Friday, December 5, 2008
It’s True We’ll Make a Brighter Day, Just You and Me
Keeping with my theme of random analyses of Pop Culture minutia that is both out dated and irrelevant, I now dust this little beauty off from 23 years ago. Ah, We Are the World. So very many things to ridicule. I could go second by second of the things I love about this video but I’ll keep it relatively brief.
You know it’s gonna be good when it begins with some sweet computer animation of a globe and self signing autographs courtesy of the finest technology 1985 had to offer. And then BAM! you’re looking right at Lionel’s very well groomed mustache. For some reason I want to sculpt his face out of clay . . . poorly.
The best part of these celebrity circle jerks is the way they battle each other for the spotlight. Example: Bruce’s over done, tough guy singing duel with Stevie Wonder complete with his “taking a huge crap” face and leather jacket. Bruce did you ride your suicide machine to the studio that morning? Did Wendy wrap her legs round your velvet rims and strap her arms cross your engines? It’s hard to pick on Bruce though. Everyone else is doing the same crap. Cindy Lauper wins the “look at me, everybody look at me!” award for her Christina Aguilera level of over singing.
Who the hell is the guy at 2:21 that looks like Yackoff Smirnoff?
Here’s a fun little insight. I read this on the interweb, so you know it’s true. Apparently Waylon Jennings walked out of the recording when Stevie Wonder wanted to substitute a line in Swahili. I guess the red neck in Waylon wasn’t a fan of Swahili. It was a nice gesture for the recipients of this fine cause but Ethiopians don’t speak Swahili. They instead decided on a phrase made up by Michael Jackson, “Sha-lim sha-lingay”. They then made up a meaning to the made up phrase, “One world, Our children.” Doesn’t that just make you feel all warm inside? I guess it’s no more meaningless than the chorus of this song. But this is what the UN doesn’t get. The answer to the intensely complicated issues surrounding African poverty is in fact fluffy, meaningless feel goodery.
You’ll notice that my buddy Bob is featured. The music snob in me doesn’t like seeing a guy like Dylan in the same room as Hewey Lewis, Tito Jackson, Oates and Dionne Warwick’s nostrils. He just doesn’t fit. It’s like hearing him sing a Pepsi commercial. There’s nothing wrong with Pepsi commercials. Someone has to sing them. But leave that to androgynous, noseless, Beatles’ catalogue stealing pedophiles. But whatever. 1985 wasn’t the highest point of Bob’s career, so I’ll cut him a break.
You may be asking, “Brian, why all the hostility?” Well, the quick answer is that after five months and about 90 entries, I have very little left to talk about. But there is also a greater issue here that is quite applicable to today.
Few things deserve more mockery than self absorbed, self serving celebrities earnestly out singing the guy next to him in a solemn display of narcissism. I’m sure that all of these fine people involved in this project were very sincere. But that’s the problem. They were so sincere, and full of their own bullshit they honestly believed that they themselves and this thoroughly crappy song were the solution. “My celebrity is so powerful that I only need to sing a song and Africa will be healed of centuries of corruption, poverty and starvation.” It is the ultimate example of putting a band aid on a tumor and then endlessly celebrating yourself for doing it. Placebos are a wonderful way to insulate yourself from reality.