Who are “they”?
What is Africa?
A place where bad things happen.
Do they know it’s Christmas time, at all?
It’s not Christmas. It’s mid-November.
Yeah, but if it was Christmas, would they know it was Christmas?
Probably. This song gets wheeled out every few years, which has made a big difference. And, in any case, Christ is pretty popular in Africa. Particularly the countries the British invented/named/colonised.
Which ones are those?
Most of them.
So, if it was Christmas, who wouldn’t know it was Christmas?
The Muslims, probably. They don’t celebrate Christmas.
What do they celebrate?
That’s for them to know and us to find out.
Could we drop leaflets from drones over the Muslims on December the 25th to let them know that it is Christmas?
Because letting them know it’s Christmas, at all, is not the point. We are trying to stop Ebola.
Have they all got it over there?
Not really. In fact, Nigeria contained the virus quickly and easily on their own, without any assistance from white people. But we don’t talk about that because it doesn’t help the “White Man as Saviour” narrative.
Right. So who are we helping again?
That’s just the problem. It’s Bob Geldof. And if he doesn’t get on the telly a lot every five to ten years to remake this song, he wouldn’t have a purpose in life. You could say you are making a grumpy old man a bit less grumpy.
What’s in it for me?
You get to do something good for a change. And you get a lot of publicity. It aids your career, basically.
Do I get to meet any real-life Africans?
No! Oh, actually I mean yes. We have got a token African artist for you to meet. Bob Geldof doesn’t like African music or culture, but some fusspots reckon it is important that African musicians should get the chance to meet Chris Martin – to show that we have problems over here as well.
This sounds like a load of bollocks, yet something I can’t really get out of. How much of my time will it take?
About three hours. And your conscience will be salved for the rest of your life.
What does salved mean?
Just get in the recording booth, do your thing and make Bob Geldof happy.
Who is Bob Geldof again?
He’s like a sweary Irish Medusa. And before you ask, sweary is when you say bad things to people, Irish is a term used to refer to the people of Ireland, who are similar to the English except they have more boybands and sanctimonious middle-aged rock stars, and Medusa is a less attention-seeking version of Bob Geldof, with better hair.
I’m scared now.
Don’t be. Ellie Goulding is in there. Just hold her hand and everything will be okay. Probably.
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Note to reader. Two tips for doing something, whilst avoiding Geldof’s circus. Donate to Medecins Sans Frontieres and listen to some cool African music. Some of my favourites are Konono No.1 and also The Ethiopiques albums. Probably you have your favourites too, so feel free to let me know the stuff you like to listen to, when you aren’t listening to the Boomtown Rats.