Bob Geldof | Anorak

Posts Tagged ‘Bob Geldof’

Change The Bleedin’ Record: Bob Geldof’s White Saviour Complex Dreams Of A Black Christmas



BOB Geldof has used his Band Aid brand to help Ebola victims. Once more the celebrity chorus asks if Africans know it’s Christmas. Do you sense the whiff of celebrity colonaliasm, with Africa and its Ebola virus a backstory to those good Western hearts? Is his grandstanding annoying you? Or should you just appreciate the effort – after all, if it helps the victims so what the good cause is a celebrity vehicle?

The Spectator:

Anyone listening to the BBC this week could be forgiven for thinking that the musician Bob ­Geldof had just emerged from Africa, like a ­latter-day Dr Livingstone, the first westerner with news of a deadly new virus..

Bob Geldof walks into this international effort as a nostalgia act from the 1980s. He seems unaware of all the parodies of his charity singles. One spoof, ‘Africa for Norway’, is a video showing Africans recording a charity song to raise funds for radiators to keep Scandinavians warm in winter. ‘In Norway, kids are freezing,’ runs the first line. ‘It’s time for us to care.’ The video asks us to consider what Africans would think of Europe if the only images they saw were of the freezing and the dying. (This winter, incidentally, at least 20,000 British pensioners are likely to die of the cold — an annual event. Where is the charity single for them?)

As one Liberian student put it this week, Geldof is suffering from a ‘white saviour complex’. Listen only to Band Aid and you might want to give to Africa but never invest there. You would not guess that any African country could have an economy, still less that they have hospitals, doctors and administrators who are making the biggest contribution to fighting Ebola…

The very title of Geldof’s song, ‘Do they know it’s Christmas?’, suggests that Africans are as ignorant as they are poor and sick. Apart from in Arabic north, Christianity thrives in Africa rather more than it now does in much of Europe — so there is a somewhat high awareness of when Christmas falls (in January, for Ethiopians and Egyptians). In Britain, people will most certainly know it’s Christmas but we’re less likely than ever to mark the occasion by actually going to church. In Geldof’s 1985 Live Aid concert, David Bowie knelt and said the Lord’s Prayer in front of the crowd. It is unthinkable that any pop star would try to do this now and expect the audience to applaud — unless they were touring Africa.

John Wight is also unimpressed:

Band Aid reinforces negative stereotypes of Africa and Africans. It reflects a colonial mindset that is so deeply entrenched in Western culture that we aren’t even aware it exists. The sight of a bunch of rich pop stars parading themselves as paragons of virtue and heroes is crass and eminently offensive. While it may allow them to wallow in self congratulation and positive PR, it is paternalism of the most grievous kind.

Laura Seay is literal:

The original version “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” was awash in negative stereotypes of Africa and the Ethiopian people Live Aid purported to help. The song treated Africa as an homogeneous place, “where nothing ever grows, no rain or rivers flow” and “where the only water flowing is the bitter sting of tears.” It also claimed that “there won’t be snow in Africa this Christmastime,” a factual inaccuracy that betrayed the lyricists’ ignorance of both basic geography and the giants of 20th-century literature.

In addition to conflating an entire continent with one country, Band Aid’s portrayal of the crisis ignored the man-made dimensions of Ethiopia’s 1984 famine; people were starving not simply because of the regional drought, but because of direct interference by governing officials who used starvation to punish the ethnic groups they considered to be political enemies.

The 30-year anniversary version features rewritten lyrics that somehow manage to be even more inaccurate than the original ones were. Let’s start with these lines:

There’s a world outside your window, and it’s a world of dread and fear

Where a kiss of love can kill you, and there’s death in every tear

And the Christmas bells that ring there are the clanging chimes of doom.

The idea that no one in Liberia, Sierra Leone, or Guinea will be celebrating Christmas, or that “Christmas bells…are the clanging chimes of doom” is beyond ludicrous; it betrays a total ignorance of the importance of Christianity in each country’s culture, the sense of joy and celebration that can arise among all people even in the most dire of circumstances, and the fact that most West Africans – even in the Ebola outbreak zone – are not in fact suffering from Ebola.

The tune is catchy. And should the lyrics be taken literally?

There will be snow in Africa this Christmastime.

Especially in the Ski Resorts of Maluti Mountains in Lesotho and Oukaimeden in Morocco. Later on in the year you could also find snow in Tiffindel and even Sutherland in South Africa…

Things do grow in Africa.

Rather a lot of our fruit and veg for example.

“Where nothing ever grows, No rain nor rivers flow”

It’s not the moon!

In 2007 African nations accounted for around 14% of UK imports of fruit and vegetables.

Here is some tea growing in Rwanda, Africa (which consists of 54 different countries by the way).

Bryony Gordon:

My real problem is Geldof’s insistence on shaming Adele for not appearing on the track. “Adele is doing nothing,” said Geldof at the weekend. “She’s not answering the phone… she’s not writing. She’s not recording. She doesn’t want to be bothered by anyone. She won’t pick up the phone to her manager. She’s bringing up a family, you know.”
This is as condescending as the song itself – do Africans know it’s Christmas? Given that over 500 million people living there are Christians, we must presume the answer to that is yes – and worse, it is a form of bullying that has sneeringly been dressed up as do-gooding.

The message is loud and clear, even if the music isn’t: Geldof is here to save West Africa from Ebola, and Adele, with her peculiar un-celebrity desire to sod the limelight as she brings up a toddler, is a selfish little woman who must be publicly humiliated.

Fuse ODG:

…on receiving the proposed lyrics on Thursday – two days before the recording was due to take place in London – I was shocked and appalled by their content. The message of the Band Aid 30 song absolutely did not reflect what Africa is truly about and I started to question whether this was something I wanted to be a part of.

I pointed out to Geldof the lyrics I did not agree with, such as the lines “Where a kiss of love can kill you and there’s death in every tear”, and “There is no peace and joy in west Africa this Christmas”. For the past four years I have gone to Ghana at Christmas for the sole purpose of peace and joy. So for me to sing these lyrics would simply be a lie.

In truth, my objection to the project goes beyond the offensive lyrics. I, like many others, am sick of the whole concept of Africa – a resource-rich continent with unbridled potential – always being seen as diseased, infested and poverty-stricken. In fact, seven out of 10 of the world’s fastest growing economies are in Africa.


Still. Catchy tune…

Posted: 19th, November 2014 | In: Celebrities | Comment (1)

Bob Geldof to be blasted off into space

Bob Geldof speaks at the One Young World summit, at Old Billingsgate Market in central London.

NEVER, in the history of humankind, has someone from Ireland been sent into space… unless you count the people who think they’ve been there after losing their sight and minds drinking poitín cut with antifreeze.

However, that’s all about to change as Bob Geldof is all set to become the first Irishman to travel into space when he spends $100,000 on a ticket for the inaugural Space Expedition Corporation (Sxc) commercial flight next year.

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Posted: 11th, September 2013 | In: Celebrities | Comments (3)

In Pictures: All The Celebrity Liggers At Legally Blonde: The Musical

WEDNESDAY night meant the gala night for Legally Blonde: The Musical, at the Savoy Theatre in central London. Which celebrity liggers were also there? They were: Tara Palmer Tomkinson, Kathryn Drysdale, Verity Rushworth, Adele Silva, Summer Strallen, Kim Medcalf, Zoe Salmon, Graham Norton, Stacey Solomon, Denise Van Outen, Bob Geldof, Lucie Jones, Claire Sweeney, Imogen Lloyd Webber, Kristin Scott Thomas and Caprice. Pictures:


Picture 1 of 38

Tara Palmer Tomkinson arrives at the gala night for Legally Blonde: The Musical, at the Savoy Theatre in central London.

Posted: 14th, January 2010 | In: Celebrities | Comment (1)

SADOS Befriend Kate Moss At Topshop Fashion Show

AT the Topshop Unique Spring/Summer ’10 catwalk show during London Fashion Week at the Topshop Venue, University of Westminster in London, Anorak spots the Sados (Sons and Daughters of Stars), for whom the Celebrity Petri Dish is not only small but fraught with the peril of incest.
So whose children wer at the show?

Peaches Geldof was there. She’s the daughter of Bob Geldof and the late Paul Yates. Jamie Winstone was there. She’s the daughter of actor Ray Winstone, and dressed for the evening as Willy Wonka’stool“.

Before you know the X Factor and the Simon Cowell factory, realise that without it all celebs would have webbed feet and matching genitals.

Also there is Chloe Green, who says:

“I’m designing my own fashion range, which is really exciting. My father knows that this is what I want to do and is fully supportive. It helps because of what he does for a living and I’ve grown up in the business.”

Chloe Green’s dad is Sir Philip Green, billionaire owner of the Arcadia Group.

As we’ve said bfore being a SADO must be like turning up at the orgy to find mum handing out the towels and dad’s ghost writer taking notes.

Also there was Kate Moss, who is not rlated to anyone famous, although she did once befiorend Peter Doherty.

Talent is relative.

Posted: 20th, September 2009 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts | Comment

Peaches Geldof Studies Scientology

peaches-geldofNEWS reaches us that try-hard rebel Peaches Geldof – the girl who turned up a swinger’s club and found her mum and dad handing out towels – has been studying Scientology for nine months.

The Sunday Mirror’s Dean Piper is excited and says:

The patience of Sir Bob Geldof is set to be tested once more, as I can reveal his daughter Peaches is far more into her Scientology studies than anyone realised. You have to wonder whether Bob will finally be pushed over the edge by her latest antics researching the mysterious faith.

This would be pop star Bob Geldof, the man who squired and bred with wildchild TV presenter Paula Yates, the man who called his daughter Peaches, the man who can be seen about town dressed as aged Zippo clown? He would be outraged by his daughter sitting in a church?

After all, he has remained tight-lipped over her past run-ins with cops, her rumoured drug overdose and her Las Vegas marriage to rocker Max Drummey.

How hard Peaches Geldof tries to look edgy and interesting. And hwo she fails. Mum and dad are always at the party ahead of Peaches. When Peaches arrives at the cool do, mum and dad and the in crowd have already moved on to somewhere much more exclusive.

Millions of Peaches

To be different Peaches would need to do something drastic like get a proper job, say, as a nurse – but not save as many people as dad – or dye her hair blonde – but not as blonde as mum’s.

Instead of being a real rebel, pastiche Peaches trots along to the Church of Scientology centre in LA. And does exactly what’s expected of her. She studies not Islam nor Judaism not Catholicism but Scientology, the remedial religion.

Says a source:

“Peaches became sober a year ago now. And shortly after she started looking for fulfilment in life. She’d had a few crazy years learning to cope with fame and growing up and wanted to see whether she could gain anything in life from any faiths.”

Are you still there? Peaches is learning to cope with fame by attempting against all the barriers presented by a lack of any talent to be famous.

Meanwhile, all the cool cats are studying the new religion – you know, Peaches, that one. Scientology is part of the establishment and soooo very yesterday…

Posted: 21st, June 2009 | In: Celebrities | Comment

Peaches Geldof Does Not Regret

PEACHES Geldof says she does NOT regret her six-month marriage to Max Drummey.

Peaches tells Grazia magazine that building enough material for your first autobiography is hard yacker:

“Max and I are really good friends. We were just too young. That’s all it was. I still love the idea that we did it. I love the idea I can tell my kids one day about it and I know he does too.”

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Posted: 31st, March 2009 | In: Celebrities | Comment

Bob Geldof On The True Cost Of Poverty

BOB GELDOF wants Australians to dig deep:

Anti-poverty campaigner Sir Bob Geldof has charged Australian organisers $100,000 to give a speech about world suffering.

Geldof, 54, spoke about the tragedy of Third World poverty and the failure of governments to combat the crisis at a Crown casino function in Melbourne on Thursday night.

But he charged about $100,000 for his troubles – a speakers fee that included the cost of luxury hotel rooms and first-class airfares.

Geldof needs to experience luxury to know what the poor are missing out on…

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Posted: 16th, November 2008 | In: Celebrities | Comments (2)

The Family Business: The Difficulty Of Being Peaches Geldof

WHO the hell is Peaches Honeyblossom Michelle Charlotte Angel Vanessa Geldof, Pitt The Younger Algernon Winstona Disraeli Goo-Foo Trevor Benjamin Mandela Puff?

Or to put it another way: who is her dad?

Peaches is blessed with all the cool of a wasabi enema. She is everything any genuine teenage rebels abhors and avoids being.

Being Peaches cannot be easy. As Anorak has said, being Peaches is like turning up at swingers’ party to find your mum handing out the towels. She just has to make the best of her lot.

And dad Bob Geldof wants the best for his kids; all sane parents do. So Peaches decides on a career as a professional Geldof, and is encouraged. As such, she has little to do. She is a member of the elusive club of children of the rich and successful. She can just be.

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Posted: 3rd, October 2008 | In: Celebrities, Tabloids | Comments (7)