Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Painfully Unnecessary

I hate the song "Feed the World/Do They Know Its Christmastime," the mid-80s song for famine relief that provided some relief from famine for Africans, but subjected the rest of the world to a painfully bad song. With lyrics like "Tonight, thank God its them, instead of you," its understandable why Africans came to hate Bananarama and the others who sang that tripe.

Only slightly less offensive was the hegemonic American aid song, "We Are The World," where washed up American pop singers claimed that they were the world. Taking the song title at face value, the American singers sought to provide aid in exchange for the homogenizing of the world in America's image. I had the album version back in the day, and if you play it backwards, you can almost hear the word "submit" during Dylan's solo. Sorry Lionel Richie, you are not the world, and the world does not want to be you. Hello, it is not you we are looking for. And, who the fuck invited Dan Akroyd to the recording session (if you see the video or album shots, you'll know what I am talking about)?

Now, several Hong Kong movie stars are remaking "We Are The World," a group that includes Jackie Chan and Andy Leung (star of one of the great films of 2002, "Infernal Affairs") as part of the famine relief effort. It is called "Love," featuring the English chorus from the original song, with the likes of Jackie Chan singing new Cantonese and Mandarin lyrics. Badly. Haven't the tsunami victims suffered enough? Must they now be subjected to Jackie Chan's tortured caterwauling?


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