Why I Didn’t Go To Live 8

5 07 2005

I didn’t go to Live 8 this past weekend. I didn’t watch it on television. To me, it was pathetic. Their purpose, at it’s heart, was good. But good intentions only pave the highway to hell. Or in this case, poverty and AIDS in Africa.

I’ll be honest. I was wary and suspicious from the very beginning about all these millionaires getting together. When I heard it was for a charitable cause, I was interested. But then I began to think about it and began to read about it just a little bit more. This concert was not to raise money for starving children in Africa. It was not put on to save the lives of countless people in Africa who have AIDS. There are 24.5 million people in the sub-Saharan world that have this disease. But this gradiose concert bash was not about finding a cure for that disease or for developing ways to prevent the spread of the disease. No, this concert was meant to spur me and you to write letters to our legislators and ask them to send money to Africa. The United States already sends $4.3 billion dollars to Africa. That’s right. In 2004, the USA sent $4.3 billion dollars to Africa. But Paul McCartney wants you to send more.

Germany has already rejected doubling their aid to Africa but the United States is already pledging to double their aid by 2010. The United States and Europe are both subsidizing African crops as well. It’s truly ridiculous that all this money, aid, and food that is sent there is not making a difference. But we continue to send more. Why? Why do we continue to throw money at something that is not working?

It would not be right to forget about Africa and hope that they somehow figure out a way to stop the epidemic of AIDS and to also grow enough food for themselves to eat. No, as a nation of plenty and of excess, we should look to assist those in need. However, just dumping billions of dollars on their doorstep and looking the other way while this money pays bribes, funds unplanned projects, and corrupts the government structure shows even less compassion. It’s time we were wise with the way we dole out our aid.

Africa should be looking to increase its world exports and decrease its dependence on foreign nations. The individual nation and the continent as a whole will never thrive if the cord is not cut. Each African must find that desire. But there are daunting problems with civil war, AIDS, disease, and famine. But to these problems, there are solutions. To curb AIDS, Africans must stop having sex with more than one person. That’s all. Abstinence until monogamous marriage. That will stop the spread of AIDS. Next, stop killing each other. Find civilized ways of resolving problems instead of declaring genocide on an entire group of people. Finally, spend the time that was previously spent on having unprotected sex with mulitple partners and killing other Africans on improving the infrastructure and growing food.

For some reason, they haven’t figured out this simple plan to success. Apparently, billions of dollars of foreign aid didn’t lead them to this solution either. Perhaps it’s time that the aid went elsewhere or is distributed in a different fashion by those who think my outlined plan is a highway to freedom. Orgainizations like World Relief think like this. So instead of writing a letter to my Senator, I think I’ll just write a check to World Relief or an organization like them. And then I’ll hope that Snoop Dogg will go back to making music that I don’t listen to like “Let’s Get Blown” from his latest release. The lyrics go something like this:

I’ve been looking at you, from the corner of my eyes
Checking out your hips, lips, tits and your thighs
I’ve been wanting to do you, for a mighty long time
You make a pimp wanna sing I – I – I
We’ll head to the hills, your dreams I’ll fulfill
We could do it how you want, cause I’m oh so real
Tell me you, naw I won’t squeal
You wit Da Big Bo$$ Dogg so seal the deal
Pharrell got the Babyface and Snoop got the Whip Appeal, so name the place
This love I bring to you, on the real baby girl
Won’t you do me a favor and sing for Snoop

You know you want some more girl, so come on
Let’s get blown.. let’s get blown..

Yes, I’m glad that he’s trying interested in foreign policy. But somehow, I don’t think he’s going to get the job done for Africa or “seal the deal”.


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7 responses

5 07 2005
Elven Queen

Wow, maybe all this would be easier if other countries hadn’t come in and cut Africa up and forced ancient enemy tribes to share the same land. It would also be easier if the #1 transmision method wasn’t from mother to child or if they would believe something other than having sex with a virgin will cure them or that it is necesary to rape your enemies wife to shame them.

5 07 2005
Neil

well – i do agree that dumping money won’t solve anything – but can’t say i agree with much else.

also – if the point of the festival was “raising awareness” (instead of money, like they had at the previous Live Aid concert) – and now – after thinking about the concert – you’ve decided (perhaps) to give money – didn’t they accomplish their mission?

It’s also kind of silly to pick on Snoop. So what if he makes fun party music (and not really the awesome music he used to make)? He wasn’t up there claiming to be an expert on foreign policy – he was there to attract people to a venue where they’d inevitably learn more about the situation in Africa.

5 07 2005
Paul

Jaime, I agree mostly. Foreign aid sucks. Aids also sucks. I don’t think it reasonable to teach any men abstinence though. Unless you have moral qualms with permiscuous or non-marital sex it’s pretty unreasonable. It’s like teaching fat Americans not to eat or teaching Brits not to smoke. As far as Live 8, I think all those millionaires could probably pool their money together and get rid of the debt of an African country themselves. Somehow I doubt Snoop Dogg is dropping millions like its hott on Africa Aids relief, but I don’t really know his bank account so I can’t make that judgment. Live 8 seems a little too trendy and cool for me although I wholeheartedly want to end starvation and the aids epidemic in Africa.

6 07 2005
JD

Elven Queen, that’s why someone needs to go there and teach them to do things a different way.

Neil, I don’t think they did accomplish their mission. I give money to organizations in Central America, not Africa. And I don’t think my awareness of the African problem was raised. Was yours?

Pablo, fat Americans and cancerous Brits should be seeing the problems their lifestyles are leading too. But you are correct in saying that all those millionaires could be putting a dent in the problem.

6 07 2005
Neil

Part of their stated mission is “raising awareness” and causing people to give – you posted that you’ll write a check to World Relief (an organization that helps out in Africa), instead of writing your Senator – so isn’t that them, accomplishing part of their mission?

Also – Live 8 is campaigning to increase funds for “people to go there and teach them to do things a different way” – so your criticism of Elven Queen really doesn’t make any sense. But what are you suggesting that people go in there and teach them? Not to have children so that they won’t get AIDS? If that is the top way that AIDS is transmitted, African countries certainly need the help of countries with advanced technology, who can try to find a cure for AIDS or at least a way to stop its rampant transmission.

6 07 2005
JD

Neil, we need to find ways to prevent those mothers from getting AIDS. That is what needs to happen. I don’t think we’re going to find a cure for AIDS. It’s pessimistic, but that’s my opinion. However, I think we can find ways to reduce its impact.

There was an interesting article today in San Franscisco Chronicle about the correlation between circumcision and the spread of AIDS. They didn’t complete the study because of the overwhelming favoribility towards the circumcised men. Now when I read this article, I was led to believe it was circumcision that is preventing AIDS. I see a direct correlation between religion and circumcision and also religion and AIDS. I am led to believe that those who are circumcised are of Judeo-Christian faith and thus have a ethical problem with the commonplace reasons for the spread of AIDS, namely extracurricular sex. Even back in 1988, there was a Newsday article that said Africans were unwilling to radically alter their lifestyles and this was contributing to the spread of AIDS. The article stated that 50% of Africans would not even use a condom if they were going to have sex with someone that was infected! I can’t believe that they would even have sex with someone who was infected. It sounds to be that they are either very misinformed about the disease or they have some sort of death wish.

Perhaps they should be told that they should not have children if they are HIV postive. Their children are then very, very likely to be HIV postive unless antiretroviral drugs are taken during pregnancy, a C-Section is the method of birth, and antiretroviral drugs are given to the baby after birth. Even then, the baby has a 50% chance of developing the virus.

I still say that a worldview change is needed. Men are given to promiscuity and women are taught to be subjective to men and are unable to negotiate for safe sex. In America, homosexual intercourse and intravenous drug use are the leading causes for the spread of AIDS, but in Africa the cause, according to the Christian Science Monitor, is the refusal of Afican males to abstain, be faithful, or to use a condom. Again, they also cite that women are not able to demand the use of a condom.

What it really comes down to is that the rampant transmission of AIDS will not be stopped in Africa until Africans stop transmitting the disease by their own free will.

11 07 2005
JD


This story
is another interesting one the African problem.

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