Watching ‘Live 8’

I have to admit, I hadn’t heard of until Brian told me he was getting a backstage pass to blog it on Saturday in Philadelphia, but it looks pretty cool! (You know it’s a big deal when Pink Floyd reunites for it!)

Unfortunately, the Live 8 website sucks (a. it has no useful info, and b. it keeps crashing my browser) but here’s some info about the concerts and the cause (“make poverty history” – cinch!). The Philly line-up seems to have missed out on most of the talent, especially the African performers that are at most other events, but at least they got Stevie Wonder! (The concert in Rome has both Duran Duran and Tim McGraw.)

There have been a lot of valid critiques of Live 8, but it’s still interesting to see the incredible integration of blogs and mobile media into the event. Technorati has all kinds of special stuff set up for it like tags for each location, a Treo-specialized page, and contact information for G8 officials. Even the BBC has a bunch of special mobile features like a Live 8 blog and a site for mobile phones.

With all this activity swirling around, it’s easy to forget what this is all about. Celebrities getting good PR. Er, I mean pressuring the powerful “first world” global cabal known as the G8 to forgive the debt that has allowed rich nations to cash in on developing nations without helping them get ahead.

” This is without doubt a moment in history where ordinary people can grasp the chance to achieve something truly monumental and demand from the 8 world leaders at G8 an end to poverty.

The G8 leaders have it within their power to alter history. They will only have the will to do so if tens of thousands of people show them that enough is enough.

By doubling aid, fully cancelling debt, and delivering trade justice for Africa, the G8 could change the future for millions of men, women and children.”
– Bob Geldof

Brian has been blogging some interesting thoughts about this and linking to others, such as a collection of “African and Afrophile voices discussing Live 8… critical and skeptical voices as well as supportive and optimistic ones.” Check it out at AudioActivism.org.

3 thoughts on “Watching ‘Live 8’

  1. To bad Pink Floyd isn’t in Philly! Is Roger Waters involved? His presence is the only reason a reunion would be happening…

    On another note… someone mentioned on Democracy Now! the other day that forgiving debt is well and good but it allows big business and wealthy government to start the debt process all over again. Plus last night a friend mentioned the book ‘The Confessions of a Economic Hit Man’. Sad stuff I’ll blog about later.

  2. I spoke to Brian this afternoon, and it turns out the “backstage pass” was really more of a “front row seat.” Lame! Nice bait-and-switch, Trippi!

    It sounds like Brian had a great time in Philly, but he wasn’t going for the music. Once he found out he didn’t have access to anything but the concert, he headed back home. I don’t blame him for not staying to watch Will Smith and Bon Jovi rock out, you know?

  3. Big problem with forgiving the debt is that a lot of it is from loans irresponsibly made by US banks to dictators. While I certainly don’t think the Ugandan people should be paying off Idi Amin’s gold-plated bidet, I don’t see why the US or world banks should get rewarded for their reckless behavior. They should eat the debt especially when you consider that for every gold-plated bidet there were thousands of weapons used to sow death and mayham.

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