Gideon Strauss, a smart and thoughtful South African expatriate living in Canada, has this to say about yesterdays musical extravaganzas (scroll to the July 2nd entries, as the permalink function doesnt seem to be working). Heres a taste:
I am all for pop culture celebrities using the cultural leverage they enjoy to bring attention to this kind of issue, even when the actions they recommend are simplistic, and even though an event like this probably feeds the therapeutic politics of the modern North Atlantic, in which people strive harder after feeling compassionate than after actually improving the circumstances of those people toward whom they ostensibly are extending their sympathies.
He also offers a series of very sensible provisos before aid can be effective. Heres the first:
African poverty cannot be alleviated without African governments that abide by the rule of law and that seek to establish a peaceable order with a significant degree of public justice within their territories. No external power, neither political nor economic, is responsible for this task. African governments must emerge that take up this responsibility themselves, conscious of the historical difficulties they face, but no longer hiding behind the legacy of colonialism to shirk their own duties.
Read the whole thing.