It was World AIDS Day - when I was in college I always remembered this. For those who are old enough to recall the predictions about AIDS during the early 90s, the predictions came true in Africa, though when numbers get really large (40 million living with HIV) they become abstract. I participated in some AIDS events at my school with a small group of people. One of them has now been dead for many years, but we still have AIDS. After all this time, it doesn't really seem like there will ever be a proper cure, does it? I wrote an article for the school paper back then about Beatrice, a school alum with HIV, and the good news is she's still alive, 19 years after she was infected! She gives speeches all the time, showing people to see how AIDS can affect anyone.
Live 8, in some ways, was a bit of a wankoff, wasn't it? The thing about Annie Lennox is this: she did a performance that was actually on topic, thought-provoking, passionate and very sad. Like Beatrice's speeches, Annie's performance was the embodiment of one person getting everyone to really listen. We need more intelligent pop stars [support brains not breasts!]. So the next time your favorite pop star appears in Vegas with her vagina or ribcage showing, remember that there are smart people in the pop music world drawing our attention to things that actually matter.
PS: A friend recently pointed out that, at any given moment, panels from the AIDS quilt are on display somewhere near you.