getting the broadest age range possible.

They’ll be another of those teen-pop bands?

Of course not. And neither will demonstrations. Or speeches. But they all add up… it’s to be hoped.

Yadon’tsay. What’s need is a series of lectures by political and economic experts, broadcast internationally and watch by thousands of millions of eager, excited viewers devouring every second. Somebody drop Bob Geldolf a note immediately to get this baby rolling!

“Aaaallright London! Hellllooo Philidelphia! Let’s get it on!! Let me hear you give it up for Professor Dullworthy from the London Schooooool of Economics!!! The causes of poverty in 21st century are many and varied and cannot be properly evaluated without first looking at the post WWII economic consequences that sculpted them. Woop! Let me hear ya! Consider this series of graphs…”

I can see the viewing figures now…

I’ve no doubt that many took part in Live 8 for the wrong reasons, and many viewed Live 8 without taking on board anything more than a desire to buy another greatest hits, but if it’s all pushing in the right direction, what does it matter?

Um… I was there, Def Leppard was a good time, a huge % of the crowd was singing along to 2 of their 3 songs. It was a good choice for entertainment. People enjoyed it.

So Def Leppard did Live 8 and then came to Lancaster to do a commercial concert here the same day? I did not know that! supervenusfreak’s sister and brother went to the one here in town.