Sunday, June 10, 2007

Bono Update

I made fun of how Bill Clinton played to his audience of college kids by equating Bono with Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King Jr. This news is a few days old, but I'm very glad to see that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper doesn't buy the hype.

The man attacking Harper in that article is Bob Geldof. You may remember him from the spectacularly successful Live Aid concert, which revitalized the African continent. As Geldof so astutely realized, the only thing holding back Africa's tremendous potential was a few unbalanced checkbooks - a situation he and his followers corrected with a graceful ease. Who could have known that sending a few million dollars to Africa's rulers would lead to such a sudden and miraculous turnaround? Today, of course, the nations Geldof helped are infinitely better off, living in peace and prosperity, outpacing much of Europe in rates of productivity and growth. Proving the cynics and skeptics wrong, a few million phone calls and a great big rock concert really were enough to change the face of a continent - indeed, of the world. Oh, wait.

You know, I probably shouldn't criticize Geldof too harshly. Compared to the hundreds of millions of African deaths caused by other mindless liberal fashion trends, Live Aid's relatively minor death toll may in fact be cause for celebration.

p.s. there is one huge factual error in that article about Geldof I linked to, so glaring that I am amazed that nobody at the Guardian caught it before publication. As every Harvard student knows, the Ukrainian famine was not a direct result of Stalinist policy, but a bad break in a tough year. I mean, duh.

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