Band Aid 30? Do Better Bob.

I haven't spoken about anything current that isn't fashion in a really long time. I mean I like clothes and stuff, but they aren't everything. To prove how they're not everything, I'm writing this one naked on the toilet. Toilets should be the writing HQ of the world. Say you're at work and you're taking 5 so that you can conclude a thought piece about the social significance of Kim Kardashian's arse, the moment that you reveal that you're in the middle of a particularly violent session you'll have bought yourself thirty minutes of peace. I'm also listening to Britney Spears, but that's entirely by the way, because this one isn't about Britney Spears, it's about Bob Geldof and what a nasty little shit he is. I'm not sure that it's particularly mature of me to call him a nasty little shit, but after I heard that Band Aid 30 song that's exactly how I felt.

I think I've lost myself, and if I'm lost, then you're lost too right. I must set the scene. There's this very very famous has been called Bobby Geldof. He's quite a nice man. I haven't met him personally but I quite like one Christmas song he wrote called Band Aid 20. By quite like the song, I mean I like the end of the song because it goes,

Feed the world. Let them know it's Christmas time.
Feed the world. Let them know it's Christmas time. 

I like those lines because they aren't terribly specific. And let's face it, feeding the world, not just Africa but the whole entire world is a lovely sentiment. So, Yay Bob! Well done Bob! I like those three lines so much that I forget about the rest of the song is questionable. 

I'll walk you through it. 

It's Christmastime, there's no need to be afraid.

 Lies. Christmas is a scary time of year. I don't just mean from the Nigerian perspective, it's a global fact that everything is a little bit more dangerous at Christmas. Drinking goes up, Stalking goes up, Burglars get apprentices, Armed Robbers pick up side gigs as kidnappers, fraudsters become just as common as shoppers, etc. So there's every need to be afraid. Christmas is not for the faint of heart. Christmas is only good in the places where Christmas is not celebrated. 

At Christmastime, we let in light and we banish shade.
This too is relative. In my house in Lagos, Nigeria, I will be letting in light. In my friend Ogilvey's house in Gloucester, it's going to be dark by 4 in the afternoon. What is darkness but moon shade eh?

And in our world of plenty we can spread a smile of joy
Throw your arms around the world at Christmastime.  
Delightful. Delightful. I'll grip the globe as hard as I can. Hugs for everyone. 

But say a prayer, Pray for the other ones
At Christmastime it's hard, but when you're having fun
There's a world outside your window
And it's a world of dread and fear
Who are the other ones and how are they any different from me and you? Now dude, you're contradicting yourself. If there's no need to be afraid why are you telling me that there's a world of dread and fear outside my window? Thankfully, I already knew this.

When the only water flowing
Is the bitter sting of tears

This is confusing, because I don't know where he's talking about. I'll assume that he's referring to aliens now, because on Earth, there's always water flowing. And even i water wasn't flowing, I don't think it's possible to cry when you're dehydrated. 

And the christmas Bells that ring there, are the clanging chimes of doom
Well tonight thank God it's them instead of you

Wait so I'm supposed to be thanking God for another man's misery? What kind of a Christian/Muslim/Religious person are you? 

And there won't be snow in Africa this Christmastime
Thank God for that! Since when is snow a good thing? Ask the homeless man outside your window, Snow = Hypothermia and Frost Bite. Have you ever tried to dress up like a slutty clown when it's snowing?It's not the nicest thing. It's shitloads of nipple erectus and I can't feel my treasure trail. 

The greatest gift they'll get there is life.
Again with the here there thing. But it doesn't matter. Life is brilliant wherever you are. MOre life for everyone!

Where nothing ever grows,
No rain or rivers flow.
Hold on! I think I'm gerring it. Dude's talking about Africa! Are you trying to say that in 2010, there was no rain... that no rivers flowed, and nothing grew? Dude you are wrong for that. Did you not have one cup of Kenyan/Ethiopian coffee in 2010 Bob? You know coffee is a plant right? It isn't the biproduct of African Volcanic ash you know.

Do they know it's Christmastime at all? 
This is a tough one but I think so. Almost everyone has a calendar now. 

Here's to you?
Raise a glass for everyone
Spare a thought this yuletide for the deprived
If the table was turned would you survive

Very good questions I think. But you need not look too far. There's a suicidal brother not too far from you. All you have to do is give a couple of thousands to Samaritans, so that they can afford a new campaign, that way, when suicidal bruv is about to off himself he'll remember to send an email to, and they'll do everything they can to talk bruv out of it. 

Here's to them
Underneath that burning sun

Isn't this why you holiday in Egypt and Gambia in Christmas? The Burning sun can be a good thing man! All you need is some air conditioning and you'll be A Ok. 

You ain't gotta feel guilt just selfless
Give a little help to the helpless.

We've been through this already. There are helpless people everywhere. Stop implying that Africa's the hoe of helpless people. I don't even feel fine calling Africa Africa. Africa isn't a country and stuff.

DO they know it's Christmas time at all?
It's starting to get a little bit repetitive now. :(

That was in 2010. I thought we were done with all of that patronising, us them, here there, stuff, but apparently I was wrong. Ebola, presented good old Bob with the opportunity to gift us with a threepeat and he jumped at it. He gave us Band aid 30, aka Band aid 3.0. It's almost identical to the one that came before it, in that it's got a lot of the same lines, so you can infer that the here - there, us - them, thing remains.

It's all the same until you get to,

There's a world outside your window, and it's a world of dread and fear.

After that it's genius.

Where a kiss of love can kill you,
 I know Ebola's spread through bodily fluids and saliva's one of them, but what of the flu? Isn't the flu a far bigger deal than Ebola? Don't 49,000 people in the U.S.A die from the flu? But thanks for letting us know. Angelique Kidjo sang this line, and in the song, I guess she's the token African person. She's your standard on offensiveness. You're thinking, if she's fine with it, the they're all going to be fine with it. No. I can't speak for that many people, but I'm not cool with it. That's how if I make it out of Lagos for Christmas and end up at a nice New Years Party the girls will be unwilling to pull me because, I'm black, and West African. It isn't fair. 

And there's death in every tear,
I suppose there's death in a lot of tears. When my dog died, there was death in my tears right? 

And the Christmas bells that ring there are the clanging chimes of doom.
The truth of it is, the only bells that ring here are the bells that that they ring in schools. Period. The bells that tell students to move from point A to B and rendevous at point C. I'll be the first to tell you that I have never heard a bell that isn't a clanging chime of doom. Ebola didn't do this to me. This is why my parents are saying, "Go back to school!" and I'm saying "Too many deadlines. Too many bells saying start and stop. I want to be free." Mama Afam's going to confront me about this later. I'll stand at the ready. 

Well tonight we're reaching out and touching you.
 I don't get this one at all. Don't reach out and touch me please. You might have ebola. Isn't this the whole premise of the song? It's made clear in a couple of lines. 

Bring Peace and joy this christmas to West Africa.
Even though this line is nice sounding I don't like it. I hate it because it's the sort of patronising empathetic bullshit that doesn't actually help you. It's just so vague! What do you mean by Peace and joy? And where in West Africa are you talking about, because some other idiot is going to hear this song and think that all of West Africa's affected, so when one Edward from Ghana goes on holiday, he will be forced to have the following conversation over and over again...

Enter Edward and foreigners

Foreigners: Where are you from?

Edward: Ghana.

Foreigners: That's in West Africa right?

Edward: Yes. 

Foreigners: How are they dealing with the Ebola outbreak there. 

Edward: There's never been an Ebola case in Ghana...

Foreigners: Really? I'm quite sure that there was. It was all over the news a couple of years ago.

Edward: That was mostly Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. There was a bit in Nigeria, a bit in Senegal and a bit in Mali, but never Ghana. 

Why is comfort to be feared, why is to touch to be scared

This line made me mad. Not only is it a shit line, but it's also sang by Sinead O'Connor who's contorting her face like she's having some sort of fit. When you ask her she'll say that she was so moved by the plight of the affected that she lost all control of her facial features, and that what we saw there on the video was genuine emotion. But we know better. She was standing above a latrine and was suffering from a severe bout of constipation.  

How can they know it's christmas time at all.

The song means well. It's seeking to raise money for a decent cause, but the manner in which it does so is inappropriate. You shouldn't have to reduce a few countries to scenes from the worst horror movie imaginable just so you can raise a few thousand quid. Charity shouldn't have to be about the direness of the situation, it should be about the hope that exists there. They'll say that as long as it raises the money needed to by extra beds, and hazmat suits in Sierra Leone everything's good, but what about when the crisis is over. What will you do when there's a stigma against the people you were meant to be helping because you wrote lyrics like,

Why is comfort to be feared, why is to touch to be scared?

and How can they know it's Christmas time at all?

And I'm not being pedantic. All of this rubbish is only contributing to the view on Africa that already exists. So help us, but don't do it at the expense of our dignity. I won't ask a man in need to tell me that he's a poor leper of an idiot, before I give him a dollar. This song does something similar. It has Bono, and Bobby screaming, these guys are poor useless baggers who don't know when Christmas is or what Christmas means in 2014, and as if that weren't bad enough they're living in fear because there's this virus that renders them incapable of comforting or loving one another, so let's step in and give them all of our good good loving because they're too daft to do any of it themselves. It helps your saviour complex, but it doesn't do the people you're supposed to be saving any good in the long run. If you want to help, don't buy that wack ass single, donate to Doctors without borders. You'll do just as much good without spreading the foul message that the song is.

No comments:

About Us