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On Africa, AIDS, and Barbra Streisand

Dr. Spin gets political.

by Dr. Spin
December 16, 2002

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On Africa, AIDS, and Barbra Streisand_Dr. Spin-Dr. Spin gets political. Dear Dr. Spin,

I thought these were Beetles' songs: "I Want to Hold Your Hand," "Love Me Do," "Let it Be." But when I hear them on the radio, the announcer says that the group that sang these songs are the "Fab Four." Who are the "Fab Four," and do they cover Beetles hits, or do they just sound like the Beetles and I've been confused all this time?

Fab Four Fan, I Suppose

Dear Fab,

I don’t know who the “Beetles” are; the songs you mention were recorded by a group called the BEATLES. “Fab” is 60’s British slang for fabulous; the Beatles are sometimes referred to as the “Fab Four” by deejays who want to sound hip.

Maybe the Beetles cover “Fab Four” songs.

Dear Dr. Spin,

It's not that I equate Bono or the rest of U2 with the brain-dead, knee-jerk, borderline-Stalinist, God-hating, "liberalism" of Barbra Streisand or Alec Baldwin. Nevertheless, what the hell is Bono talking about? Bono speaks out against Third World debt payments, when he should know more than any other person that most African dictators are kleptocrats and that their protestations about paying the interest on loans is merely an excuse to hide their own lies and corruptions. And the AIDS crisis? Please. AIDS is an entirely preventable disease, and it is not up to us in mid-west America to have our "awareness" raised. We knew that AIDS was preventable ten years ago.

Yet to point such things out in Africa is to hold black people, real, live, human beings, as personally responsible for their own welfare. Bono, curiously, wants to absolve dark-colored human beings for any responsibility for their welfare and instead blame all of their problems on white midwest America.

It's ironic that to hold dark-skinned people to the same standards as white people is now called "racism," whereas giving darker-skinned rulers permission to brutalize, steal from, and oppress people of the same color is now rationalized by whites as "multi-culturalism."

Why is this so?


U2 Fan, Really

Dear Really,

With the exception of mentioning Bono, U2, and Barbra Streisand, your letter has nothing to do with music. Such opinions and questions would probably be better addressed in the Partial Observer FORUMS. However, since you asked me, I will respond.

I’m not sure what you mean by calling AIDS a “preventable disease.” If you think AIDS only affects promiscuous people and drug abusers, you need to get your head out of the ‘80’s. Yes, certain lifestyles create a greater risk than others, and if we live within certain parameters, most of us will never contract the HIV virus. But to write off AIDS as preventable is callous and narrow-minded. It is affecting large populations in Africa, and to merely sit by and watch it happen is inhumane and makes Hitler look like a Boy Scout.

I have not heard all of what Bono said, but I do know he did mention that part of the problem was the African dictators and warlords that steal from their own people. And Bono is not blaming Midwest America for Africa’s problems, though he is appealing to Americans sense of justice and straight thinking. America uses 40% of the world’s resources—one country uses 40% of the WORLD’S resources—and you wonder why Bono is asking us to do something? If the U.S. wants to be a world leader (and like it or not, it does) then, it should start acting like it and help the poorer nations of Africa, rather than fight a war with Iraq to guarantee cheaper prices for our gas-guzzling SUVs.

Anyway this article has gotten way more political than I ever intended it to be, so please keep questions trivial and banal, such as which Rolling Stones song did the Beatles appear on? (Answer: “We Love You,” but it was just John and Paul. This was payback for the Stones appearing on “All You Need is Love,” which is what we all need after all.)

Editor's Note: Dr. Spin will have a special Christmas song article on December 23rd.

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