Spanning the globe for insights into human behavior and persuasion.



Persuade the World

Unless you've put your brain on a mass-media free diet for the past month, you know that Live 8 is tomorrow. The worldwide concert is using the power of music and celebrity to raise awareness of and change minds about poverty in Africa and the debt burdens of its nations.

(I won't be watching. My son is getting baptized tomorrow, and we'll be having lots of people over.)

My memories of the original Live Aid are still vivid. I rememer that The Hooters (who can forget a name like that) broke in to the music scene at Live Aid; so did Tracey Chapman. Mick Jagger and David Bowie debuted their made-for-Top-40 single: a remake of "Dancing in the Streets." George Michael, whom I idolized at the time (I almost hate to admit it), sang a rendition of Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing." Unfortunately I was too into the pop scene to appreciate the truly great performances: U2's set at Live Aid legendary, but I didn't see it.

Tomorrow's event has a slightly different purpose than the original's, which was to raise money for hunger in Africa. There will be more venues besides the original Philadelphia and London stages. And there will be more media. Live 8 will be broadcast on multiple channels and blog tracker Technorati is pushing for big blog coverage--50 bloggers won the privilege of live blogging the event backstage. But the purpose and the outcome will likely be the same: people will start to care about suffering in Africa.

My question is, why will we care more tomorrow than we do today? Is it that we crave to connect celebrity, and this event is a ready-made connection? Is it that when we finally start paying attention to something outside our own spheres of concern that we finally start seeing the truth about the world around us? Is it something else entirely?

Good question but it begs a loaded answer. Of course many people will tune in just to catch some tunes while others will be spurred to some action.

I recently spoke to someone who was choked that HIS band backed out from the Canadian concert and he was at a loss as to what to do with his tickets. The tickets that took him FIFTEEN minutes online to get. The FREE tickets! There was no way to console him, if you can imagine. And not that I tried. People really make me wonder...

Anyways, thanks for the post. I like your style of writing.
I'm all for loaded answers; they give us more to talk about.
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