Jun 18

I suppose I’m just going to have to come out and say it right from the start: I really don’t like Bob Geldof. I appreciate that the man is trying to do good things for the people of Africa. I support the idea of reducing, or just cancelling outright, the African debt to the modern industrialised nations. I believe that celebrities have their part to play, just like everyone else, in making the world a better and more just place. So just so I’m clear, I don’t have a problem with the man’s aims or his chosen crusade. I just have a problem with him.

Well, I say “a problem”, when I really mean to say many problems. They range from serious to petty, large to small. You should know in advance that I’m pretty much going to come off in the “arsehole” side of things at one point in this post so I’d skip this one if you want to retain a largely positive picture of me in your minds.

First off, why does he always look like he has just a) smelled a week old kipper, b) lost a tenner and found a fiver, c) just been rochambeau‘d or d) all of the above? (this falls into the petty column I admit).

Bob, we get that there is great injustice in the world. We get that there is a tremendous (and unfair) gap between the developed and developing sections of the world. We get that we need to do something to fix it, and we even get that it’s on our consciences to do so. We even understand that now is the best time to get it done. However, you won’t cause the whole universe to fall into a black hole if you crack your face and actually smile a bit. Try it, I assure you, your mouth does have the ability to move upwards like that.

Secondly, just who does he think he is telling children to skip school, and people to leave their jobs, to join him on a walk to Edinburgh and protest on the world poverty issue to affect the outcome of the G8 conference? He wants a million people to converge on Edinburgh, with no thought of the fact that people might get hurt, the city might not be able to handle an influx of a million people or, first and foremost, it’s just not a good idea to encourage kids to skip school. Here was me thinking that kids going to school was a good thing, thank all the heavens I have Bob Geldof to set me straight on that one.

Thirdly, there is the eBay thing. People selling tickets to a charity concert on eBay is the lowest of the low, I agree. Such people should go, to quote from Firefly, to the special level of hell reserved for people who talk in movie theatres. However, eBay said it did not break the law to do so. It did not break eBay’s rules. It might be morally repugnant but it did not break the law. However Saint Bob didn’t like it and whipped up such a media storm that eBay climbed down (a serious issue as far as I am concerned: once you start breaking your own rules, what’s the point?) and removed the tickets from their listing. Old Bob also told people, before eBay took the tickets off their listings, to swamp the auctions and place unrealistic bids of millions of pounds. After they took them down, eBay banned the users that did this because they broke the rules by bidding with no intention of paying. Nice one Bob. I have to say though, I’m glad to see I’m not the only one that has a problem with this one.

Fourth, I am sick and tired of the sanctimonious tone being taken by this man. I’m a good person. I’ll give money to good causes. I care about the reduction of African debt and will give to charities that help to solve the serious social, political and economic problems faced by the developing world. What I have a problem with, though, is being sneered at by a very rich man who is enjoying a hugely raised public profile because of the charity concert he is organising. A concert which will, by the way, tremendously boost the record sales of every artist that appears at it (many of which are Saint Bob’s friends).

I’ll be honest and say that I don’t think anyone in Africa could honestly give a rat’s ass if Elton John is singing at the concert. I don’t think they care if Bob Geldof is organising it. I really don’t think they would even care if the centrepiece of the show was Santa Claus making a personal appearance and signing autographs. They’re too busy trying to stay alive in a very harsh world.

So what am I trying to say about ‘ol Bob? Do good things. Help others. Alleviate suffering. Raise issues and enrich public debate. Try to make a difference. Just don’t use all these good causes as a springboard for your own personal publicity campaign, and don’t try to set yourself up as the ultimate moral authority on just about everything.

And smile from time to time.

Here endeth the first ever SaWFfMoM newsletter. Next month, more waving of fists at the world from crazy old mister FawnDoo.

(with all that in mind, I am afraid that I have to break the tone of this first ever SaWFfMoM newsletter with some excellent news. Woo hoo!)

8 Responses to “Monthly newsletter: inaugural edition”

  1. averagejoe Says:

    And there’s also the possibility that he drove Michael Hutchence to suicide…but I suppose that’s a tenuous issue at best.

  2. Lorna Says:

    At last it can be said, and you said it. You would think all that $$$ could attract some grooming. I’m of two minds on this whole celebrity money-raising, expecially when it comes to a world-wide crisis like AIDS, but most of us are so celebrity-stricken that we are influenced, and the end result is good. On the other hand, I’ve never been one to think that the end justifies the means. Damn, when I clicked on your site, I just wanted a giggle…..

  3. TheWriteJerry Says:

    “I support the idea of reducing, or just cancelling outright, the African debt to the modern industrialised nations.”

    Would somebody please cancel out my debt?

  4. FawnDoo Says:

    Certainly Jerry, let me know how much you owe the modern industrialised nations and I’ll pop along to Gleneagles and see if the G8 mob can cut you a cheque! :-)

  5. FawnDoo Says:

    Lorna thank you for also seeing the fact that Geldof could be doing with a comb, a razor and maybe a little bit of a haircut! Costs nothing Bob, we promise, and you might even manage to NOT look like a Merlin after a heavy night on the mead.

    Sorry if you just wanted a giggle Lorna, I didn’t mean to bring you down…hope I can make you giggle again at some point soon (even if it’s just giggling at me). ;-)

  6. TheWriteJerry Says:

    Let’s call it an even $20,000 (U.S.)

    Wow, I didn’t realize it would be this easy!

  7. FawnDoo Says:

    Jerry, spoke to Gordon and Tony, they said they would see what they can do. :-D

  8. averagejoe Says:

    oh, hey, cancel my debt too while you’re at it!!!

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