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Thread: Make BoBono History: Confronting the Geldof-Bono Obsenity

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    Default Make BoBono History: Confronting the Geldof-Bono Obscenity

    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


    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 [in pick your favourite currency]) and Bono/Paul Hewson (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 naÔve 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

    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.
    --------------------------
    Last edited by Padraig; 13-01-2006 at 06:54 PM.

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    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.

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    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?

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    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.

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    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.

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    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. 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
    Last edited by Padraig; 15-01-2006 at 08:18 PM.

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    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."

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    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 ] ...

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    Default 'i don't like geldof'

    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!

    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.

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    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by jenks
    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.

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    where the geeks have red shades

    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." (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?

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    Default First Draft!

    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 youíre 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!)

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