Friday, 23 December 2011

The day before the day before, or why Africans do in fact know it's Christmas. (Hint: it's because they're not stupid! Whoa!)

I'm going to probably be taking at least a week off from blogging to celebrate the SWAGmas season with my lovely friends and family, but I thought I would write one more short post today. A few weeks ago, I wrote this post about the condescending racism hidden in the lyrics of Band Aid's "Do They Know Know It's Christmas?" Of course, Glee decided to perform the song a week or so later during their Christmas special. (Who else thinks they should have just foregone the plot for that episode--ha, like Glee has a discernible plot--and just aired a longer version of the black-and-white Christmas special? Because it rocked. Kurt and Blaine as "best friends and holiday roommates"? THE BEST.) Anyway, personally I found Glee's version of the song EVEN WORSE than Band Aid's version and I even had people who didn't really agree with my original analysis of the song say to me OMG HOW INSENSITIVE WAS THE GLEE VERSION?!?!?! Because, seriously, THEY SING THE SONG TO HOMELESS PEOPLE. They sing about how glad they are that they have charmed, privileged lives to people in a homeless shelter. "And tonight thank God it's them instead of you! Well, actually, it is you, SUCKERS." Last year they managed to make "Baby It's Cold Outside" sound a little less rape-y. But this year they made "Do They Know It's Christmas?" sound more condescending. Trying to achieve some twisted sort of balance?

Anyway, yesterday a friend of mine tagged me in a post on Facebook informing me of the existence of a response to "Do They Know It's Christmas?" by an ensemble of unemployed African musicians who have called themselves Plaster Cast (like Band Aid but tougher! Ahahaha...haha...ha.......). They call the song "Yes We Do." When asked why it took them well over 20 years to release a response to Band Aid's song, they said "it had taken a while ... to realise that it wasn't actually an elaborate joke." However, the group had always "been irked by [Bob] Geldof's assumption that hungry Africans were also stupid" and that "despite the poverty and hunger that had inspired Geldof and his friends to create the song back in 1984 that Africans had developed their own ways to remember Christmas." Interestingly enough, people DON'T need to be inundated with Christmas-themed commercials starting in October to realize that Christmas is coming! Weird, eh? The proceeds of Plaster Cast's song "will go towards teaching discipline, literacy and contraception at British schools." The article about the song from, where I got all this information from, can be found here.

Alright, time to make my way back to my parents' house to officially get SWAGmas started! Merry Christmas and SWAGmas or happy holidays or happy getting-paid-extra-for-working-on-a-holiday or happy weekend or just happy time! Yay! Enjoy!

In conclusion, here's an adorable picture of the Biebs and his three-year-old sister on stage during his Christmas special Home for the Holidays:

Awwwww. See you in 2012!!!

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