“Do they know it’s Christmas?” remake — indie style

In the coming weeks, and perhaps as a regular feature, I have decided that I will write a post every Monday that is written in the form of a letter to Mr. Paul Hewson (better known as Bono, of course). The letters will mostly be about things to do with him, U2, or things related thereto, though there is also the chance that they will be random and hilarious.

There’s likely to be lots of sarcasm involved, and it’s all in good fun.

Here goes!

Dear Mr. Hewson,

Did you know that the lead singer of  the Canadian band F*cked Up thinks you’re reprehensible as a person and that you make terrible music (and that he’s quoted as saying so in at least four different places)?

Well, I think that he’s reprehensible and makes terrible music (well, that’s not entirely true — I don’t know enough about him to say that. He probably doesn’t know enough about you to say that, either, but not knowing enough never really does stop people from saying things, does it?)

In any case, that has little to do with the fact that he and his bandmates (and others) have decided to remake “Do they know it’s Christmas?” in an indie sort of way. No, really, it’s true! I read it on Gigwise this morning over my Rice Krispies. I’m not sure why they decided to bring you up in the article, when there were a bunch of other people involved in the original to begin with. Then again, maybe it was to attract attention to the remake; which would make sense, seeing more people recognize your name than they do his. As he says, of course, it’s about awareness of the issues. Oh, right! He’d have you on the track if you wanted on. Do you? I’m not entirely sure you classify as “indie”, but ya know, he could overlook that.

I think that it’s great that someone’s bringing attention to a different group of charities (one of the charities the money is going to draws attention to missing aboriginal women in Canada), and though I likely won’t particularly like it, myself, there are a lot of people who will, I’m sure. Far be it for me to criticise people who are trying to do good in the world — there are not enough of them.

I do, however, have two issues with what I read this morning: 1. the use of the word reprehensible (a little too harsh, really); and 2. this (taken from the ChartAttack coverage of the story):

The song has been criticized as “self-righteous” by people like Morrissey and its view of Africa has been called “patronizing” by international development organizations.

“There’s a kind of cavalier colonialism to the original, like the west has to go in and help this poor Third World country,” Abraham told Vulture. “But the charities that we’re trying to help are exactly a product of this colonial history. People who have been subjugated and oppressed for so many years are going missing. So there’s an irony to using the song.”

Do you really want to use a song that people think is “self-righteous” and that you think has “tasteless lyrics”?

I think this guy needs a lesson in good PR, really. You might wanna give him a shout and let him know that he should think before he calls the song from which he’s trying to make money for other, worthy people “tasteless”. Oh, and perhaps let him know that he is riding on the success of the original (which is the point of remaking a song), so he should think twice before condemning it.

Oh dear, I’m terribly sorry Mr. Hewson — I’ve gone off on quite the rant, haven’t I?

Thank you for your time. I know you’re a very busy man, what with your actually getting things done in the world and all.

Cheers and much love,



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