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Friday

What Are TV Charity Events Really About?

Red Nose Day today. A whole night of BBC dedicated to making us feel miserable, in between chunks of comedy. All to raise millions for needy people, a fine and noble cause for sure. But I'm just not right with what I saw tonight. For a few reasons:
  1. The endless video of sick, malnourished and neglected children, with appropriate music and exquisite editing, is all about making the viewer feel guilty. Guilt is not a positive emotion and should not be encouraged. Even when in the name of charity.
  2. It's almost as if it's our fault that these poor kids are so messed up, so we need to donate money and make amends. Wrong. It's our governments, world trade organisations and massive corporations that have ruined entire continents. Our donations will make a difference to people's lives, but are only a drop in the ocean of tears.
  3. So many 'celebrities' enjoy primetime exposure from Red Nose Day and all the other eventethons. They might be singing their new song or looking for a way back on to TV. Clearly they enjoy direct financial benefit as a result of the shows, deserving it for having to live in a hotel near an African slum for a week. And I bet half of them are coked out of their heads.
  4. As long as the global financial system is controlled by a few countries, to the detriment of all the rest, huge and shocking poverty will continue to thrive. A night of mixed message TV is not going to help. Maybe it even makes things worse.

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