The fact that the Live 8 concerts overshadowed the G8 conference underscores the real problem with extreme poverty in the world; It’s hard to get people to care. Twenty years ago when Live Aid and USA for Africa’s “We are the World” album raised millions of dollars for African relief dozens of imitators were born. The celebrity concert for charity model was extremely effective until the general public realized the problem didnt go away. Africa’s problem is the rest of the worlds’ indifference to its struggle. An indifference that turns to mild awareness when theres a concert to go to. The struggle is as much about pessimism as it is about poverty. There is no shortage of causes out there and no shortage of colored plastic bangles for supporters to buy, incidentally the Live 8 organizers have chosen to sell white bangles at 2 a pop.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve got nothing against Bob Geldof. He is doing what he knows how to do. Yet it must be noted that his ability to produce star studded concert has little effect on what the leaders of the world will eventually do. What would be a supreme achievement is to get the millions of people who saw the Live 8 concerts to care enough to hold their leaders accountable. Based on results we’ll probably be right back here in 2025. And millions of 20 year olds who don’t remember Live Aid or Live 8 will be on their way to another concert.