Do They Know It’s Christmas?

It’s tempting to hate “Do They Know It’s Christmas.”  Self-important rock stars taking it upon themselves to wake up the world to human disaster in Africa. Unnecessary exposure for Boy George and the fellows from Duran Duran. And oh what followed: Does anybody remember “We Are the World”? And then there was a requisite group recording by Canadian artists.

As the documentary Consuming Hunger later pointed out.  This all was a bit too comfortable for us in the North.  Buy a record, watch a concert, call up and make a contribution to the cause, get a t-shirt, and provide justice and food security for … well nobody necessarily.  How many of us felt that we were nobly serving the poor just because we listened sympathetically to “Do They Know It’s Christmas”?  Feed the world indeed.

And yet, maybe something did come out of this. Maybe the fact that this song launched Bono from the band U2 into his two-decade long daily crusade, not just to raise charity money but to change policies and promote real change for the poor in Africa, maybe that means we shouldn’t feel so guilty about “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”

Still, it’s a pretty bad song.  Want proof, check out the video.


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