Sunday, 13 November 2016

Remembering the Paris Attacks, One Year On


This is Anne Sylvestre, one of France's top entertainers whose grandson died at the Ba-ta-clan one year ago today. Jeanne and I knew two of the others, one was a journalist who interviewed me for Les Inrockuptibles, the other a restaurateur from Billancourt who used to come to Barbara's concerts. Both fine, respected me, taken from us in the prime of life, as were the others.

But was it really necessary to mark this solemn, very upsetting occasion by hiring the tuneless dribble that is Sting? And why do these people always turn up in the wake of tragedies, if for no other reason than to inflate their egos just that little bit more? One thinks of Madonna, Adele, Lady Gaga, Bono, Johnny Halliday (who always charges for his crocodile tears). Are these people really interested in paying tribute to victims of terrorism, or is it just another notch on their do-gooder belt?

I rather think the latter. Think Live Aid. It was Morrissey who said that none of these people would have turned up, had it been to raise funds to help British people, and he was right. Most of these acts were already has-beens, who though performing for nothing did in the end only participate to revive their flagging careers.

Now, we have celebrities protesting against Brexit and against Donald Trump. Lady Gaga, Whoopi Goldberg and a number of other loud-mouths sulking because they can't have all their own way. Here in the UK, celebrities were saying they would leave the country if the Conservatives got in, but they're still here. Maybe they should take a little holiday...I hear Aleppo is nice at this time of the year. Either that, or they should stop spouting. This is why we have elections, so that one side wins and the other loses. It's called competition.

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