I’m a few days late in posting these e-mails, since the Live 8 concert is now past. Yet I think that the dishonest flattery of the e-mail plea, not to mention the superficiality (if not dishonesty) of the idea that money alone will “make poverty history,” are noteworthy even apart from this latest stunt.
So here’s the unsolicited e-mail that I received:
Subject: re: the worlds largest interactive event
Date: Thu, 30 Jun 2005 11:23:47 -0700
Love your blog! I wanted to let you know about a great cause I am working to promote called Live 8. On July 2, 2005, Live 8 will become the largest interactive event the world has ever seen. Worldwide concerts featuring the biggest names in music-U2, Destiny’s Child, Coldplay, Dave Matthews Band, Tim McGraw, Madonna, Sting and more-along with one million spectators and millions of viewers. All coming together with one purpose-to make poverty history. You can check out all of your favorite performances, on-demand throughout the summer-available to everyone, only at:AOLMusic.com
Make sure to check it out and add your name to the live 8 petition. If you would like to help spread the word about this great cause, go to http://www.buzztone.com/live8 for a variety of Live 8 content that you can host on your blog or website. We have banners, blurbs about Live 8, and the official press release available.
If you can put something up, please send me a link so I can check it out. Thank you for all of your help!
So I replied:
From: “Diana Mertz Hsieh”
Date: Thu, 30 Jun 2005 13:30:03 -0600
Oh please. If you actually ever read my blog, you wouldn’t bother to send me such junk. However much money the pampered musicians of Live 8 might raise, it will do nothing to solve the problem of poverty.
If you really care for the plight of the desperately poor, try spending so much effort instituting the rule of law, ironclad protection for private property, and full freedom to trade in impoverished countries. Just because lack of money is the most visible manifestation of the problem doesn’t imply that it’s the solution.
Of course, I don’t expect someone who writes dishonest letters like yours to care much about the facts about poverty either.
I’m sure my e-mail had no impact upon “Nick,” but at least I registered my basic objections.