Bono meet Russell

Perhaps a little too soon, Baobob/The Economist asserts that the Live Aid mentality has finally died:

 But those days of poverty porn at rock concerts (slo-mo famine on giant screens to accompany the music) have also drawn to a close. The thinking about poverty reduction in Africa is less weepy, with greater emphasis on transparency and technology. Innovative new players come from unexpected places, like BRAC, a Bangladeshi organisation. Win or lose, Mr Sach’s bid for the World Bank marks the end of the Live Aid era.

As we’re all aware, the weepiness has returned in full force in the form of Kony 2012.

I don’t have much new to add on this. However, I’m astonished by how strong and well-covered the push-back has been, with most major news outlets taking the time to describe the problems with Invisible Children’s approach.

It might even be possible that the net impact of this whole thing is positive – while we’re always going to be wary about the unchecked desire to do good, the push back might have been enough to inform at least some of the previously-ignorant. We might reach a moment where we all are secretly happy this thing happened, even though we’ll still need to condemn it in order to keep the ignorance in check.

2 thoughts on “Bono meet Russell

  1. Ranil Dissanayake

    March 9, 2012 at 2:30pm

    Somehow – I’m not entirely sure how – the fact that Cat Power is listed as one of my favourite musicians on Facebook has led to me automatically following her on FB. She spams the hell out of it.

    A couple of days ago she had the Kony thing on there, with some comment about how terrible it is.

    Today she linked to the Foreign Policy article questioning the whole Invisible Children thing, with the comment ‘Kony’s not even in Uganda?!’.

    So yes – the media push back has been strong and concerted. It’s good to recognise that, as it’s something the blogs have been hoping for for a long time.

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