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Stroke it baby; stroke that ego - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Zoethe

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Stroke it baby; stroke that ego [Jul. 7th, 2006|07:36 pm]
Zoethe
[Current Mood |cynicalcynical]

Bono wants you to tell him how to make poverty history.

Oh for fuck sake.

20,000+ people had replied to him by this evening: some with sincere pleas that the rich just give their shit to the poor; some with jingoistic diatribes against giving anything to anyone outside the U.S.; some with heartfelt insistence that education was the only solution; some with cynical observations that the poor will always be with us.

And a few wondering what the hell this little publicity stunt was really meant to accomplish.

Personally, I'm with the last group. We've been invited to advise Bill Clinton on the economy, Al Gore on global warming, and now we can tell Bono how to end poverty.

So he can get right on it.

Now, I'm not one to diss action. I believe in the old adage, "Think globally; act locally." But what, precisely, does creating this town forum of babblespeak accomplish? Who is compiling this data into an action agenda? When will Bono, or Gore or Clinton for that matter, be contacting us to carry out our suggestions?

I mean, geez, when you call in a vote to American Idol at least it actually counts for something.

Once again, WWW stands for World Wide Wank. Responding to Bono is not an accomplishment; it's a form of mental masturbation. Yahoo! doesn't give a rat's ass about "making poverty history" - beyond the topic's potential for hits. But hey. It's a chance for everyone to be just as smugly irrelevant as the feminist going topless, or the Earth First! folks scrolling a giant paper crack down the front of the Glen Canyon Dam. We sure showed them! they giggle in glee. Showed who what?

I guarantee you, no one in the White House is reading through the 20,000 comments on yahoo, taking notes on how to wipe out poverty. Bono himself probably got through a couple hundred before losing interest. Joe Common Man, sitting at his computer, is not the key to these questions.

But, gosh, doesn't make you feel all warm and gooshy inside that they asked?
LinkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: mizdandylynn
2006-07-07 11:50 pm (UTC)
Could we ask people to not go to his concerts...and not buy his "music" and give all of that money to the poor???
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-07-08 12:03 am (UTC)
No, don't be silly! He will funnel the money to the poor as is appropriate.

Geez, you people....
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[User Picture]From: shezan
2006-07-08 12:10 am (UTC)
Well, I'm just back from seeing real poverty, and I could tell Bono exactly what the people of Yacolidabouo village in the Soubré district of Upper Sassandra, Ivory Coast, would like to have: modern village latrines. (They have decent housing and actually good roads, but housing standards don't include indoor plumbing.) So he can chip in right now.

(And if he has a couple of bob left over, they also would like a bâchée, i.e. a sturdy diesel-fuel Peugeot 404 pick-up truck, first out of the assembly line around 1962, to go sell their Achéké (manioc couscous) to the San Pedro market, about 100 miles away. It can be second-hand. Ahoy, Bono? Get goin'!)

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[User Picture]From: apostate_96
2006-07-08 12:14 am (UTC)
Just another way for people to feel like they're making "a contribution" and to get Bono more publicity. He may not see that, but that's what this is, a combo publicity stunt and way to make people feel good about themselves and, by extension, feel better about him.

Wanna bet U2 or Bono has an album/CD coming out in the next six months to a year?
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[User Picture]From: merle_
2006-07-08 01:08 am (UTC)
Agreed. Didn't he pull the same sort of stunt once or twice before? Okay, not on Yahoo, but it was exactly the same sort of appeal.

I honestly do not think it is possible to stomp out all poverty everywhere. But if he wants to try, that's fine. I'm just not playing along.

I bet Yahoo got lots of ad revenue from those 20k+ hits, though. Maybe they'll donate it. ;-)
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[User Picture]From: ronin_kakuhito
2006-07-08 02:50 am (UTC)
On the other hand, I really think that Hawkings is sincere with his request for "How do we keep humanity from dying out in the next hundred years." Of course, his goal is to make people aware that there is a non-zero chance that we will wipe out the people types on the planet in the next hundred years. (I do doubt that it is as big of a chance as he thinks it is. I think the odds of wiping out technological society are low but scary but the odds of killing all of the people? Not worth losing sleep over.


I suspect that Yahoo has solicited these questions to advertise their yahoo answers service
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[User Picture]From: ronin_kakuhito
2006-07-08 03:04 am (UTC)
For the answer to his question...
well in the industrialized world, the answer to poverty is compassion and aid, a guided safety net. For the rest of the world? Free up some IP, build open source fabbers, laser jet circuit board printers, and chemical processing labs. Finish the work on crown ether mineral processing, and include open databanks full of instructions on how to use them to build whatever is needed and all of the parts to repair/replace the machines. Again, make instructions open source, sell them at a fraction of cost to communities (never give them away, charge what the community can afford. Otherwise they won't value it.) For the templates, buy what you must and use IP that is out of patent for the rest. Network them over the 2.5ghz bands, (Include instructions for autonomous 2.5 ghz tower planes.) include in the terms of use that anything designed and built with one becomes open source as well, and when you use it to build something the template is spread across the network.

Include a library of either public domain or copyleft manuals for anthing else. Most of the academics I know in the bootstrap the poor field would be happy to put their methods into the public domain if it would get them to the people who need them.

There will always be poor, some people won't or can't take help, but there need not be as many poor as there are now.

Ooh, also, work on nanotube filters or specialized crown ethers for low power desalination. (Either might work, depends on which one you get the research done on first.)

A MacArthur grant would go a long way to making the first one, though some of the IP would be difficult to get for a mere half mil.
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[User Picture]From: shezan
2006-07-08 03:24 am (UTC)
But how does all this provide latrines to Yacolidabouo village? (see post above)
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[User Picture]From: ronin_kakuhito
2006-07-08 03:20 am (UTC)
By your criteria, almost any individual action is irrelevant.
Problem with that is that all actions are individual. The feminist who goes topless may not do noticable good the first time or the fith time or the hundredth time, but she and her sisters (I realize that there are guy feminists who would go topless but that has less effect) do contribute until eventually a cop says "oh screw it" and ignores it, and then it gets ignored more and more until eventually one community says "hey you know what? this didn't lead to orgys in the streets, go ahead." Single answers and protests don't fix a problem, but they do help create the mental space that will allow the problem to be fixed.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-07-08 04:17 am (UTC)
But, to what actual end? What does going topless do to truly change the well-being of women? For the inbalance in wages? To fight the abuse of women?

Precisely nothing.

I am all for individual action. Individuals lobbying and fighting have caused change. But engaging in symbolic behavior that utterly lacks an action message is simply self-serving.
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[User Picture]From: miripanda
2006-07-08 03:39 am (UTC)
*ponders your point*

*laughs at your icon*

*returns to point* -- I think you're right, that stunts like this are just silly. Now, if a serious celebrity like Angelina were to take up this cause...
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From: ceilidh71
2006-07-08 04:32 am (UTC)
even as much as i worship U2 and Bono, this crap on Yahoo! was too much for me. i didn't reply, for all of the same reasons you listed. :(

i did check out www.one.com and see what that was about. i hope they put their money where their "mouth" is.
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From: whoa_bitter
2006-07-08 06:59 am (UTC)
"as the feminist going topless...We sure showed them! they giggle in glee. Showed who what?"

It's clear what the feminist showed onlookers... ;-)

Reminds me of Captain Chaos (aka Butters from South Park) switching two peoples' soup bowls and calling it a victory for chaos, with surprise when it wasn't on the news that night.

How would you have felt about a post from Bono asking "What are you doing to make poverty history?" rather than his "What should I do to mph?"
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-07-08 02:01 pm (UTC)
I didn't see it as "what should Bono do personally" but rather as "quick, in three paragraphs tell the world how to solve this millenia-old problem!" Which is just silly.

Therefore, it would have been better if it had asked what the individual was doing, but it would not have sold - that would be a guilt trip, instead of "empowering."
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From: (Anonymous)
2006-07-08 02:53 pm (UTC)

bono blather

Once again you are right on the "money," so to speak. If he wants to do something, he can get all those celebrities who have gotten rich from us, and donate half their assets to some foundations that is ALREADY helping to alleviate poverty in this country and others.
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From: (Anonymous)
2006-07-08 02:55 pm (UTC)

bono blather PS

when i made foundations plural, i forgot to change the verb. please don't judge my comment on that error
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-07-08 03:18 pm (UTC)

Re: bono blather PS

No worries - I make all kinds of typos in comments!
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[User Picture]From: dweezel
2006-07-18 02:26 am (UTC)
But what else are they going to do? Americans don't actually want to be anywhere near the poor, that would be dirty and bothersome. But if they can tell a celebrity that they think its a great idea to do this and that for them then they have helped them, right? I mean those famous people know so much better than lowly old me how to make the poor unpoor, right?
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