Daily Archives: 7.2.2005

Hypocrites in Action

Seriously, it’s stuff like this that makes me so skeptical about the human species… Is altruism dead?

Live 8 Philly performers get freebies

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA – The performers at the Live 8 show in Philadelphia are getting thousands of dollars in gifts. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that celebrities at the event will be given designer suits, satellite radio subscriptions, Gibson guitars, $125 ties, $330 sweat suits and watches worth between $1,500 and $6,000. Total worth: $12,000.

The products were donated by manufacturers. Giving celebrities gift bags is common for award shows like the Grammys or the Oscars. Loyola Marymount University business and ethics professor Thomas White says it’s not unethical, but it is a gray zone.

The celebrities will also eat gourmet food catered by one of Philadelphia’s top restaurant owners, who is donating his services. The menu includes char-grilled dry aged beef, tea-smoked spare ribs and chicken and ginger dumplings.

Disgusting.

This was in Philly. Imagine the luxurious gifts being lavished on the performers in Europe and elsewhere around the globe.

Perhaps the proper gesture by the entertainers – and the manufacturers – was to take the monetary value of the gifts and donate it to feeding the hungry and buying the medications to help the sick – and prevent further illness. I would imagine that $12,000 would go a long way to fulfilling this quest quite nicely.

hyp·o·crite
n.

One who puts on a mask and feigns himself to be what he is not; a dissembler in
religion.

Today’s Live 8 series of pop music concerts is being broadcast from nine cities around the world in advance of next week’s G8 meeting in Scotland where presidents/leaders of the largest industrialized nations will meet for a three-day summit.

The crowds are certainly swaying to the beat, cheering, waving and shouting at each venue – from Philadelphia to London to Paris to Johannesburg to Rome to Berlin to Tokyo to Moscow and, lest I forget, Canada. While they’ve come together to listen to music, it also appears that the artists are beating home a united message: They want the leaders of the world’s richest countries to work toward eradicating African poverty.

In the first Live Aid concert 20 years ago, Bob Geldof urged the worldwide audience to send cash for Africa aid. This time, the music artists are using their celebrity to urge citizens to encourage world leaders to assist Africa.

Perhaps it’s the pessimist in me, but I can’t help but think that the egos, er, artists are using this event to make themselves feel more important than they really are. While I shouldn’t question a stranger’s motives as being “real” or “put on”, the fact is that I don’t think I’d buy a car from half of them. Too many of them seem to be bandwagon jumpers who will return to their lives of opulence and excess after the final hors d’oeuvres have been consumed and champagne swilled.

I won’t lie, it’s Madonna’s showing the true altruistic, benevolent, peaceful, world-inspiring spirit of Live 8 that’s tainted me on this beautiful Saturday… Flipping off is SO 1980’s….

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