Bono is Here to Feed the World, and Wear Ridiculous Clothing.

I was just watching the video for “Do They Know It’s Christmas,” as is mandatory this time of year, and a few thoughts occurred to me…

Quick!  Get everyone who may still be famous in 25 years to the front!

First of all, the song is awful… or should I say, “bloody awful”.  It’s so dated and synth-heavy that it’s been rendered almost unlistenable by time, the lyrics are borderline terrifying, and with the exception of Simon LeBon, Bob Geldof, Boy George and Bono, I have no idea who any of those people are.  Oh, wait, Phil Collins is in there.  That’s one more.  And three black people who shouldn’t be too hard to identify, as there are only 2 dozen or so black people in Britain, and surely no more than five had a record deal at the time.

But here’s the thing that I find most comical, looking at it through 2011 eyeballs.  What the hell are these people wearing?  Obviously, the purpose of the video is to show how they’re all just being casual, caring about the needy… I get it.  I’m sure the invitation read something like “Wear clothes that you’d be wearing around the house on a normal day, we don’t need somebody Freddie Mercurying up the joint while we’re trying to remind people that they should listen to the wealthiest people in the world lecture them about poverty through their half-functioning AM radio.”

But with that in mind, take a look at what some of these people wore to the video shoot.  Bananarama (maybe that’s who those girls are, they look like they could be Bananarama) seem to be fairly appropriately dressed, in what looks like what Bananarama wears while they’re doing laundry.  Phil Collins is wearing an argyle sweater, which makes sense when you consider the likelihood that Phil Collins lives, sleeps and bathes in argyle sweaters.  But this brings us to a few other folks.  Bono is wearing a damned top hat.  So, to be clear, when you ask Bono to show up looking casual, he wears a top hat.  There’s some dandy Brit-pop guy in FULL MAKEUP.  I have no idea who he is, but apparently his idea of toning it down still meant he had to shoot himself in the face with an eyeliner cannon before singing in the choir of the worst Christmas song ever recorded.

At least he didn’t wear this one.

Also, note while watching the video that Phil Collins drums for absolutely no reason whatsoever, other than to give Phil Collins something to do.  I’d imagine that meeting went something like, “Do you think the Yanks will recognize Phil?  They’d recognize Gabriel, but we couldn’t get him to take that bloody sunflower costume off, so we had to settle for Phil.”  “Ah, just give ’em a drum set.  If nothing else, they’ll figure out that the geezer is a drummer and just leave it at that.”  Really, though, there isn’t one non-synthetic drum sound in that whole song until Phil does his utterly pointless “boom-ba-dum-dum” and then walks away from the drum kit.  He even has a look on his face while he’s doing it that just screams “Why the hell am I doing this, again?”

Also, what’s the deal with the blonde woman (another unidentifiable part of the posse who was no doubt mildly recognizable in the mid 1980’s) injecting some wildly inappropriate product placement for Squirt?  I vaguely remember Squirt, and I can’t really figure out what she’s trying to do there.  I’m not sure, now that I think of it, that I’ve seen anything more tacky in my life than Squirt plugging its brand of citrus soda during a song about a continent in which “… the only water flowing is the bitter sting of tears”.  Maybe that’s the point.  Maybe these Africans just need a can of Squirt.

Finally, is it REALLY appropriate for the three guys with guitars to be rocking out like they’re doing a version of “Run, Run Rudolph” set in Addis Ababa?  I mean, here you have Bob Geldof, Bono and Sting coming together to raise money to buy giant crackers for these hungry kids, and you can’t keep Union Jack Johnny from doing the damn Chuck Berry Duckwalk around the timpani drum.  It’s like having Pete Townshend windmilling up a storm during a moment of silence for Holocaust victims.

Man, that song (and particularly that video) is awful.  And why is Boy George by himself the whole time?  Nobody wants to stand next to Boy George?  Actually, I think I get that part.

*Click the link if you feel like punishing yourself this holiday season.


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