Monday, December 22, 2008

Has Christmas come down to this?

24 years ago, Bob Geldof and Midge Ure wrote a song called 'Do they Know it's Christmas'. They got together a whole crowd of friends (calling themselves collectively Band Aid) from the British pop scene to make a record and a video to raise money for famine in Ethiopia.

It succeeded, it was a massive hit, lots of money was raised and the project went on to inspire many more charity events and music releases.

This year, some thoughtless idiot at the BBC has taken the song and used it for the trailer for a comedy show. It has made me furious every time the trailer has been shown for the last two weeks.

I have no idea if the royalties are still going to charity, I hope so, because the use of the music in this way is just totally tasteless and inappropriate.

There is only one bright tiny spark and that is that anyone else who remembers what that music originally signified just might stop and think that all these years afterwards, we still have people starving in Africa. We still have wars and we still have poverty on our own doorsteps. We should be ashamed.

Charities always suffer in a recession, but if someone shakes a charity tin at you while you are out doing your last minute shopping, please, please don't turn the other way. Your few pennies might make all the difference to some good cause this Christmas.

And, please, if you hear 'Do They know it's Christmas' on your radio or in a store, don't just sing or hum along mindlessly, spare a thought for what it meant then and still means now. Maybe in another 24 years we really will have made a difference.


Lea said...

Though I live in the US, I know where your coming from.

After my divorce, I went to college for retraining at age 50. Two and a half years later, and close to time for me to graduate, good ole USA allowed my new profession to be outsourced overseas. But I still put out resumes (CVS) all over my neighborhood. Every time, I would get a polite brush off.

I have a daughter to support and cannot survive on low wage jobs without government help, which I hate. I thought retraining would help me get a job that would allow me to be self sustaining and give my daughter and me a better life.

I was so disillusioned and angry that I sold all my belongings and went to India where I got a job in my new profession. After about five years, I had to come back to the US because living in India was just too hard and was even more difficult for my daughter.

I have not been able to find work since being back a year and a half and so far I have not been able to earn any income through my website.

If it wasn't for family, we would find it hard to survive as I'm not on government aide, but am having to reconsider that again.

I too have thought about putting a donation request on my site, but I've read conflicting views on that.

I haven't had any luck in finding information on whether people really do respond to donation requests either. So up to this point I've been trying affiliate programs. Though people do click on the links, so far no sales.

I will be 59 years old in a few months. It's pretty scary as I feel my options running out every year.

I wish you the best. Perhaps you will have more luck than I have had.

I wish you a prosperous 2009.