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View Full Version : Make BoBono History: Confronting the Geldof-Bono Obsenity



Padraig
13-01-2006, 07:01 PM
Greetings. As this is my first post to this forum, brevity shall necessarily prevail.

We've probably all forgotten that mischievous non-event already, but ...


"The repeated claim from onstage multi-millionaires that the audience were going to 'change history' simply by turning up and tuning in cheapens agency in every sense. Participating in a narcissistic, self-righteous Spectacle is not 'doing something'. Tony Parsons, of all people, made the very good point in The Mirror today that the generation of the Thirties and Forties did not expect Crosby and Sinatra to change the world - but, as he says, many of them had either risked or given up their lives to change things. ... What needs to be kept in mind is BOTH that capitalism is a hyper-abstract impersonal structure AND that it would be nothing without our co-operation."===>MarK (http://k-punk.abstractdynamics.org/archives/005806.html)


The Make Macho-Posturing Kapital Whores History musick-celebritishy spectacle was essentially part of the Blair government's PR campaign surrounding the G8 meetings last July [or was it June, or maybe August, or maybe why should anyone bother to care?], a cynical campaign aided and abetted by the Bush regime, British NGOs, and quite unfortunately, those two blarney-babblers, the ultra-montane reactionary Kapitalists, Bob Geldof (wealth: 200 million ) and Bono/Paul Hewson ([I]1 billion).

The most influential player of Make Geldof History was Oxfam, a centrist-complacent NGO with close allegiance to the British government, in particular with British Chancellor Gordon Brown's office. Working closely with the Commission for Africa, which is chaired by, um, tyrannical ego-maniac Bob Geldof and run by batty Blair, nosey Brown, and Britain's overseas aid minister Hilary Beenie Benny, the official Make Bono History campaign ignorantly fell into supporting the neo-liberal agenda of the G8 leaders.

Meanwhile, calling George Bush a "sincere and passionate man," [making Michael Moore real envious] resting his head lovingly on Tony Blair's shoulder while posing for the media cameras, Bob "What about Paula, Bob?" Geldof joined Texan-Stetson Bono's tradition of delegitimizing the protesters and pandering to elite leaders, in particular two of the eight men who actively facilitate the poverty in the first place.


Geldof and Bono's actions not only dismissed the much more complicated and deeper critiques made by the G8 protesters, but also implicitly condoned the hypocritical decisions of the corporate and government elites made during that week alone. The Scottish government punished members of Parliament who spoke out in favor of protecting protesters' rights to peacefully dissent in Gleneagles. For an entire month, these MPs were banned from government buildings and their salaries as well as the salaries of their staff were taken away. While Bonol and GAdolf spoke from the sublime heavens about "saving" the Africans, the rock stars took no action to pressure the UK government to let across the African protesters who were being denied entry into the country and denied participation in the events at which they had been invited to speak. Worse, Geldof, on a panel at a press meeting and in front of the gathered world broadcast media, contemptibly dismissed as "offensive and outrageous" the comments of an African member of the panel, who had simply questioned the effectiveness of Make Geldof Rich History.


Moreover ["as if we didn't know"], the assumptions and recommendations manufactured by Bobbly's Commission for Africa will prove disastrous for Africa's workers, peasants, and the urban poor. These include the assumption that the impact of Western manoeuvers on Africa has been largely benign. There is a complete absence of criticism of the ongoing Western military interventions of the last half century, and the colonial exploits and brutality forced upon the peoples of African nations. The other damaging assumption of the Commission revolves around the premise that free trade and privatization are somehow the key to liberation for Africans. The International Monetary Fund is viewed as being able to "play an invaluable role" in clearing the way for "private sector investors." Private profit making is seen as the panacea to poverty: "Successful growth will be led by the private sector." The commission concludes that only by ridding themselves of barriers to free trade and exporting to the rest of the world can Africans work their way out of poverty. Yes, Bobo, "Make Poverty Permanent cuz it made me obscenely rich. And I like it."


Besides completely whitewashing the real story behind Africa's debt burden, which has deteriorated further post-Live8, and the continuous misery their policies impose on the rest of the world, Blair and Brown and the rest of the G8 leaders hoped to use the Make All The Little People, The Masses History events as a smokescreen for the crisis occurring in Iraq. Unfortunately, agents-of-Kapital Bono and Geldof wholeheartedly supported this move. Because of their facile and naïve view of the political situation, Bono and Geldof helped to take the heat off Bush and Blair at their weakest point, the Iraq war, which is strategically situated as the first in a long series of dominos set up by and for both Western administrations. If this domino falls, pressured by the global anti-war movement, then the long line of imperialist drives, including the debilitating imposed debt on Africa, has a much greater chance of falling, of being cancelled. Instead, with foolhardy optimism in a system and its pushers who have literally created the misery, the millionaire rock stars persist in criticizing protesters through name-calling and displays of ignorance about protesters' understanding of the situation as if ordinary people simply could not grasp the real story behind the debt.

"Ironically bolstered by the strength of the global anti-war movement's ability to draw out millions in the streets, Geldof organized Make Poverty History concerts all over the world and called for people to march in Edinburgh. As opposed to providing the real justice that South African activist Trevor Ngwane and others called for, however, Geldof instead used his impressive soapbox to call for patronizing charity, and a more than polite request to the G8 leaders to "play nice." In the same vein, Geldof also intentionally refused most African artists to play on his stages, saying they wouldn't draw crowds. Thus, he paternalistically reduced the people of Africa to uncultured children who need to be pitied, not empowered. He also privileged the minuscule numbers of the powerful ruling class into the position of being willing and able to change the world not the masses of ordinary people everywhere.

To make matters worse, Geldolf emailed an edict to each of the Live 8 performers, forbidding them from mentioning the Iraq War or saying anything that would "embarrass" Blair. As with the Make Everything History demonstration, this was a case of the millions of participants being more progressive than the organizers of the event.

It was also a perfect exemplification of class unconsciousness. From the stage, the wealthiest man on the planet, Bill Gates, along with the likes of Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Bob Geldof, positioned themselves as experts on Third World debt and poverty. Millionaires like Madonna, before performing, asked the crowd if they were ready for a "revolution." And perhaps the most egregious moment came when Chris Martin of the pop band Coldplay, commented that the Live 8 concerts were the most important events ever organized in human history."===>Why Bono and Geldof Got It Wrong, VIRGINIA RODINO, Counterpunch.



"And still U2 - always U2. The pious priests of anti-punk. The sound of the Restoration. Anthemic pathos. Nothing will happen until U2 are destroyed, destroyed utterly. Until it is much more embarrassing and shameful to like U2 than it ever was to like ELP or Floyd." ===>MarK (http://k-punk.abstractdynamics.org/archives/005796.html )

Bono lives just two miles away, as the crow flies; ya want me to do sumtin', MarK?


Yes, brevity ...

--------------------------
Major: Will you give the Court your name, fellow?
Padraig: Is it my name, sir? Ah, your jokin' ...
Defence Counsel: Come, Padraig, my man.
Padraig: There, didn't I tell ye! He knows me well enough.
Major: Padraig, that's the Irish for Patrick, I gather.
Padraig: No sir; Patrick is the English for Padraig.
Major: Are you guilty as charged?
Padraig: Shure, I thought that was what we'd all come here to find out.
--------------------------

k-punk
13-01-2006, 09:02 PM
A very warm welcome Mr Henry.

As I noted on k-p, Ed Balls was on Question Time last night saying that Make Poverty History was the right way to engage young in politics (as opposed to Big Brother). (Which makes me think that there's potentially at least something a little frightening/ unsettling to the status quo about BB, but that's another story.) But this confirms the essentially incorporated nature of the Make Bono President of the World Bank campaign; it's a protest, as I observed before, that no-one disagrees with.

I think MPH in place of anti-war is an interesting substitution.


Bono lives just two miles away, as the crow flies; ya want me to do sumtin', MarK?

Paul Meme's already implicated me in the Nick Park fire. I better uh keep my powder dry on this one.

k-punk
13-01-2006, 09:11 PM
Another issue is the way in which Bonobo and his ilk have somehow managed to hold onto the idea that they are an - or rather THE - alternative rather the establishment in person. Mick Jagger had to give up that idea when punk kicked him offstage. But what force is capable of sweeping yoU too away?

Padraig
13-01-2006, 10:40 PM
As I noted on k-p, Ed Balls was on Question Time last night saying that Make Poverty History was the right way to engage young in politics (as opposed to Big Brother). (Which makes me think that there's potentially at least something a little frightening/ unsettling to the status quo about BB, but that's another story.)

Indeed. Just witness how last year's BB runner-up, the politically-articulate but ideologically-over-identified, Derek [Black, gay, and conservative, the new chic] has since fared - he's probably what provoked Galloway to have a go ...


Another issue is the way in which Bonobo and his ilk have somehow managed to hold onto the idea that they are an - or rather THE - alternative rather the establishment in person

Further confirmed by the antics of assorted rock dinosaurs at the recent UK Rock Hall of Fame Awards: did you see newly-hall-of-fame initiate Ozzy Osborne nostalgically mooning into the audience/cameras - after accepting his award? What was he mooning at, exactly, 30+ years later? The Establishment? He is the Establishment. Rock, thank Christ, is dead.

mms
15-01-2006, 10:34 AM
Glad someone has finally brought this up, it was a truly horrible occasion.
Geldof in Pied Piper mode, with the outcome being a big rock concert and nothing more.
The idea that they somehow won when the g8 went through the normal accountancy procedure of cancelling 14 totally bankrupted countries debt, basically because they had assessed them as bad debt is a total farce. And his total dimissal of anyone from africa who actually knew what they were talking about was foul. It seemed to me to be just another example of gloating trickle down economics of the worst kind.

Padraig
15-01-2006, 09:13 PM
And I hear Geldof has just been co-opted by Britain's Conservative Party as an advisor on global poverty: Geldof helps Tory poverty policy (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4563258.stm). So that's all nicely wrapped up then ...

'This will not make poverty history. It is vastly disappointing. Millions of campaigners all over the world have been led to the top of the mountain, shown the view, and now we are being frogmarched down again'
Charles Abugre, Christian Aid

'We are very critical of what Bob Geldof did during the G8 Summit. The objectives of the whole Live 8 campaign had little to do with poverty reduction in Africa. It was a scheme to project Geldof and Blair as coming to the rescue of poor and helpless Africans'
Demba Moussa Dembele, African Forum on Alternatives

'A disaster for the world's poor'
The World Development Movement

Even The Guardian, some months after the Live8 concerts, revised its earlier sycophanticism:

"In fact, the murmurings of dissent among the charities associated with Make Poverty History started soon. The promised aid actually included the figures for debt relief, they said; in fact, only $12bn of new money, not $25bn, would be available in 2006. The World Bank was trying to water down the debt relief, imposing conditions on the recipient nations; Germany and Italy were letting it be known that "budgetary constraints" might prevent them from meeting the obligations that Blair had persuaded all the leaders to sign up to, in their own handwriting, at Gleneagles.

But the dissenters reserved their strongest words for Geldof. "He got too close to the government, and he got burned," is how John Coventry, of War on Want, puts it. "It seems that Geldof and Bono decided that they were bigger than the campaign and were pursuing their own strategy," the World Development Movement says in a statement. Live 8, the organisation claims, "displaced" the efforts of Make Poverty History "with a wall of celebrities, and no message beyond a vague notion about caring for the poor and wanting politicians to 'do something'. It obliterated everything else.""

===>Three months ago Bob Geldof declared Live 8 had achieved its aim. But what really happened next? by Oliver Burkeman (http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/live8/story/0,16066,1567891,00.html)

Woebot
17-01-2006, 09:57 AM
thanks pagraig. enjoyed this stuff.

heresy to admit, some part of me has a sympathy for bono.

mark pretty much savaged paul morley's "puff piece" on him (remembering that it was simon's comments at the RIUASA panel which MUST have precipitated the article in the first place?) vis a vis the morley piece, there was some kind of scurrilous liberal-taunting going on in there, a sort of "why *not* laud bono?" attitude. and yeah, i'll admit to a weakness for that position as well.

for me it boils down, in some part, as to whether one's willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.....

but needless to say this rankles: "In the same vein, Geldof also intentionally refused most African artists to play on his stages, saying they wouldn't draw crowds."

Padraig
17-01-2006, 07:05 PM
Hi Woebot,

Yes, ditto ...

I first met U2/Bono not far from where I am at the moment (waiting to see Chomsky at UCD in a few minutes) - in 1979 at the Project Arts Centre in Dublin's Temple Bar. They were supporting punk poet Patrick Fitzgerald. But following their run-away success via the US college-radio circuit circa 1983, uh ...

As for Geldof, ahem [more later, Chomsky's here :) ] ...

corneilius
21-01-2006, 05:57 AM
More info for your discussion ......

Bob owns a company, TEN alps, a PR agency whose main clients are the UK Foreign Office, BP, Volvo, Ford and JP Morgan (all of whom are being sued for reparations by Africans, for the damage they have caused as a direct result of their business operations in Africa, and their supprt for South Africa's Apartheid regime in particular) as well as EMI, Disney, L'Oreal, FHM and many other similar corporations.

His TV media company, another business, makes Teachers TV for the UK government, and propaganda-as-documentaries for UK, Isreali and Us Governments

The Turnover for TenAlps last year was £37 Million plus, and they posted annual profits of £600,000 which is not much for such turnover

His position is a clear conflict of interest, as his clients are involved as causative factors in the problems in Africa.

His role in 2005 was to deflect public attention away from the NGO's and the flood of information that was being shared about the reality on the ground in Africa, Aisa, South America and at home in UK and US. This flood of accurate information was putting pressure on the media to report these realities, as opposed to putting the elitist spin on things that has been predominant. The trick worked. People went to the gigs, feeling guilty, and then bought the idea that buying arm bands would help, and went back to sleep while the WTO organised to let some African Countries off some interest payments, whilst the UK and US government reduced their aid donations to those countries by a similar amount, ending in a null deal, which was conditional on African debtor nations submitting to WTO policies. Did you know this? I doubt it. So.

Think about this : The £100 million gathered from people in 1984 was a drop in the ocean, and an inadequate, though (at best, and I have my doubts) well-meaning, ill-informed response to the situation in Africa, a situation that was created by western policies towards those countries that we 'released' from imperial colonisation

Feel good factor. Works every time! :cool:

And that is why I don't like what geldof or any of those people do - there is no logic, other than economic war, to the policies of and behaviour of orgaisations such as the WTO, and companies like Ford, Volvo, BP, Shell, De Beers, ect., etc.

And finally, I have written a parody about all this, called 'i don't like geldof', to the tune of 'i don't like mondays', and there's an acoustic version on my site www.corneilius.net, on the music page, and there's also a techno version you can dance to. I hope you enjoy it!

I am delighted to see this discussion take place, let's bring these ugly, ugly people down. :)

boomnoise
26-01-2006, 01:49 PM
"Philanthropy is like hippy music, holding hands. Red is more like punk rock, hip hop, this should feel like hard commerce" (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4650024.stm) Bono

mms
29-01-2006, 12:20 PM
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/politics/article341256.ece

what a clueless arsehole.

jenks
29-01-2006, 06:18 PM
"Philanthropy is like hippy music, holding hands. Red is more like punk rock, hip hop, this should feel like hard commerce" (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4650024.stm) Bono

would that be the same GAP that sweatshops its labour, denies trade unions and has been denounced by a whole range of NGOs?

just checking

mms
29-01-2006, 06:34 PM
would that be the same GAP that sweatshops its labour, denies trade unions and has been denounced by a whole range of NGOs?

just checking

yeah part of a wide ranging group of well known philanthropists, such as Nike, banks and credit card companies.

corneilius
31-01-2006, 08:27 AM
Hi people,

I really am bewildered at the unmitigatded stupidity, the intense emotional blindness and utter craven nature of Bono's reference to 'hard commerce', I mean how does he even manage to tie his shoelaces? Or wipe his arse?

And to think he was touted for President of The World Bank at one stage, that would be like letting Dr. Mengele run an orphanage, ...... of course I am forgetting - there's a precedent, for all this .... set not least by by Ronald Reagan, and Arnold Shwarzeenegger. George Bush, Tony Blair, the list is endless.... Doh!

I am working on a re-write of the 'streets with no name', entitled the 'streets with no shame', about the places where these corporate, commercial 'hard' boys have their offices .... however it's such a shite song, it's proving to be a difficult task - I can re-write the lryics but the melody just sticks in my throat .. lol! At least these latest statments by Nobo have given me a line or two:

"Where the geeks have red shades." :cool: (not!)

Do any of ye know much about Edward Bernays, Freuds nephew, and the inventor of PR as an applied science of manipulating neurotic people?

corneilius
31-01-2006, 09:46 AM
I want to run, rule your country
I want to make sure you get nothing for free
I want to reach out and wear my red shades
Where the streets have no shame
I want to fill my wallet with untaxed profit
See the cash come rolling in, untaxed, untraced,
I want to take your cash, again and again

Where the streets have no shame
Where the geeks wear red shades
Where the stars have no shame
We're still lending, then burning down welfare,
Burning down welfare
And when I go there, I go there with your cash
Gotta go now, gotta dash

(spoken= hi gordon, how's it going, you lovely man)

Orleans is a flood and our rule turns to lust
You're beaten and blown by the wind, trampled in the dust
I'll show you a place we can start all over again

(spoken(texan accent) = not here! no. go on now, move on! you can't live here. Look, we have a nice camp for you in Nevada.... you'll love it!)

Where the streets have no shame
Where the banks have no shame
Where the fat cats have no shame
We're still lending, then burning down welfare,
Burning down welfare
And when I go there, I go there with your cash
Gotta go now, gotta dash
In god you can trust
when you're beaten and blown by our lust
Blown by the war-heads
Oh, see our love, see our profit driven lust
And you’re beaten and blown, your balls are bust
Blown by the greed
When I go there, I go there with your cash
hard commerce indeed,
Gotta go now, gotta dash

(spoken : where's me shades? Bob, did you nick my shades again! Ya bastard! Always trying to out do me, well not this time!)

corneilius
03-03-2006, 08:36 AM
Well, Well Well! Double page adds on the paper, small ads everywhere else extolling the virtues of a RED credit card, with APR of 15% or thereabouts, with 1% of sales (excluding taxes of course!) going to Africans, and the interest going to American Express.

OOOOOOOOH I can't wait to get one! How cool as I pay for my holiday flights, I can whip out this wonderful RED card, and everyone will see me with my RED AMEX card and with a clear conscience, I can pollute the planet, have a holiday, avoid the glare of the sun shining through the Ozone Layer with my RED shades, stroll manfully along the beach in my Gap shorts and help Africans.

I am gonna Orgasm all over my U2 collection........... oooooooo Bono you make me cream myself ..... I am so excited by this I will buy ALL your records, All your CDs, all your Merchandize three times over ....ooooooh how I LOVE HARD COMMERCE ....... and of course I will do it wearing Armani, and wipe up the mess with my Gap T-shirt...... now all we need is some RED washing powder to clean it all up! I can't wait for Christmas! :cool:

neupunk
07-03-2006, 07:10 PM
I'd be interested to read how often the funds will be dispersed and who keeps the interest on collected money -- AmEx or the fund. "Hard commerce" rings of hard consumerism -- irresponsible consumption that isn't sustainable and can hurt developing countries. If you're providing them with fair wage jobs, it doesn't matter if their local resources are being stripped bare without replenishment and the rivers are full of poisons.

Is the demonization of philanthropy some sort of "punk" motion that Bono's trying to make by implying that traditional methods of aid don't work or are exhausted? Because I think they can work and need better planning more than anything else.

As for traditional philanthropy, doesn't American Express offer a normal card (Blue) that gives back at least 1% of purchase money when paid off regularly? I wonder if I were to put that cash back in a high interest account for a year if it wouldn't be more money contributed than this Red card... and I'd know the breakdown of who received the funds.

corneilius
30-03-2006, 04:36 PM
Who needs a 'job' if they can grow their own food, draw their own water, build their own shelter? Do the bushmen of the Kalahari 'need' jobs? Did the Native Americans need jons? Do the ABoriginals of Australia 'need' 'jobs'?

The problems in Africa stem from one incontovertible fact : Africa is being 'used' by western 'civilisation' to provide cheap raw materials for our 'lifestyle', to enable the elites to hoard vast wealth. The African Peoples were 'conquered' by Europeans for that reason, and that reason alone.

Anyone who believes that 'Progress' was, and still is, the motivation for such behaviour, is operating under a severely conditioned and limited worldview.

Bono and Geldof are but two obvious and pertinent examples. The millions of people who still insist upon driving cars, which are destroying our world (Hill of Tara), who would to a man/woman claim to feel safer in their cars, than they do walking down a street at night, are also less obvious examples!

And those that insist on flying to far off beaches, or 'doing' 'world tours' are even further divorced from reality. ;)

tryptych
22-05-2006, 12:25 PM
Bono in the Guardian today:

"Red is where desire meets virtue, where consumerism meets philanthropy, where shopping attempts to meet the need of a continent in crisis, where once HIV/Aids meant a death sentence but where two pills a day can now have you back at work in 40 days.

Really the deal is this. These brands are prepared to share their profits with the Global Fund to Fight Aids in the hope that the association with Red will bring them to new and more loyal customers. At certain price points a consumer usually has a few choices when it comes to t-shirts, trainers and mobile phones. A product Red partner, such as Gap or Nike, hopes it will give them something else: an emotional attachment. It may reflect the values they already have or the values they aspire to: we don't mind."

:mad:

http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/bono/2006/05/by_bono.html

johneffay
22-05-2006, 04:58 PM
Complete bullshit. Encourage people to research charitable organisations and donate to those they have sympathy with. Anything else is simply assuaging your conscience as you get get a funky t-Shirt or whatever.

gek-opel
22-05-2006, 05:22 PM
Lets stick another ludicrous sticking plaster on the massive gangrenous wound!

Wrong
22-05-2006, 07:07 PM
Bono in the Guardian today:
"Red is where desire meets virtue, where consumerism meets philanthropy, where shopping attempts to meet the need of a continent in crisis, where once HIV/Aids meant a death sentence but where two pills a day can now have you back at work in 40 days."


Possibly even worse than Bono's article itself (though you'ld think the fucker's rich enough he could afford a competent ghostwriter), are his defenders in the comments thread. They're all some variant of this one, from some arse called Telemachiad:

"Go on guys, joke about Bono being a rich hypocrit etc. etc. laugh it up - and do nothing."

The idea that someone might disagree with Bono's approach and therefore do something else doesn't seem to have occured to these people. It's Bonoism or nothing. I guess it's another example of the "reflexive impotence" k-punk has talked about; we can't even imagine taking action unless we've got a celebrity to tell us what to do.

corneilius
18-07-2006, 04:45 PM
Hiya Dissenters,

been on the raod, still a while to go, it's all good......

Here's a link to the video of the geldof song, intercut with live8, g8 and Oxford Street Protets..... hope ya like it!

http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=5679897110404913830&q=corneilius

Hope to be back on-line in a more permanent manner end of Sept. Untill then, be the person, live the heart, enjoy the weather!

corneilius
30-10-2006, 02:56 PM
After much delving I have been able to find solid info on this scam.

Not too surprisingly it turns out that members of the board of AMex are also members of the boards of the companies that make and sell AIDS medicines, so there's a conflict of interest straight away, and that Amex's primary concern here is to garner NEW CARD CUSTOMERS amongst the young (more debt) ....... they call it 'good marketing'! Sheeeeessh!

Not only that but all US supported AIDS related work in Africa is by US law required to promote abstinence (from sex, before marriage), whilst at the same time advise against the use of condoms...........

On myspace there's JOIN(RED) and I have started a campaign of informing people through it by messaging them individually (there's more than 520,000 of them ... so if I have to do it on my own, it's gonna take forever, and I ain't got forever) with links to the detailed analyses of what this scam really is.

So here's some articles that look into it and are fully referenced :

http://informage.net/articles/2006/09/18/blood-money

http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=8181

If you have found more relevant info, please feel free to post it here, or on myspace.

If any of you are on myspace, and feel like joining in there's a group I have started up called INC(RED)ULOUSCONSUMERSZZZZ!! with the info on how the campaign works, in the topic "celebrity myspace charity scandal! Propaganda?"

http://groups.myspace.com/incredulousconsumerzzzz

Spread the word! Or not.

The choices, as ever, is yours.

hundredmillionlifetimes
31-10-2006, 10:41 AM
Some additional reports and analyses below [ ... and watch this sycophantic interview (http://www.vpro.nl/programma/tegenlicht/afleveringen/24010209/items/24153326/)with Bono just prior to the Product Red launch].

First, this deeply disturbing report about another of Bono's "activities":

[1] U2's Bono Backs Videogame with Venezuela Invasion Theme (http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/articles.php?artno=1770)


WASHINGTON D.C. - U2's Bono, well recognized for his campaigns to reduce poverty and treat AIDS in Africa is backing a videogame which promotes the invasion and destruction of Venezuela in order to check "a power hungry tyrant" who has "seized control of Venezuela and her oil supply." Bono has failed to respond to concerns raised by the Venezuelan Solidarity Network about his funding of this project.

"Mercenaries 2: World in Flames," created by Los Angeles based Pandemic/Bioware Studios, simulates a mercenary invasion of Venezuela in the year 2007. Pandemic is a subcontractor for the US Army and CIA funded Institute for Creative Technologies, which uses Hollywood techniques to mount war simulations in California's high desert in order to conduct military training. "Mercenaries 2: World in Flames" simulates destruction in downtown Caracas, and promises to leave no part of Venezuela untouched.

Elevation Partners is an investment firm that Bono helped create in order to exploit marketing opportunities between U2 and its fans, including projects from Pandemic/Bioware Studios. Pandemic states that as a partner in Elevation Partners, Bono "has visibility into all projects at Pandemic and Bioware."

Pandemic's target market is young men of military recruitment age and indeed this is not Pandemic's first military adventure. MORE ... (http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/articles.php?artno=1770)

[This site also includes a letter of protest to Bono from Chuck Kaufman, Actions/Emergency Response Committee].

[2] Humanitarian Scenster Bono Bankrolls U.S Geopolitical Wet Dream (http://www.vibewire.net/3/scott_hickie/pulse/2006/aug/02/6509/humanitarian_scenster_bono_bankrolls_u_s_geopoliti cal_wet_dream)

Attorney General Phillip Ruddock stated last week in relation to Australia’s censorship laws that “material which urges or advocates terrorist acts should not be available for sale”. There can be no doubt that the activity simulated in ‘Mercenaries 2’ is a terrorist act. The hostile and violent removal of a democratically elected President for the purposes of obtaining access to exploit natural resources is no doubt an act of State-Endorsed terrorism.

The question is whether a video game can be imbued with the ability to advocate actions taken in the game? Considering the involvement of the U.S Army and its Institute of Creative Technologies in military gaming, I’d say yes.

Pandemic Studios insists that “Venezuela was chosen for the setting of Mercenaries 2 because it is a fascinating and colourful country, full of wonderful architecture, geography and culture.” The developer describes the game as “an explosive open-world action game set in a massive, highly reactive, war-torn world. A power-hungry tyrant messes with Venezuela's oil supply, sparking an invasion that turns the country into a warzone.”

[3] GONE: The Campaign To Make Bono History (http://www.eliminatebono.com/index.html)


[4] Critique of The American Express Red Campaign 'My Card, My LIfe' (http://www.anybody.squarespace.com/media-body-watch/2006/9/4/my-card-my-life-your-comments.html)

http://www.anybody.squarespace.com/storage/americanexpress2.jpg

The current American Express Red campaign cries out for the kind of intricate semiotic dissection Roland Barthes pioneered in Mythologies. The ad – which shows happy, smiling supermodel Gisele embracing happy, smiling African Maasai warrior, Keseme – is a succinct emblem of the current ruling ideology.

The image, with its evocation of ideas of Culture and Nature, Consumerism and Debt, independence and dependence – fairly drips with polysemic resonances. There is enough here to keep semiologists busy for years.

[...]

We confront here the curious mixture of brutal cynicism and dewy-eyed piety that is so characteristic of late capitalist culture. The billboard version of the American Express ad tells us that ‘this card is designed to eliminate Aids in Africa’. Even when we dismiss this as obvious nonsense – the most credulous consumer cannot but be aware that the card was designed to increase the profits of American Express – the ideological blackmail still holds: how can anything which assists in the struggle against Aids in Africa possibly be wrong?

We’ve already touched upon one reason: campaigns such as this occlude and mystify the systemic character of the relationship between western capital and the third world. The picturesque image of a ‘traditional’ Maasai warrior beguiles us into forgetting the way in which western institutions profit from Third World debt. It also photoshops out capital’s attempt, in Zizek’s words, to ‘export the (necessary) dark side of production – disciplined, hierarchical labour, ecological pollution – to “non-smart” Third World locations.’

Another, related, reason is that Product Red promises to eliminates politics as such. If the invisible hand of the credit card user can ameliorate the problem of Aids in Africa, there is no need for a political response at all – what John Hayes of American Express calls ‘conscientious commerce’ will be sufficient. In this way, Product Red goes beyond using a Masaai tribesman to advertise American Express, and uses him to sell neo-liberal ideology itself. ---Mark K-punk

robin
02-11-2006, 05:49 AM
Not only that but all US supported AIDS related work in Africa is by US law required to promote abstinence (from sex, before marriage), whilst at the same time advise against the use of condoms............

wtf?

surely this can't be true?
source?

gek-opel
02-11-2006, 07:10 PM
For all US Govt based aid, this is certainly true!

DJ PIMP
03-11-2006, 03:31 AM
Each time I think marketing has reached a plateau of cynicism I'm swiftly proven wrong.

hundredmillionlifetimes
03-11-2006, 06:44 PM
Approximately one-third of all the funds received to date [see table below] by the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Maleria were sourced from the US Administration, which has the only permanent seat on the Fund's Board and oversees and approves/disapproves all grant applications. Moreover, the funds are held in an account at the US-controlled World Bank. Incidentally, the only private sector donations to the fund announced to date have been the $150m provided by the Bill Gates Foundation, contributions from Product Red not yet being known.

Furthermore, there is a grey area concerning the actual status of Product Red contributions: the amounts collected on purchases are not actually charitable donations, but franchise fees paid by participating companies, AMEX, Apple etc, to the owners [a consortium that includes Bono/Schriver's DATA organisation] of the Product Red brand for its use in promoting their products.

Evidence of withdrawal of grant-aid based on faith-based ideology:

Extract from The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria: Progress Report and Issues for Congress, April, 2006 (http://64.233.183.104/search?q=cache:hbCcy8Hhm7cJ:www.usembassy.it/pdf/other/RL33396.pdf+Criticisms+of+the+Global+fund+to+fight +Aids+tuberculosis+malaria+2006&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=7)


South Africa. In December 2005, the Global Fund Board voted not to continue funding an existing grant for HIV prevention activities in South Africa. The Board decided that the grant, implemented by an NGO named loveLife, had failed to sufficiently address weaknesses in its implementation. Press accounts quote a Global Fund representative explaining that it had become difficult to measure how the loveLife prevention campaign was contributing to the reduction of HIV/AIDS among young people in South Africa. Additionally, the representative reportedly stated that the Board had repeatedly requested that loveLife revise its proposals and address concerns regarding performance, financial and accounting procedures, and the need for an effective governance structure. A Global Fund spokesman was quoted as saying that “loveLife is extremely costly, there are programs that have been very effective, which cost a fraction of what loveLife costs. It would be irresponsible of the Global Fund to spend almost $40 million without seeing results.” LoveLife officials were reportedly surprised that the Global Fund ultimately decided to discontinue funding the grant, particularly since there were some reported differences of opinion regarding the matter between the Fund’s Technical Review Panel, Secretariat, and the Board.

Additionally, loveLife officials reportedly argued that the decision was politically motivated and influenced by U.S. emphasis on abstinence in HIV prevention efforts. One press account quoted a loveLife official as saying, “Obviously the strength of conservative ideologies is spilling over into the field of HIV and HIV prevention and it has direct impact on programs like loveLife.” According to a loveLife press release, the decision to discontinue funding the program will substantially curtail South Africa’s efforts to prevent HIV infections among young people, because the Global Fund’s grant supported one third of the program’s budget.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Table 6. Total Global Fund Contributions and Pledges(billions)

-------------------------Paid to Date---% Paid to Date----Pledges-----% Pledges to Date

United States------------$1.43--------- 29.07%------------ $2.29--------- 26.87%
European Union---------$2.47----------50.21%-------------$4.49----------52.63%
Other Countries---------$0.86----------17.56%-------------$1.59----------18.70%
Private Sector-----------$0.15-----------3.16%------------- $0.15-----------1.80%

Total--------------------- $4.91-------- 100.00%-------------$8.52--------100.00%

Source: Global Fund, Pledges and Contributions, March 13, 2006
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DJ PIMP
04-11-2006, 03:29 AM
On another note relating to first/third world... sorry, developed/developing world issues.

Here in New Zealand I just got back from a Climate Change Festival (haha) talk-thing. First up were a couple of local boffin type scientists who had a great array of awesome graphs (I do design and have a genuine passion for the representation of information) and spoke about the research being done in Antarctica drilling the ocean bed etc to develop better historical climate models, and projections for the future based on current rates of increased carbon output etc. Fairly dry stuff that everyone has read about already, albeit covered with more depth than you get in most newspaper or pop magazine articles.

Next up a woman from NZs Ministry of The Environment, with an American (possibly Canadian) accent... my first thought was, damn those Americans know how to talk, because she was so not a boffin type scientist. Anyhow, she was speaking on the social impact of climate change, and preambles about how Kyoto took 10 years to ratify, which when you're dealing with climate change dating to millions of years is a very short span of time. And how theres "a top to bottom thing going on" with the developing countries like India and China where most people live in abject poverty, so they're going to need "a helping hand", and the developed countries are going to have to bear the financial burden, and how some people look at Kyoto and say the First World (oops!) isn't doing its bit on account of the carbon quotas, but "I don't think you can really criticise it, because people are trying to do the right thing".

It took her the space of approximately two minutes to take me from receptive to absolutely livid, at which point I walked out.

Thats the heirachy of civilisation right there... the New American Century.

hundredmillionlifetimes
10-02-2007, 08:10 AM
According to the Product Red website (http://www.joinred.com/update_jan07.asp), "(RED) has delivered a total of $11,303,926 to the Global Fund thus far. Based on early conservative estimates, we believe that when holiday sales have been totaled, (RED) will have generated another $10 million for the Fund."

Hardly surprising, then, that this announcement has received zero media coverage (U2 earn more in a month).

Given that a total of US$ 9.8 billion (http://www.theglobalfund.org/en/media_center/publications/factsheets_faq/default.asp#update)has been pledged and/or contributed through 2008 to the Global Fund (though only US$ 3.3 billion from this has actually been disbursed to date), Red's "contribution" represents approximately 0.001%-0.002% of the total pledged funds to date.

gek-opel
11-02-2007, 02:53 PM
Bono's heavy involvement in private equity companies (ie- one of the most pernicious mutations of capitalism to date) tells you everything you could ever need to know about his true motivations and the sickening hypocrisy that marks his every "charitable" move.

tatarsky
12-02-2007, 09:53 PM
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/ebad1e4a-b719-11db-8bc2-0000779e2340.html

Who's turn will it be next year?

Oh god, it's going to David Cameron, isn't it?

sufi
20-08-2007, 10:42 PM
:) just caught a random glimpse on what looked like live satellite feed on libyan tv of sir bob getting bottled off stage in benghazi, it looked like the festival of youth was turning into a riot, chairs were thrown, geldof begging for the translator before being escorted off stage, cut to stock footage of much happier crowds singing ??? ??????!?

gek-opel
20-08-2007, 10:51 PM
What was he doing in Libya exactly?

Gavin
20-08-2007, 10:55 PM
Frans Smeets: "Jesus Loves You Too"

http://www.franssmeets.com/jesuslovesu2.jpg

http://img.perezhilton.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/08/bonooooo.jpg

gek-opel
20-08-2007, 11:08 PM
Hahaha

sufi
21-08-2007, 10:20 AM
What was he doing in Libya exactly?
fuck knows - following the bloodstained blair bandwagon i suppose - i can't see any sign of it on google or on the libya news (obv :rolleyes:) - the meeting ملتقى الثاني شباب الليبي did take place yesterday as qadafi's bald son did a looong speech which was reported, al-jaz had cameras there so maybe they will come up with summat....

(sorry btw that shold have been "... crowds singing عاش القائد" = qadaffhi love anthem)

sufi
23-08-2007, 05:02 PM
http://youtube.com/watch?v=eFkzgz-Lsf4
you tube is your friend ya shebab:cool:

redcrescent
23-08-2007, 07:44 PM
http://youtube.com/watch?v=eFkzgz-Lsf4
you tube is your friend ya shebab:cool: Exactly 1 minute in there's a split second cut to Sein Qadhafi, who's grinning ear to ear...

sufi
19-09-2007, 10:41 PM
interesting but deeply scary update on bob's benghazi escapade here: http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/hisham_matar/2007/09/no_hope_for_change.html

A couple of days after Seif al-Islam's speech and Sir Bob Geldof's attempted gig (http://www.youbloom.com/web/boomtownrats), an eyewitness account, published in the dissident news website Libya Al-Mustaqbal, stated that around 400 young men, blindfolded and handcuffed, were seen stepping off an airplane in Tripoli International Airport. The men were packed into prison trucks and driven away. The plane had come from Benghazi.:eek::eek::eek::eek:

international meeja finally catches up with dissensus, but still noone's saying wtf he was doing there

hundredmillionlifetimes
12-10-2007, 08:56 PM
Bono's Egg-Head, 120-metre ego-mania to completely dominate Dublin's skyline. I think I'll go make an omelette [Where's Owen Hatterley (http://archinect.com/features/article.php?id=62725_0_23_0_C)when you need him!?].


British architect chosen to design U2 Tower (http://breakingnews.iol.ie/news/?c=ireland&jp=mhmhkfidqlmh)

12/10/2007 - 18:06:25

http://dynimg.rte.ie/0001178210dr.jpg

Internationally renowned British architect Norman Foster was today announced as the visionary behind Ireland’s first skyscraper – the U2 Tower.

The €200m scheme, which will soar 120 metres over Dublin’s docklands, will house the iconic rock band’s egg-shaped recording studio at its peak.

It was commissioned by Geranger Ltd, a consortium including property developers Ballymore and U2 members Bono, The Edge, Larry Mullen Jnr and Adam Clayton.

Mr Foster, whose notable projects include the Gherkin in London and the Millau Viaduct in France, was chosen by Dublin’s Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) as the project‘s design winner.

Paul Maloney, DDDA Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted to have achieved our ambition of realising an inspirational landmark design, while at the same time maximising public usage and access.

“This design will be a very special building for Docklands and Dublin City while integrating the Britain Quay and U2 Tower buildings in a distinct and coherent fashion on the waterfront,” he said.

As well as the band’s recording studio, the inspirational building will include a public viewing platform at 100 metres, a public amenity area at the base, hotel, retail and residential accommodation including 20% social and affordable housing.

“It will also provide visitors the opportunity to experience spectacular views across Dublin city and bay, and for the community offers significant social and affordable housing potential,” Mr Maloney said.

An original U2 Tower plan – a twisting structure designed by a Dublin-based architectural firm – was to be built at a height of just 60 metres.

But following a recent planning amendment for the area, the tower was redesigned and increased to 120 metres in height with an adjoining site added.

The announcement of preferred bidder status for Geranger Ltd followed a EU tendering process where submissions from four short-listed consortia were considered.

Mr Foster is an internationally acclaimed architect, having designed some of the world‘s most iconic structures.

These include the Millau Viaduct in France – the tallest vehicular bridge in the world – the Bilbao Metro and New York‘s Hearst Tower.

The U2 Tower will be located in the Grand Canal Dock area, where DDDA is working with some of the world’s leading architects on projects such as the Studio Libeskind-designed Grand Canal Theatre, the Manuel Aires Mateus designed hotel, and the recently opened Martha Schwartz designed Grand Canal Square.

Work on the landmark project is due to begin next year with a completion date expected by 2011.

noel emits
12-10-2007, 09:32 PM
Cock.

Still, it looks like that egg could quite easily just roll out....

gek-opel
12-10-2007, 09:46 PM
That egg is quite strange. The tower as a whole is repulsive isn't it? Even for Foster this is a shallow slice of aesthetically ugly glass/steel "futurist" nonsense. I find it fairly difficult to believe this glitzy monstrosity actually got planning permission. And the arrogance of them at the top! Oh- it contains "affordable housing". As a literalisation of Bono's ego and its relation to the rest of the world its actually quite hilarious...

hundredmillionlifetimes
13-10-2007, 01:08 AM
That egg is quite strange. The tower as a whole is repulsive isn't it? Even for Foster this is a shallow slice of aesthetically ugly glass/steel "futurist" nonsense. I find it fairly difficult to believe this glitzy monstrosity actually got planning permission. And the arrogance of them at the top! Oh- it contains "affordable housing". As a literalisation of Bono's ego and its relation to the rest of the world its actually quite hilarious...

Oh, it is going to be followed by numerous other much worse Dubai-style fantasy horrors. After the Dublin Spike/Spire [at 145 metres] was erected some years ago, it unwittingly set the benchmark for future skyline-property projects, much like, many years ago, the Washington Monument set the (very low in that instance) limit for Washington's skyline, which is why Washington still has no skyscrapers. As for 'planning permission', ha ha!!: in Ireland certain party-political property developers totally control the political - and planning - apparatus [as public scrutiny of the prime minister/Taoiseach Bertie Aherne is currently revealing]: they're only building skyscrapers now ironically because of the collapse of the property market over the past year - they now have to build way higher in order to recoup their huge speculative investment at high prices in land and sites during the height of the property boom (of course there are also the libidinal economy factors too: class oneupmanship, ego-mania, etc). Las Vegas pastiche 'architecture.'

The 'affordable housing' PR is of course a myth: those who would genuinely qualify couldn't possibly afford such housing/apartment accommodation. They get to own half of the flat, purchased at full market skyhigh prices and mortgage funded, while the other half is owned by the local council, so ending up paying both a full mortgage AND a full rent. It's just a bad joke.

gek-opel
13-10-2007, 01:36 PM
Yes I know a lot of people in those part buy/rent schemes. Quite why Ireland/Britain can't move on from the dubious practice of home owning all together and embrace Berlin style cheap rents 4 life I don't know... (Thatcher is implicated somewhere in all this though I am sure...)

zhao
13-10-2007, 03:52 PM
and so many are brainwashed by this sickening pile of bullshit... sometimes perfectly nice people. just very short on the critical thinking capacity... bugs me to no end :mad::mad::mad:

swears
13-10-2007, 05:15 PM
I think the main argument against renting put foward by a lot of home owners is that you're paying the landlord's mortgage and giving him a wedge for profit on top, so you might as well cut out the middleman and get your own place.

But...it's apparently cheaper to rent than buy now, since most landlords bought their property before the current boom and perhaps have even finished making mortgage payments themselves.

Buying/renting, it's all a racket anyway.

gek-opel
13-10-2007, 05:29 PM
But Swears you read Momus' blog right, I think he's definitely on to something when it comes to correlations between creative fecundity and a rent over buying culture...

matt b
13-10-2007, 06:01 PM
I think the main argument against renting put foward by a lot of home owners is that you're paying the landlord's mortgage and giving him a wedge for profit on top, so you might as well cut out the middleman and get your own place.


it's bollocks though, innit- over the 20 years of our mortgage we pay nearly £2.00 back to the butt-fucking nazis that are the bank for every £1.00 borrowed AND we have to pay for repairs and upkeep!

fukkaz

Mr. Tea
13-10-2007, 06:50 PM
it's bollocks though, innit- over the 20 years of our mortgage we pay nearly £2.00 back to the butt-fucking nazis that are the bank for every £1.00 borrowed AND we have to pay for repairs and upkeep!

fukkaz

No way, really? A quid of interest for each quid borrowed? That's awful. Did you just get stuffed with a really shit mortgage, or is that actually a pretty standard situation (for a home-owner) to be in?

swears
13-10-2007, 06:53 PM
gek: I haven't read any blogs for ages, been busy with various things.

That sounds interesting though, I suppose if you are renting, you're not shackled to living in any particular area, you don't have to worry about long-term financial security as much, things like that could stop you from pursuing unprofitable creative activities.

Is that what he was on about? Link plz.

matt b
13-10-2007, 07:46 PM
No way, really? A quid of interest for each quid borrowed? That's awful. Did you just get stuffed with a really shit mortgage, or is that actually a pretty standard situation (for a home-owner) to be in?

we got a good deal, because i managed to blag a graduate mortgage (5 years after completing a pgce), but it was a 100% mortgage. i know people who are paying above the £2.00 mark with a deposit.

such is the nature of the beast.

you could sit down and work it out properly, but i reckoned at the time we got the mortgage that saving the same amount and putting it in an ISA would reap higher returns than you would get from the increase in equity, but judging that over 20 years is nigh on impossible.

in addition, you always have the issue of a landlord being able to kick you out of the house you are renting (ie, your home) at two points during any year.

that to me is the problem, and as others have mentioned, this isn't an opportunity landlords have in contintental europe.

gek-opel
13-10-2007, 07:50 PM
They can't do that in mainland Europe?

Fuck this shitty country I'm moving to Berlin ASAP.

matt b
13-10-2007, 07:54 PM
They can't do that in mainland Europe?


afaik in germany, tenants leave when they want to, landlords can't kick you out like over here, but i studied this over 10 years ago. i assume there's been no great change because most people still rent in germany.

hundredmillionlifetimes
13-10-2007, 11:13 PM
But Swears you read Momus' blog right, I think he's definitely on to something when it comes to correlations between creative fecundity and a rent over buying culture...

I haven't read Momus' piece, but nevertheless there is indeed an increasing body of research linking high levels of home ownership with increased unemployment, with homelessness, with stagnancy, social retreat, and squalor. Just to take two recent examples:


Reducing home ownership cuts unemployment (http://business.guardian.co.uk/story/0,,2178987,00.html)

Larry Elliott, economics editor

Friday September 28, 2007

The Guardian

Increasing the supply of rented homes is a better way to bring down unemployment than labour market reforms designed to weaken unions or weaken employment protection, Professor Danny Blanchflower, a member of the Bank of England's monetary policy committee, said last night.

In a speech in London, he said countries with the highest levels of home ownership had the longest dole queues, and that there was no evidence that deregulating labour markets was the cure for unemployment.

The MPC member said that despite calls from bodies such as the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development for radical reforms of European labour markets there was no data to show a link between supposedly unemployment-unfriendly measures and the length of dole queues.

"Unemployment is positively correlated with changes in rates of home ownership," Prof Blanchflower said. "Of the major industrial nations Spain has the highest unemployment and the highest rate of home ownership and Switzerland the lowest unemployment and the lowest rates of home ownership. During the 1990s there were three European countries with unemployment rates close to 20% and these three had the highest home ownership rates (Ireland, Spain and Finland).

He added: "Higher home ownership raises unemployment, presumably because it reduces labour market mobility. Homeowners are relatively immobile, partly because they find it much more costly than private renters to move around."

I'm always amazed how certain theorists and academics become so convinced of the truth of their hypothesis that they unwittingly twist, distort, and engineer selective data-sets to bolster their theory: Ireland did not have 20% unemployment in the 1990s, on the contrary, by the late 1990s it had the lowest unemployment rate in the world, labour participation rates having nearly doubled during that decade, combined with net immigration for the first time in the country's history. This, of course, does not undermine Blanchflower's thesis; rather, it is that his empirical evidence just misrepresents the underlying socio-economic dynamic: the vast increase in employment in Ireland during the 1990s (from 1.1m to around 2m) was largely filled by young people living either in rented accommodation or remaining in the family home, for the very simple reason that inflated house prices were completely beyond their means to acquire. The average price of a Dublin-based house increased from around €50,000 in 1990 to €500,000 in 2000, while wages averaged from €20,000 up to €40,000 over the same period, making home purchase impossible for young people (in the absence of very substantial parental assistance). Paradoxically, home ownership has actually declined per capita (35% of the housing stock, alarmingly, lies idle/vacent, precisely because these properties were built purely as mindlessly speculative investments during the delirial property boom, as second, third, or fourth 'homes' by well-off equity-leveraging home owners). In other words, the thesis still holds, the larger levels of growing employment being associated with a decline in home ownership, and a greater proportion of workers living in rented accommodation. This does, however, provoke massive passive-aggressive resentment and social antagonism among younger people. As Dominic Fox recently argued (http://codepoetics.com/poetix/?p=443), "The shed sold for three quarters of a million in central London stands in for every wretched hovel placed far beyond the reach of even the most financially masochistic nurse or schoolteacher. Resentment and anger seem eminently reasonable responses to such circumstances."


And another recent study (http://64.233.183.104/search?q=cache:5QqXkhxDQKcJ:www.feantsa.org/files/housing_wg/Barcelona%25202007/social_%2520housing_context.pdf+home+house+ownersh ip+in+European+countries&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=3):


The public housing policies of many European countries promote home-ownership. It is argued that the best protection against poverty in older life is the ownership of a house and that owners are more likely to take better care of their dwelling and to invest in the immediate environment. There is abundant academic evidence against these arguments, especially for vulnerable groups of the population for whom the lack of resources make it difficult to sustain home-ownership and invest in the maintenance of their dwelling. FEANTSA believes, therefore, that home-ownership is not the one-fits-all solution to the complex problem of housing exclusion. The current housing challenges, such as the increasing levels of housing exclusion, can only be effectively addressed when there is a large enough social rental housing stock.

It is clear that rates of home-ownership do not always positively relate to the wealth of a country and its population, and that too high rates of home-ownership are usually unsustainable.

Countries with very high rates of home-ownership (around 90%), such as Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, the Baltic States, have to cope with deep and widespread poverty, also amongst homeowners. Countries with relatively low rates of home-ownership like Sweden, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands, are amongst the wealthiest countries in the world with rather low levels of poverty and housing exclusion. FEANTSA believes that, depending on the country-specific context, the rental sector should probably represent a minimum of 25%-30% of the housing market.

For some people, home-ownership will never be an option. The costs of ownership of an adequate dwelling - next to the mortgage payments, the costs of repair and renovation, and the price of energy - are often largely underestimated, especially by vulnerable people. The situation in several Eastern European countries, where poor home-owners who do not have any mortgage duties anymore are still accumulating housing related debts, is indicative for the limits and the danger of home-ownership.

And this, alas, is now the problem: the neo-lib privatization policies of both Sarcozy's France and Merkel's Germany will see a huge increase/move away from rental accommodation towards the reactive Thatcherite cult of home ownership. Will Scandanavia follow?

Mr. Tea
14-10-2007, 09:15 PM
I haven't read Momus' piece, but nevertheless there is indeed an increasing body of research linking high levels of home ownership with increased unemployment...

Then how come France and Germany, which have considerably lower levels of home ownership than the UK, both have considerably higher unemployment?

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/peo_hom_own-people-home-ownership
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_unemployment_rate

hundredmillionlifetimes
15-10-2007, 12:13 AM
A few quick points:

Static (and unreliable) statistics tell us nothing about either economic dynamics or the historical trajectory of such economic indicators. The fact is that during the entire post-WWII economic booms in Germany and France, the rate of home ownership declined (the point I was also making about Ireland throughout the 1990s) ie. home ownership moves in inverse proportion to the strength of an economy. Japan is another classic example, home ownership increasing during its recession, as is present-day China, home ownership declining during its present boom So, for instance, during the post-war years, home ownership in Germany was the lowest in Europe, notwithstanding the huge success of the German economy since the Second World War. Germany's higher recent unemployment rate - and recession - can be directly attributed to the dampening effects of its re-integration of 20m people from the former East Germany during the 1990s and to a growing rate of home ownership since the end of the 1980s (ditto in France and Japan: in the Japan of the late-1980s the move towards increased home ownership became so crippling that many people took out 50+ year multi-generational mortgages, condemning not just their children, but even their grand-children to an oppressive future of crippling debt and immobility).

The unemployment figures in that table are totally unreliable (and from the CIA Handbook to boot!), as every country makes radically different assumptions about what constitutes 'unemployment.' For instance, Britain's figures exclude the 2.6m on disability benefit, and those who take 'early retirement' (eg the cop or teacher who retires in their forties for whatever work-related reasons) and those who choose to struggle on entirely outside the welfare system, while other countries practically include anyone who isn't in a 9-5 job ...

gek-opel
16-10-2007, 06:42 PM
A few quick points:

Static (and unreliable) statistics tell us nothing about either economic dynamics or the historical trajectory of such economic indicators. The fact is that during the entire post-WWII economic booms in Germany and France, the rate of home ownership declined (the point I was also making about Ireland throughout the 1990s) ie. home ownership moves in inverse proportion to the strength of an economy. Japan is another classic example, home ownership increasing during its recession, as is present-day China, home ownership declining during its present boom So, for instance, during the post-war years, home ownership in Germany was the lowest in Europe, notwithstanding the huge success of the German economy since the Second World War. Germany's higher recent unemployment rate - and recession - can be directly attributed to the dampening effects of its re-integration of 20m people from the former East Germany during the 1990s and to a growing rate of home ownership since the end of the 1980s (ditto in France and Japan: in the Japan of the late-1980s the move towards increased home ownership became so crippling that many people took out 50+ year multi-generational mortgages, condemning not just their children, but even their grand-children to an oppressive future of crippling debt and immobility).

The unemployment figures in that table are totally unreliable (and from the CIA Handbook to boot!), as every country makes radically different assumptions about what constitutes 'unemployment.' For instance, Britain's figures exclude the 2.6m on disability benefit, and those who take 'early retirement' (eg the cop or teacher who retires in their forties for whatever work-related reasons) and those who choose to struggle on entirely outside the welfare system, while other countries practically include anyone who isn't in a 9-5 job ...

Ok- forgive me for asking a dumb question: but does this mean that necessarily home-ownership is the key to all this? Or could there be some other factor lying behind the interrelation? The mere fact that they are correlates does not mean that one necessarily causes the other (Also: could we not say that increasing unemployment and a declining economy within a society might lead people to seek some kind of [false] psychological security in owning a home...?)

hundredmillionlifetimes
16-10-2007, 11:26 PM
Ok- forgive me for asking a dumb question: but does this mean that necessarily home-ownership is the key to all this? Or could there be some other factor lying behind the interrelation? The mere fact that they are correlates does not mean that one necessarily causes the other (Also: could we not say that increasing unemployment and a declining economy within a society might lead people to seek some kind of [false] psychological security in owning a home...?)

Absolutely right. It is always a (reductivist) mistake to conflate the coincidental with the causal (which is probably the principal reason why so much conventional mainstream neo-classical economics is so hopelessly redundant). Such trends are just associational and correlational - and from a perspective of radical immanence, occuring withing a nexus of necessity. To overdetermine the relation between home ownership and economic growth would be positively disasterous (ie simply abolish all home ownership and, ipso presto, a booming economy!!). There is a parallactic 'gap' between the micro and the macro (much [like the irreconcilability of, say, the (macro) theory of relativity and (micro) quantum theory, or the duality in psychoanalysis between the hermeneutics of the unconscious (producing symtoms to be interpreted) and the libidinal economy of the id (posited site of the unconscious)]: although the macro association between home ownership and an economy's strength is empirically evident, at the micro level this association breaks down, splintering into a much more complex and unpredictable multi-factorial phenomenon. So, for instance, in the US over the past two years there have been over 2m state-sanctioned, legally-enforced confiscations ('foreclosures') of peoples' homes by the unscrupulous corporate mortgage providers that helped to provoke the property crisis in the first place [but of course taxing the assets and homes of the wealthy dead is oh-so much more important, an unprecedented crisis!]. This has happened behind a background of increasing interest rates and unemployment, job-cuts, falling average incomes, which suggests that this might be a prelude to an imminent economic 'recovery' ...

Ok, forgive me for providing a dumb answer ... -:)

zhao
28-10-2007, 05:17 PM
Bono Moves to Holland to Avoid Taxes (http://www.firstliberties.com/bono_moves_to_holland.html)

gek-opel
29-10-2007, 12:44 PM
Bono Moves to Holland to Avoid Taxes (http://www.firstliberties.com/bono_moves_to_holland.html)

His cuntishness knows no boundaries or limits does it?

baboon2004
29-10-2007, 01:06 PM
His cuntishness knows no boundaries or limits does it?

Norton has gone up in my estimation now though. Which, admittedly, wasn't difficult.

gek-opel
29-11-2007, 05:45 PM
http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/joepublic/2007/11/the_notforprofit_business.html

A wanker speaks...

Gavin
29-11-2007, 07:00 PM
True accountability rests on authenticity of action and openness of purpose, as well as results. When the mass of discriminating consumers are also acting as donors by proxy, they'll demand to know where the money goes. And that's a powerful new tool of transparency.


:mad:

I read the whole report -- most is regurgitated AIDS statistics -- easily available from other sources. There's lots of nebulous acclaim -- the number of lives "touched" by (RED). Nowhere does it reveal the percentage of profits donated to the Global Fund, which would be something closer to transparency. Closer than "authenticity of action," whatever the fuck that means -- photo ops for models, spectacle concerts for corporate brands?

Ah, I see that Armani donates a whopping 40% of the profit margin from its (RED) brands to the global fund. What wholehearted, or at least almost half-hearted, generosity! Gap donates 50% of their (RED) profits. Sustainable development indeed! Hallmark donates a paltry 8%.

So much hilarity, I'd laugh if I weren't so angered -- "Converse is one of the most democratic brands in the world" -- what the fuck does that mean?

I see they have a (RED) store here in Chicago... might be worth doing some reconaissance!

hundredmillionlifetimes
30-11-2007, 09:02 PM
:mad:

I read the whole report -- most is regurgitated AIDS statistics -- easily available from other sources. There's lots of nebulous acclaim -- the number of lives "touched" by (RED). Nowhere does it reveal the percentage of profits donated to the Global Fund, which would be something closer to transparency. Closer than "authenticity of action," whatever the fuck that means -- photo ops for models, spectacle concerts for corporate brands?

Ah, I see that Armani donates a whopping 40% of the profit margin from its (RED) brands to the global fund. What wholehearted, or at least almost half-hearted, generosity! Gap donates 50% of their (RED) profits. Sustainable development indeed! Hallmark donates a paltry 8%.

So much hilarity, I'd laugh if I weren't so angered -- "Converse is one of the most democratic brands in the world" -- what the fuck does that mean?

I see they have a (RED) store here in Chicago... might be worth doing some reconaissance!

Yes. It reads - and looks - like any other product brochure, with 'consumer blackmail' brands to make you feel guilty for not consuming hard or 'responsibly' enough.

And Shriver, in his Guardian spin, can't help but fall over himself with contradictory babble, even in the same paragraph: "It is a not-for-profit business ...It's a unique, but simple business model: our partners' products take on the (PRODUCT) RED mark and donate up to 50% of the profit from the sale of these products directly to the Global Fund." A not-for-profit business based on a for-profit 'business model'? Indeed.

What's also disturbing here is the sudden unannounced, fundamental change in Product Red policy ('business model'): when Red was launched, it was announced that donations were to be based on fixed percentages of turnover on sales of Red brands; now they're implying that this was never the case, that donations are, and have always been, based on profits! As the profits for these multinationals, as with all MNCs, are calculated at their own discretion (based on intra-company transfer pricing practices**), the donations they choose to make to the Global Fund are no longer directly related to the consumer's purchases ie. power once again has moved from the consumer/charity-giver back to the multinational.

**Here's how it works: A multinational like Gap establishes a subsidiary in Africa (it has one in South Africa, for instance) to avail of cheap sweathouse labour, government subsidies, and tax-haven status. This subsidiary company then builds, buys, rents or subcontracts a factory that, among other things, manufactures Product Red Gap T-Shirts (designed in Ireland by Bono's self-appointed fashion-designer wife, Ali Hewson). The output is then 'sold' at hugely inflated 'prices' ( transfer prices) to Gap's sales & marketing subsidiary companies in Western countries, Britain, the US etc, a purely off-market intra-company transaction. By doing this Gap maximizes its tax-free profits at the African subsidiary, while then minimizing its taxable profits in Western countries, enabling the MNC to arbitrarily choose (with the help of 'creative accounting') what (deflated) profits to report on its Product Red sales. The narrative is the same for all other MNCs, from Apple to Armani.


[Naomi Klein, I see, has also joined the critique of Bobonoism: The Bono-ization of Activism (http://www.naomiklein.org/reviews/bono-ization-activism)]

crackerjack
05-11-2009, 04:23 PM
sweet, sweet freedom. just don't make the mistake of thinking it's free

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/music/article6904212.ece

vimothy
07-12-2009, 04:08 PM
Probably not the right thread for this (http://rortybomb.wordpress.com/2009/12/03/persistence-of-poverty-and-increasing-marginal-utility/), but whatever, it's a really interestingt idea:


Here’s the normal story. Picture you are in a room with 10 people. Each of them has a slice of cake. How much you are willing to pay for a slice of the cake is the ‘marginal utility’ of having it, and the more cake you have the less any more cake is worth to you. You’d be willing to pay a $1 for the first slice of cake, but you’d only be will to pay 90 cents for the second slice. You’d only be willing to pay 10 cents for the 9th slice, and a penny for the 10th slice. Eating the 10th slice of cake in that room would probably make you sick, hence you want it a lot less than the first slice, which is delicious. That’s declining marginal utility.

Now picture you are in a room with 10 people screaming. You hate it when people scream, and you can pay a person to get them to stop screaming. Would you pay in a similar way to the cake example? Would you pay a $1 to get the first person to stop screaming, and a penny for the 10th person to stop screaming?

No. Getting one person to stop screaming would make very little difference in how much you dislike being in the room. Modern psychology tells us you might not even notice it. You’d probably only pay a penny to get that first guy to stop screaming. However getting the second guy to stop screaming might be worth 10 cents. And the last guy, the difference between some screaming and no screaming, might be worth the full dollar to you. The more quiet it got, the more a marginal difference in how quiet it is would be worth to you. There’s increasing returns to this good; the 10th guy not screaming is worth more than the first guy not screaming, which is the exact opposite dynamic of the 10th cake being less delicious than the first.

For those not involved with economic theory this might just elicit a shrug, but this mechanism turns everything on its head. Let’s say that instead of money, you are given 20 tokens to be used over 4 days, and each token gets you one slice of cake in room #1, and one person to stop screaming in room #2. In the cake room, the optimal decision is to consumption smooth – eat five slices of cake each day, so you use the tokens {5,5,5,5}. In the screaming room, all the enjoyment is not in getting a room with half screaming but in getting a quiet room, and instead of consumption smoothing the optimal choice is to binge – pay 10 people to stop screaming the first two days, and deal with a loud room the last two days – {10,10,0,0}. This will hold even with ‘nudges’, say offering two extra tokens if you have people consumption smooth, since the marginal utility isn’t increasing that much. The utility of {10,10,0,0} is greater than that of {5,5,5,7}.

(And most interesting, instead of tokens, let’s say you could work an hour for 1 token or take 65 cents in leisure over a 5 hour day. In the cake room, you’d probably work 3 hours, and relax 2 hours, as around that time you’d have the marginal return from cake equally the marginal return from relaxing. In the screaming room, you probably wouldn’t work at all – it’s impossible enough to make enough to stop the screaming to the point where it is worthwhile to try. Hence the persistence of poverty.)

His other point is that many goods have both characteristics. Let’s say you have 5 children. In a large house, where each child has his or her own room, a child leaving the house to go out into the world gives you diminishing marginal utility. The first room turns into an entertainment center, the second into a hobby room, and the third just sits empty. But if you are in a cramped, small 2 bedroom place for all of you, the first child leaving might only make a slight bit a difference compared to the second child leaving. By the time the 5th child leaves the home, you get the most marginal enjoyment of having your small place less cramped. Karelis point is that this inflection point is where we should be thinking about poverty, because as the token example above mentions, normal policy mechanisms based on neoclassical microeconomic theory won’t necessarily hold.

Intellectual History

Karelis takes a moment to do some intellectual history digging and finds that the current economic obsession with decreasing marginal utility comes from Jeremy Bentham’s equating happiness with the absence of unhappiness. Bentham, and the Mills, thought of happiness as reciprocal to unhappiness, like the relationship between tall and short. So to increase happiness is the same exact thing as to decrease unhappiness. Maybe, maybe not. But the problem is that this relationship is carried over to the goods that effect happiness and unhappiness.

Bentham: “utility [is] that property in any object whereby it tends to produce…pleasure…or happiness..or (what comes to the same thing) to prevent the happening of mischief, pain, evil, or unhappiness.” Stanley Jevons cites that passage 80 years later when he lays the foundation of what Alfred Marshall will later use to create modern economics.

Bentham usually showed a more ambiguous approach, noting that there are often ranges of postive experiences and negative experiences that don’t necessarily net, but that ambiguity hasn’t transfered to the current theory where the marginal rate at which pleasers please is information on the rate at which relievers relief. And this approach, to see a cross-section within time and see that a baseline income can change incentives in a dramatic way, is a whole new dimension to think through. And one with very testable hypotheses.

vimothy
07-12-2009, 04:14 PM
Also, this useful analogy this was in the comments:


Yes, Karelis’ ideas are vitally important and have simply not gotten enough attention (because our neo-classical model really doesn’t work to take ideas of individual despair into account). This is almost exactly what we have found in working with homeless. Using the bee sting analogy, which I believe is by far the easiest to understand – if you get one bee sting you want to take care of it immediately, but if you get a hundred bee stings it really doesn’t make any difference to treat a single bee sting, you are stil in the same amount of difficulty. Now think about a homeles individual. He does not have a place to live, but because he doesn’t have a place to live he probably also doesn’t have a job, has very poor nutrition, has no health care, has emotional problems – as well as issues with dignity and a willingness to show yourself in public. If you find this person a job he still has all of the other problems, so while he will start off happy with the job it will slowly dissolve because of the othere issues, so job counseling or even providing a job really doesn’t do that much good. The deficit model of poverty that has dominated poverty research has been very, very destructive. But poverty research, just like health care, is an industry where people are not willing to give up perquisites even though it has not lead to any greater understanding of poverty.

Attelaawabe
12-12-2009, 10:52 PM
oh so if my friends go an lose a leg, they have to front the money to get a falsy? sounds like a great plan. or when my friends come back with "issues" they have to get their own treatment. effin bs. if i have to put my life on the line, i better reciever medical when shit does go down.

massrock
12-12-2009, 11:15 PM
What a great idea.

A script bot that takes random posts from one forum and sticks them in a random thread in another.

Sectionfive
19-03-2013, 04:40 PM
http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/03/19/factivism-and-other-fairytales-from-bono/


So what on earth is the Beshaded One talking about this time? Only the TED blurb (almost certainly penned by the man himself) can begin to do justice to Bono’s message: “Human beings have been campaigning against inequality and poverty for 3,000 years. But this journey is accelerating. Bono ‘embraces his inner nerd’ and shares inspiring data that shows the end of poverty is in sight… if we can harness the momentum.”

Bono, who is accelerating humanity toward the end of its long anti-poverty journey, allegedly loves data. He called his first lobbying organisation DATA (Debt Aids Trade Africa), and told the appreciative California audience that he’s a “factivist” who gets sexually aroused by numbers. But Bono’s “inner nerd” really needs to meet my outer skeptic, because in fact his optimistic message about the trajectory of poverty eradication, and the reasons for it, is a flimsy tissue of truths, half-truths and statistics, conveniently skewed to suggest that he and his Western partners in Africa (governments, corporations, foundations) have been doing a great job entirely.

sufi
16-10-2014, 05:43 PM
http://www.taxjustice.net/2014/10/15/bono-tax-haven-salesman-celtic-paper-tiger/
"a case study in hypocrisy", which won't particularly surprise or impress anyone here i expect,

owengriffiths
18-11-2014, 04:49 PM
“A lot of people are saying, ‘look at all the people in that room, a lot of wealthy people, if they all paid their taxes in the right way, we wouldn’t need these kind of fund-raising singles.’ What would you say to that?”

“I think they’re talking bollocks,” Geldof responds

http://www.theguardian.com/media/mediamonkeyblog/2014/nov/17/bob-geldof-cut-off-by-sky-news-for-saying-bollocks-twice

Mr. Tea
18-11-2014, 05:19 PM
In all fairness, taxes do not automatically equal foreign aid. The UK govt could spend far more on aid without increasing anyone's tax if it spent less on heinously inefficient PFI schemes, disastrous 'humanitarian' military interventions, MPs' expenses and god knows what else. Contrarily, it could tax multi-millionaires at 99% but that wouldn't do anyone in Africa any good if they spent it all on ivory back-scratchers. With the possible exception of ivory poachers, I guess.

Of course, crazy Marxist revolutionary types might suggest we could spend tax money more wisely *as well as* taxing huge corporations and very wealthy individuals a bit more. Or at all, in many cases.

Leo
18-11-2014, 07:00 PM
Tough week for Bono. First, the door on his private jet blew off in mid-air and his luggage went flying out, then he got in a bike accident this weekend in Central Park and broke his shoulder. Of course, his shoulder was already considerably weakened from bearing the weight of the world for so many years.

RE: the luggage, Stephen Colbert reported "His bags fell out of his private plane and after three days of intense searching, Bono still hasn't found what he's looking for."

sufi
12-10-2016, 04:59 PM
"Dear Bongo,
I don't know who you are or what you want from me but don't call me again." Capt. Beefheart to Bono, regarding a collaboration, allegedly

firefinga
29-07-2017, 02:57 PM
I remember reading somewhere that U2 had a new album in the making in 2016, but got so disturbed by Brexit and Trump they had to stop working on it.

Brexit and Trump are good for something after all :D