Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The "Cure" for Africa

Did anyone over the age of say, 25 (or an IQ above 80) actually watch the Live 8 concerts over the weekend? Perhaps I'm being a bit too cranky (or realistic), but there's nothing more depressing that seeing a bunch of self-obsessed rock stars preen about the stage, believing that a few guitar licks, drum solos and screeching vocals will actually end poverty in Africa.

Wesley Pruden, Editor-in-Chief of The Washington Times, has an excellent take on the rock world's latest exercise in foolishness. He notes that the real work on African poverty will be left up to world leaders (including President Bush, who seems quite willing to throw more money down the continent's many black holes) and the American taxpayer, who will wind up footing most of the bill. BTW, did you know that U.S. aid donations to Africa outstrip European "contributions" by a ratio of 15:1? And yet, "we're not doing enough" to help end poverty in Africa.

According to media reports, the rock stars who performed at various Live 8 venues received "goodie" bags worth up to $14,000 dollars each. So far, I haven't heard of any of these humanitarians who have donated the bags to African charities, or wrote them a check equivalent to the value of their goodies. I guess we're supposed to be impressed that Sir Paul McCartney and his ilk were kind enough to donate their talents to the cause. Besides, designer fragrances and state-of-the-art cellphones aren't much use to starving Africans...

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