We are the Children
February 13, 2010 11:49 AM   Subscribe

We Are the World 25 for Haiti reprises the original on its 25-year anniversary, with an 81-member chorus including Pink, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Nick Jonas, LL Cool J, Robin Thicke, Celine Dion...

Akon, Rob Thomas, Wyclef, Jeff Bridges, Vince Vaughn, Barbra Streisand, Jordin Sparks, Good Charlotte's Madden brothers, Tony Bennett, Josh Groban, Snoop Dogg, Justin Bieber, Jennifer Hudson, Keri Hilson, Jamie Foxx, Tyrese, Katharine McPhee, Sean Garrett, Will.I.Am, Carlos Santana, Melanie Fiona, Enrique Iglesias, Toni Braxton, Jason Mraz, Miley Cyrus, Busta Rhymes, Nicole Scherzinger, Nicole Richie, Usher, Julianne Hough, Raphael Saadiq, Zac Brown, India.Arie, "American Idol" judge Randy Jackson, Musiq Soulchild, Heart's Ann and Nancy Wilson, Fonzworth Bentley, Kid Cudi, Iyaz, Bizzy Bone, Nipsey Hussle, the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson and Al Jardine, Trey Songz, Faith Evans, Mya and Gladys Knight.
posted by swift (103 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm pretty sure I'm the only person who loves this.
posted by triggerfinger at 11:53 AM on February 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


When you donate money to Haiti, please specify that you are doing so despite the existence of this song.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:57 AM on February 13, 2010 [43 favorites]


I can tell I'm old now because I don't know who most of those people are.
posted by MegoSteve at 11:57 AM on February 13, 2010 [11 favorites]


Haiti, I'm so sorry that, after all you've been through, these smug-ass B-list celebrities are patting themselves on the back over this auto-tuned travesty.

I think I'm going to go donate another $50 to Partners in Health.
posted by oinopaponton at 11:58 AM on February 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm pretty sure I'm the only person who loves this.

Well, my mom texted me last night: "I loved loved we r the worldd!!!" So there's at least two of you.
posted by sallybrown at 11:58 AM on February 13, 2010


You had to tell me that Brian Wilson was in the Beach Boys, but then left me to figure out who the hell Nipsey Hussle is on my own? I always liked Geraldine and his appearances on "Match Game," et. al.
posted by raysmj at 11:59 AM on February 13, 2010 [5 favorites]


This reads like a nightmare musical festival lineup to me.
posted by futureisunwritten at 11:59 AM on February 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


Wait a sec...how the hell did Vince Vaughn end up there?
posted by futureisunwritten at 12:00 PM on February 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


Good cause. Lousy song. Though this interpretation has a certain something going for it.
posted by philip-random at 12:01 PM on February 13, 2010 [5 favorites]


Anything that leads to more money being donated to Haiti relief efforts is great and all, but...if I entered someone's house or apartment and found them actually listening to this song for enjoyment's sake I would assume they were a serial killer and slowly back away in a defensive stance.

Also: nuke the site from orbit, etc.
posted by you just lost the game at 12:05 PM on February 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Jesus, Prince didn't show up again?
posted by darksasami at 12:06 PM on February 13, 2010 [5 favorites]


Guess Vince Vaughn is the "Dan Ackroyd- WTF?" guy for this one.
posted by KingEdRa at 12:08 PM on February 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


"Wait a sec...how the hell did Vince Vaughn end up there?"

Someone had to do the "comic actor with no reason to be there" role and Dan Aykroyd couldn't make it this time.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 12:08 PM on February 13, 2010 [8 favorites]


KingEdRa loses points for the misspelling.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 12:09 PM on February 13, 2010


It's no Hear 'n' Aid.
posted by The Dryyyyy Cracker at 12:10 PM on February 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


Anything that leads to more money being donated to Haiti relief efforts is great and all, but...

at the same time it made me throw up in my mouth a little bit.
posted by marxchivist at 12:12 PM on February 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


I watched it last night during the opening ceremonies. My thoughts as it went along were along the lines of, "Hm. Premature key change... awkward rap interlude... howling guy... longer rap interlude, just as uninspiring... more howling guy... and for the grand finale it just kind of stops."

I refuse to watch it again to verify my recollection of the travesty.
posted by Balonious Assault at 12:12 PM on February 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm reminded of Morrisey's statement about Band Aid:

'I'm not afraid to say that I think Band Aid was diabolical. Or to say that I think Bob Geldof is a nauseating character. Many people find that very unsettling, but I'll say it as loud as anyone wants me to. In the first instance the record itself was absolutely tuneless. One can have great concern for the people of Ethiopia, but it's another thing to inflict daily torture on the people of England. It was an awful record considering the mass of talent involved. And it wasn't done shyly it was the most self-righteous platform ever in the history of popular music.'

Not even bothering to compose another song? Sure, it's going to be awful, but make something awfully new. I suppose it will generate some cash, which is great, but fund raising by embarrassment is something I obviously don't understand.
posted by juiceCake at 12:14 PM on February 13, 2010 [17 favorites]


I refuse to watch it again to verify my recollection of the travesty.

I just watched it again because I was a little drunk during the opening ceremonies, and your recollection is pretty much spot on. Wyclef's howling is really something.
posted by oinopaponton at 12:14 PM on February 13, 2010


"We Are The World 2010 was so terror-ible that I am shutting down Rappers I Know. I am boycotting every artist, actor, personality that was a part of that project. I think they should all be sent to jail when Weezy goes. Haiti has suffered enough!"

Judging from this, and the reaction to it on Twitter last night, I think I'm going to save my brain by not listening to this unless it's forced on me. It could be the new rickroll!
posted by saturnine at 12:14 PM on February 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


We are the world / we are the children / we are the neo-liberalists who intentionally fuck up poor countries' economies and pretend to care when distaster hits so let's start singing.
posted by klue at 12:15 PM on February 13, 2010 [15 favorites]


They still haven't figured out that autotuning/vocal correction makes NOTHING sound better? They actually have people who can sing doing this and they're pulling their vibratos into perfect pitch. Sounds like shit.
posted by reklus at 12:15 PM on February 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is literally one of the worst things that's ever been put into my ears.
posted by rbf1138 at 12:15 PM on February 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Brian Wilson and Bizzy Bone appeared on the same song. Mull that one over for a minute.
posted by DecemberBoy at 12:16 PM on February 13, 2010


This is a video by and for consumers of pity.
posted by rhizome at 12:16 PM on February 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Huh. My invitation to participate must have gotten lost in the mail.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:18 PM on February 13, 2010


This song deserves to be beaten to death and buried under the rubble. What a terrible pile of self righteous trash.
posted by xmutex at 12:19 PM on February 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


God help me, this song's unwelcome resurrection is forcing me to quote P.J.-fucking-O'Rourke (who was talking about the original):

We are the world [solipsism], we are the children [average age forty].
We are the ones to make a brighter day [unproven], so let’s start giving [logical inference supplied without argument].
There’s a choice we’re making, so let’s start giving [true as far as it goes].
We’re saving our own lives [absurd].
It’s true we’ll make a better day [see line 2 above],
Just you and me [statistically unlikely].

That’s three palpable untruths, two dubious assertions, and nine uses of a first person pro-noun, not a single reference to trouble and anybody in it and no facts. The verse contains, literally, neither rhyme nor reason. And these musical riots of philanthropy address themselves to the wrong problems.

posted by The Card Cheat at 12:29 PM on February 13, 2010 [26 favorites]


... DOOOWN THAT WEELLL !
posted by Joe Beese at 12:51 PM on February 13, 2010 [12 favorites]


This reads like a nightmare musical festival lineup to me.

Luckily, it lasted less than 7 minutes. Wait, SEVEN MINUTES? I spent SEVEN MINUTES watching that? And if you're like me and you were wondering "who the hell are all those people?", you're in luck - there's a (section on a) wiki page for that. And now that I know MJ's mom wanted his pre-recorded ghost to duet with his sister, I'm OK with that part of it.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:52 PM on February 13, 2010


I love the original for various reasons, so I thought "how bad can it be?" The beginning is OK, I guess, but it goes downhill from there. Good lord, why autotune it all to hell? Part of the charm of the original was the way that each singer's voice brought something to the whole. This is not even remotely interesting, just nauseous. And it does a disservice to the many talented singers participating, by removing all the character from their voices. I couldn't watch the whole thing...

As an aside, why do we need a whole new non-profit for this? Couldn't they have just used one of the preexisting Help-for-Haiti organizations? If the goal for aid organizations is to get the maximum amount of donated cash going directly to help people, then a whole new organization - untested and with its many associated administrative and start-up fees - makes no sense at all.
posted by gemmy at 12:53 PM on February 13, 2010


I liked it!
posted by bitteroldman at 12:54 PM on February 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Bill Simmons says, "Serious question: Was "We Are The World 25" an SNL Digital Short?"

It's a nice one-liner, but I dunno, I'm going to have to disagree with my current-favorite-writer. I actually liked this arrangement better than the original. A little more funky, a little more soaring. Yeah, there's auto-tune, but hey, that's what the kids these days seem to like, and who am I to tell them to get off this particular corner my lawn.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:54 PM on February 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ugh. The 1985 version was the nadir of the soft-rock decade. A reverent reconstruction of that turd by smug and self-satisfied people whose career arcs are measured in ring-tone downloads does no favours for anyone. On the bright side, I suppose there are some soccer moms somewhere who might be moved to donate some money to relief efforts for this disaster of which they had been unaware until now. Also, there is... no, wait that's it. There is nothing else positive I can say about the existence of this song.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:55 PM on February 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wow, it's really cool to hate on this.
posted by found missing at 1:01 PM on February 13, 2010


We need a MeMusic campaign to counter this. Good, original songs raising money for a good cause. You pitch in some PayPal bucks towards songs you like for a cause of your choice.

I really would love to give money towards the Punch 'Em in the Dick Fund for Potable Water.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:05 PM on February 13, 2010 [9 favorites]


The Dude at 5:31 is THE best part of this entire schlockfest.
posted by hecho de la basura at 1:05 PM on February 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


RE: Vince Vaughn:

Someone had to do the "comic actor with no reason to be there" role and Dan Aykroyd couldn't make it this time.

I can sort of see why Akyroyd was involved, since Dan Akyroyd = Elwood Blues. Of the Blues Brothers.

There's really no excuse for Vince Vaughn.
posted by apis mellifera at 1:07 PM on February 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Even though it's way more condescending, I prefer Band Aid's "Do they even know it's Christmas?" to this. The self-congratulation in the lyrics of this song make me puke in my mouth a bit. That's how bad this song is.

Some of these people know how to write good music. Red One, producer of many of Lady Gaga's singles, is partly running this. Why are we enduring this junk again?
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:13 PM on February 13, 2010


Wow. Just wow.

The idea that autotune has any consideration in something that includes so many amazing singers is just sad, sad sad. It's embarrassing. I mean, really, how do walk into a studio alongside some of these people and say, "Ok, can you guys fire up autotune for me?"

And the entire time I couldn't help but think "If you cared so much, stop buying those sunglasses that cost more than my mortgage payment, and giev THAT money."

I love the line Jamie Fox says in the beginning "reach deep into your hearts and give anything, AS WE HAVE." Just wow.
posted by toekneebullard at 1:16 PM on February 13, 2010


So this is what the dying throes of a once-powerful and gluttonous music industry sounds like!
posted by humannaire at 1:16 PM on February 13, 2010 [8 favorites]


ain't no Voices That Care, that's for sure.
posted by TrialByMedia at 1:17 PM on February 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


That damn song - the original version- was stuck in my head ALL morning. Only because it was on the last night when I walked through the room. Unbelievable. I was exposed for 5 - 10 seconds, max, and gave been unable to shake it for hours.
posted by R. Mutt at 1:19 PM on February 13, 2010


There's really no excuse for Vince Vaughn.

I'm thinking he brought the drugs.
posted by philip-random at 1:21 PM on February 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


I never cared much for the original, had no hopes that this would be any better, but I was willing to try to sit through this last night out of curiousity. But once the technosheen of autotune made itself known, I just couldn't take it and had to change the channel immediately.

Christ, I hate autotune. It's a truly visceral hatred rather than any intellectual abhorrence of cheating. (I'm OK with all kinds of production tricks. I don't insist on one person, one mic and a guitar as some emblem of purity.) I can listen to a technically gifted singer and be moved, and I can listen to more limited singers, like Dylan, and still be moved. I can forgive a few vocal missteps in someone who is otherwise bringing something to the music.

But autotune doesn't fix errors, it just masks them inefficiently. It's audio spackle. And as said above, when it's slapped on voices that are beautiful on their own, it's a travesty because it makes it very difficult for me, at least, to emotionally connect with that voice. It's like trying to have an orgasm through a raincoat.
posted by maudlin at 1:22 PM on February 13, 2010 [10 favorites]


For me, We Are The World (the original) was always one of the worst moments of Ugly Americanism; so willfully, earnestly, blithely ignorant of what the situation (massive starvation in Ethiopia) actually was.

Or as PJ O'Rourke so eloquently put it:

That’s three palpable untruths, two dubious assertions, and nine uses of a first person pro-noun, not a single reference to trouble and anybody in it and no facts.

It's all about WE. America, that is.
posted by philip-random at 1:29 PM on February 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


When the original song was in vogue I was living in Ruidoso, New Mexico and at the time the village had only one radio station. Said radio station's owner would apply liquid paper to any tracks on an album he didn't like. There was a lot he didn't like. The DJs didn't have a lot too choose from due to this. And the youth of the village--if their parents weren't filthy rich enough to buy them Walkmans--had to endure ... well, pretty much Johnny Horton and almost nothing but Johnny Horton twenty-four-fucking-seven-goddamn-364 (on Christmas, we'd get "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" all day).

Now as an adult I can appreciate the man's music, but as a 19 year old? I, along with most of the other youth of the village, were gonna go all Over The Edge if we heard "Whispering Pines" or "North to Alaska" one ... more ... fucking ... time.

Then the original "We Are The World" came along. And the DJ who happened to be on-air right after school played it every day, becoming a local hero to teenagers village-wide. FINALLY we could hear The Boss, and Michael Jackson, and Cyndi Fucking Lauper ON THE RADIO as God intended. Every afternoon, for 7 glorious minutes, young people in a small mountain town had a brief respite from the relentless assault on our senses that was KRRR. It was a blessed time, and kept us sane long enough for our cable company to get MTV.

Now, said DJ/local hero, happened to be in my community theater group and while he played the "teen community service" aspect of playing that song every day after school to the hilt the real reason he did it was far more prosaic:

The song was just long enough for him to smoke a cigarette and take a shit.
posted by WolfDaddy at 1:29 PM on February 13, 2010 [20 favorites]


This doesn't have the artistic merit of "The Superbowl Shuffle"
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:32 PM on February 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


That's all very nice, but what are they going to do for an encore when that asteroid hits the planet??

DUCK!
posted by Drasher at 1:34 PM on February 13, 2010


Autotune is the devil. This song is the spawn of aforementioned devil.
posted by arcticseal at 1:40 PM on February 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've been a music geek pretty much all my life -- snobbish to a certain extent, certainly, but still enough of a "pop" fan to unashamedly sing the praises of, oh, men without hats, for example. And thanks to staggernation's awesome recent post, i've spent the past few days listening to every #1 UK hit of the past 5 decades chronologically (I'm currently in the early 70s).

With that in mind, I can confidently state that autotune is the worst thing to ever happen to pop music.
posted by the bricabrac man at 1:43 PM on February 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Dude at 5:31 is THE best part of this entire schlockfest.


I thought I was seeing things, but the Dude abides.
posted by fixedgear at 1:47 PM on February 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


First, what the hell was with the spliced-in verses being so poorly written? Hey, I have an idea, let's kludge in stuff that utterly doesn't match the original at all ...

Then ... listen, sorry, whenever I see footage of Michael Jackson, I'm going to think, Hey, dead child molester! No matter what a superstar he was, no matter what his presence in the original was, him being present in the song is utterly inappropriate. I wouldn't want to see Jeffrey Jones (the Ferris Bueller principal)'s face in the chorus, nor would I want to see Jerry Lee Lewis or R. Kelly contribute to this song – sorry, Hollywood, molesters get their "noble celebrity" status permanently revoked, regardless of the age or circumstances of their death.

Ironically enough given that comment, my next issue would be with the utter disrespect given to some of the greatest greats by having Jamie Foxx vocally impersonate their contributions to the original. Yes, Jamie, we get that you can do a dead-on impersonation of Ray Charles. That does not make you Ray Charles. That makes you Jamie Foxx.

The overmugging for the camera is hardly new to this incarnation, but good God, it was awful on this one, and right at the beginning too. I've never been a fan of facial supercontortion (I can't stand Jennifer Holliday's "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" for this reason), and definitely not with Jennifer Nettles doing it early on.

Finally, the element that was so bad as to pretty much ruin the song singlehandedly, even if none of the other elements were present, was Wyclef Jean. WHAT THE HELL WAS WITH WYCLEF JEAN?!?!?!?! I'm not even sure I know what the proper vocal term to describe that is ... vibrato gone massively wrong? Tarzan yell? Seriously, dude, what the hell, and why didn't someone tell him that it made him sound like a complete idiot?

( ... also, what the hell was with autotuning "We are the World" of all things ... )

All that stuff having been said, I'll add that I was utterly surprised to find myself digging the rap section. I'm not normally a rap fan ... not by a long shot. But the rap lyrics were powerful, and the orchestral backing to the rap restored some much needed majesty to the piece.

But this is "We are the World," for Pete's sake ... the whole song is supposed to inspire majesty.
posted by WCityMike at 1:50 PM on February 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


Drasher: That's all very nice, but what are they going to do for an encore when that asteroid hits the planet?

Well, if it doesn't, they can record "At Least an Asteroid's Not Going to Kill Us All."
posted by WCityMike at 1:53 PM on February 13, 2010


I'm kind of amazed nonoe of you muical motherfuckers has written a 'We Are MeFi, We Are The Snarky,' maybe with personalized verses assigned to various users.
posted by jonmc at 1:53 PM on February 13, 2010 [6 favorites]


It's just not the same without MJ.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 1:58 PM on February 13, 2010


I had extremely low expectations for this. They didn't even come close to reaching even those incredibly low standards. Somebody should have cut this off early on, but there are way too many yesmen out there.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 2:08 PM on February 13, 2010


Wow, it's really cool to hate on this.

It's not hate. It's repulsion. Gut level, wordless, atavistic repulsion. It's like the reaction you get when you randomly turn a corner on the street and see someone being raped, shot, bludgeoned, beating, kicked, stabbed, punched, and urinated on while being hung, electrocuted, and castrated. It's worse than that.
posted by xmutex at 2:13 PM on February 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Man, you guys are really serious about this stuff today. Here I am enjoying the hell out of this in an oh-god-are-you-kidding-me ironical kind of way and I check this thread and we're supposed to be complaining about auto-tune and rehashing Michael Jackson inappropriateness debates?? Come on guys, this song has multiple awkward rap interludes, do you know how incredible this is? Auto-tune used both as a dehumanizing airbrush and overblown gimmick, both so blatantly? Lil Wayne doing a shlockey benefit song? This is all just too much awesome, and I'm so disappointed we all can't sing its praises, in unison, for Haiti.
posted by palidor at 2:14 PM on February 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm kind of amazed nonoe of you muical motherfuckers has written a 'We Are MeFi, We Are The Snarky,' maybe with personalized verses assigned to various users.

I got as far as...

We are the site
We are the users
We are the ones who link to others' stuff
And call them losers


...and had to stop, because I can't really stomach spending that much time trying to wade through the original lyrics.
posted by cortex at 2:24 PM on February 13, 2010 [28 favorites]


There is fun kitchy/cheesy bad, and then there's just plain bad. I thought this would be fun bad, but it somehow is so bad that there's not enough to even laugh at. I was hoping for at least a little bit of craft to make it tolerable enough to watch and chuckle at, but I really don't understand how anybody involved could be even remotely proud to have been involved with this. Other than, of course, for the self serving "I did it for Haiti" pat-on-the-back.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 2:30 PM on February 13, 2010


because I can't really stomach spending that much time trying to wade through the original lyrics.

do it for the site, dude.
posted by jonmc at 2:32 PM on February 13, 2010


...American Idol" judge Randy Jackson...

...who is also an accomplished bassist, having played as a session musician with Carlos Santana, Jerry Garcia, Jean-Luc Pont, Blue Öyster Cult, Bon Jovi, Michael Bolton, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Billy Cobham, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Herbie Hancock, Ernie Isley, Billy Joel, Richard Marx, George Michael, Stevie Nicks, Imogen Heap, Bruce Springsteen and Roger Waters (among others) and who in the 80s became a member of the group Journey.
posted by ericb at 2:42 PM on February 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow, it's really cool to hate on this.
posted by found missing


Sometimes it's not hate. Sometimes something is just a giant steaming pile of shit, and that's the honest truth. Hating has nothing to do with it, and labeling it as such doesn't make you any cooler, just lamer.

(unless you're cool papa bell, and then it's great!)
posted by Dennis Murphy at 2:49 PM on February 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


I watched it last night during the opening ceremonies....I refuse to watch it again to verify my recollection of the travesty.

To be fair last night's broadcast was a 4-minute edit. You have to watch the long-form version to really appreciate the brilliant artistry and performances. Go on. You can do it.

/sarcasm.
posted by ericb at 2:50 PM on February 13, 2010


(unless you're cool papa bell, and then it's great!)

Didn't say it was great. Said it was better than the original. The original had Huey Lewis and Bob Dylan singing solo parts.

Huey Lewis. Bob Dylan. Solo parts. DUDE.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:56 PM on February 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


So, then, this like the 25th anniversary of Velveeta, if only they made something that was to Velveeta as Velveeta is to cheese.

Or as xmutex is to cortex, maybe...
posted by y2karl at 2:59 PM on February 13, 2010


As an aside, why do we need a whole new non-profit for this? Couldn't they have just used one of the preexisting Help-for-Haiti organizations? If the goal for aid organizations is to get the maximum amount of donated cash going directly to help people, then a whole new organization - untested and with its many associated administrative and start-up fees - makes no sense at all.

To be fair to the folks behind the foundation (then called 'USA for Africa'; now called 'We Are The World Foundation') they do have considerable experience in relief efforts:
"In the years that have followed, USA for Africa has raised and distributed more than $63 million in revenue from the sales of more than 7 million units of the album, single and cassettes, plus nearly 2 million digital sales and related merchandise. Just over half the total was spent on emergency relief (food, medicine, and refugee services) and the balance was used to support more than 500 different relief, rehabilitation and development projects in 18 different countries in sub-Saharan Africa."*
It's not like the folks managing the foundation are newbies. They've got experience.
posted by ericb at 3:04 PM on February 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


...and who in the 80s became a member of the group Journey.

Well, now, that's a ringing endorsement, isn't it ?
posted by y2karl at 3:05 PM on February 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's not like the folks managing the foundation are newbies. They've got experience.

The foundation's official website.
"Our mission: To take action that will help demonstrate the importance and power of individual participation and collective action in helping to solve the problems, address issues and challenges that presently confront our global society."
posted by ericb at 3:15 PM on February 13, 2010


There are a lot of things about Journey on which one could rightly rant, but their musicianship is not one of them. That was a fucking tightly-produced band.
posted by cortex at 3:19 PM on February 13, 2010 [10 favorites]


To be fair last night's broadcast was a 4-minute edit. You have to watch the long-form version to really appreciate the brilliant artistry and performances. Go on. You can do it.

Ok, done. Wow... I've got to admit that the long version is better than the edited version (relatively speaking, of course). At least the first keychange in the edited version makes sense in the long version, and the rap sections are somewhat congruent with the rest of the song. And hey, more howling guy!

I'm with palidor now. The song is too much awesome and should be celebrated as such!
posted by Balonious Assault at 3:29 PM on February 13, 2010


Even though it's way more condescending, I prefer Band Aid's "Do they even know it's Christmas?"

Band Aid whipped up a tight and catchy pop number compared to USA for Africa's lazily slapped together gospel campfire bullshit. The problem with Band Aid was its horrid culturalism. Do they know it's Xmas? Do they give a shit since they aren't Christian and don't even celebrate it in better times? Jerks. Just sign over some royalty checks instead of foisting this cognitive noise on the public.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:50 PM on February 13, 2010


ooohhh. can i take a post in thread to trash the who at the superbowl while we're at it? i mean ... wtf was that all about?
posted by msconduct at 3:54 PM on February 13, 2010


You can't polish a turd, but they didn't even try. What a load of shit.
posted by ob at 4:02 PM on February 13, 2010


Yeah, it blew, but kd lang's rendition of "Hallelujah" made up for it.

Also: the opening ceremonies needed some Loverboy. Or at least some Red Rider.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 4:42 PM on February 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


I liked it!
posted by bitteroldman at 12:54 PM on February 13 [1 favorite +] [!]


If even one person mistakes your comment as something written by BitterOldPunk, you will burn in 10,000 hells, bitteroldman.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:51 PM on February 13, 2010


I didn't mean I approved of the weirdo "Make 'em Xtians" undertone of "Do they even know it's Christmas?" I just thought the song was less repulsively hypocritical and self righteous.

Yes, they're singing about a problem through a heavy-handed Western lens, but it seems a lot more sincere than singing about how much you've given to the world when you're an insanely rich celebrity who spends tons of cash on frivolous things.

But it's still a moronic thing to say about a continent that isn't Christian, especially since the impoverished probably consider their beliefs the most precious things they have. Singing about taking that away being the biggest of your concerns is really an awful, condescending thing to do, regardless of your view of Christianity or religion as a whole.
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:59 PM on February 13, 2010


WEEE GUAARRRRDD THE AMERICAN BOOOOORDER...

What this needed was Willie comin' out in the middle of it yelling "Okay, that's enough, we're done! Stop!"
posted by tspae at 5:06 PM on February 13, 2010


How lame that they couldn't write a new song. Sure the original sucked and all, but it was still a memorable, decent idea for a good cause. Why can't we make new memories instead of reliving old ones?
posted by hellbient at 5:22 PM on February 13, 2010


I liked it better than that post-9/11 'What's Going On.'

Also, Nipsey Hussle, really? How'd he get invited to this thing?
posted by box at 5:34 PM on February 13, 2010


My only comment on the relative quality is that both versions are pretty awful -- and I can be a pretty big fan of cheese and schlock.

But I think it's an interesting illustration on the change in the pop music scene that there are twice as many artists involved this time. I certainly don't think today's celebrities are more charitable. I also don't think the lack of immediately familiar faces is just my age being reflected. In 25 years, I wonder if today's ten year olds (the age I was when the original came out) will be able to recognize the same percentage of faces that I can in the original.

(Related sidenote: the picture of Michael Jackson in the wikipedia page for the original is not loading properly for me, and instead a text description is showing up.


A mid-twenties African American
man wearing a sequined military
jacket and dark sunglasses. He is
walking while waving his right
hand, which is adorned with a
white glove. His left hand is bare.


I'm loving this bit of accidental poetry.)

posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:03 PM on February 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


Between this and it being 20 years since Mandela was released from prison, I'm feeling Old.
posted by prettypretty at 6:06 PM on February 13, 2010


jonmc: I'm kind of amazed nonoe of you muical motherfuckers has written a 'We Are MeFi, We Are The Snarky,' maybe with personalized verses assigned to various users.

You ask, you get.

Hi, I'm WCityMike. 24 hours ago, Jamie Foxx introduced an amazing group of egos and ids to broadcast "We are the World," written by a pedophile and Lionel Richie. I'm so proud to be able to share a new version of that song, with the text by award-winning keyboard Moshi Celeste. Six hours ago, we found ourselves surrounded by a dazzling array of Mefites of all ages, backgrounds and sobrieties, but all of whom shared a common commitment to help puncture the overinflated egos of those behind a really bad co-opting of a nostalgic anthem dear to our hearts. As users, we hope that you enjoy the thread and join us in this completely unrare post to millions of IP addresses around the world, as we ask you to please do more than just lurk; reach deep into your imagination and snark anything you can, as we have, for the stars. Mwen swete ke selebrite yo ta sispann chante epi ranmase yon pèl. Whatever you can snark, no matter how brief or how ornate, it all counts. Thank you so much, and enjoy the parody.

There comes a time
when some egos must deflate
When the 'Net must come together to snark
There are celebs crying
Ohhhhh, and it's time to lend some time to post
Some really prime-rib snark.
We could go on
Hoping post by post
that someone, somehow will sober up soon.
We all are a part of
Matt's great big Meficracy.
And the truth, stars' money's all we need.

We are the site,
they aren't the Mefites.
We are the ones who love
our plates of beans,
So let's start dishing.
There's a choice we're making
we're scoffing at celebs.
It's true that not a single crack
will they even see ...

Send stars your snark,
So they know that no one cares;
so their cries of "ME-ME-ME"
will just be in vain.
We can let them primp,
yes, we can let them preen;
Right now, they're not the heart of this ...

[rahrahrahahahromaromamagagaohlalamypokerface!]
... they aren't the Mefites.
We are the ones who love
our plates of beans,
So let's start dishing.
There's a choice we're making
we're scoffing at celebs.
It's true that not a single crack
will they even see ...

When you're down and out,
Some snark can really do the trick.
And conceited stars,
their egos we can prick.
Well, well, well, well, they won't realize
That a change can only come
from people hard at work on the ground (ya ya ya ya) ....

We are the site (we are the site)
they aren't the Mefites (they aren't the Mefites).
We are the ones who love
our plates of beans
So let's start dishing. (So let's start DISH-ing.)
There's a choice we're making
we're scoffing at celebs.
It's true that not a single crack
will they even see ...

[Repeat chorus to song end.]

[Rap:]
We all need somebody that we can snark on
when you wake up, look around and see that your site's gone
when the site shakes, we'll help you to the status blog
when the post's gone, there is MetaTalk to bitch on
We are the site, united by spirit so odd
when the F-P-P isn't bad, count on grinning nods,
a fave or two for that post wrote in drunken fog,
a flame war based on allusions never drawn,
someone to flag you for the assumptions you based it on,
someone to meh you and give you a yawn,
we are the site, connected by the Mefite bond:
BEANS! The whole website now respond!

Wyclef Jean: RAHRAHRAHAHAHROMAROMAMAGAGAOHLALAMYPOKERFACE!
posted by WCityMike at 6:09 PM on February 13, 2010 [10 favorites]


Re: Do They Know It's Christmas", while I'll grant it's tough to defend as an actual good song, it definitely is better than most charity singles. It even stings a bit, if you're paying attention: the line "well tonight thank god it's them, instead of you" (delivered with just the right sneer, I must admit through gritted teeth as complimenting Bono is very difficult for me to do) is pretty bitter compared to the usual pap sentiments expressed in these things.

Anyway, all tunes so far mentioned pale compared to this, which still commands respect as being both awesome and hilarious: ARTISTS UNITED AGAINST APARTHEID: SUN CITY

I bet you haven't heard that in a while, right? Seriously, it holds up pretty good!
posted by the bricabrac man at 6:13 PM on February 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


Seriously, it holds up pretty good!

Now was that the one brought to you by the over-inflated ego of Mr. Hankie Hat himself ?

aka Your favorite balding exhibitionistic rock star sucks ?

Well, then, as you can see, my mileage did vary.

Just sayin'...
posted by y2karl at 6:55 PM on February 13, 2010


i recently learned to like (LOVE) the autotune. i now take it deadly serious. because singing with robots is serious business. it's the most sincere thing possible. theremins are related to this phenomenon. just because they're robots doesn't mean they don't have little roboty hearts.

as your intro-to-love-the-autotune starter kit, i give you: ALASKA IN WINTER. it's best to already have a deep-down special place in your memory for the neverending story.

but that new "we are the world"--it sucked.
posted by apostrophe at 7:46 PM on February 13, 2010


We Are the World, now with 100% MORE AUTO-TUNE!
-a tweet from Colin Meloy
posted by Danf at 7:50 PM on February 13, 2010


And why not have STEVIE WONDER? He's singing better than ever, still kicking ass, and he'd add some much needed class to the whole sorry deal.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 8:20 PM on February 13, 2010


And why not have STEVIE WONDER?

Because then they couldn't have had the "No actual stars were harmed in the making of this video" disclaimer at the end.
posted by humannaire at 9:39 PM on February 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hours later, I am still vomiting!!!!
posted by xmutex at 9:40 PM on February 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


I picture Janet Jackson getting into this with all the gusto of the Simpson's "ol' Gill."

"Finally! They want ME! Janet! Ol' Janet won't be playing second fiddle any more, oh no! Things are looking up now!"

Ms. Jackson, if you could just stand here.

"Oh ok, wait, what's this greenscreen foooooohSONOFABITCH YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING."
posted by Mr. Anthropomorphism at 9:44 PM on February 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


A cheap holiday in other peoples misery.

In other news
posted by pianomover at 10:09 PM on February 13, 2010


whenever I see footage of Michael Jackson, I'm going to think, Hey, dead child molester!

Michael Jackson was never convicted of molesting children.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 11:15 PM on February 13, 2010


its hard for me not to get absolutely sick in the stomach region after viewing something like this.

Yeah America! Where else can the legions of greedy cabbages look at every disaster as a blessing in disguise.

Echos of Shock Capitalism keep popping up.

The only silver lining is that most of these 'artists' have been whores of commerce for quite some time, as such, its not that uprising to see them preening each other in a grand circle jerk of ego goop.

But, Jeff Bridges? Really?
posted by vantam at 12:26 AM on February 14, 2010


and by uprising, i meant surprising. With the suggestion that somebody needs to start an uprising against the leeches of the world.
posted by vantam at 12:30 AM on February 14, 2010


Just you and me? Isn't that grammatically incorrect?
The line refers to the one above doesn't it? "It's true, we'll make a better day"
"Me" can't "make a better day", but I can.
posted by Gungho at 6:33 AM on February 14, 2010


But, Jeff Bridges? Really?

Well, he did sing all of his own songs in the recent film Crazy Heart in which he plays a washed-up country-western singer. IMHO a brilliant performance.
posted by ericb at 7:02 AM on February 14, 2010


Will be interesting to see how all the aid raised via this song will pan out.....anyone remember all the controversy surrounding the original Band-Aid/USA for Africa proceeds? Food left rotting in warehouses or hijacked and diverted to feed the Derg militia. I sincerely hope that the funds raised by this effort will genuinely benefit the Haitians who so desperately need it.
posted by Oriole Adams at 3:02 PM on February 14, 2010


Oh man, when I was a kid I loved the original. I loved it so much. I even had a "We Are The World" poster in my bedroom.

I kind of wanted to hate this for micturating upon my childhood... but I pretty much loved it. I'm glad that they kept in MJ's original bits, very nice touch. Say what you will about the autotuning, it's Celine Dion that I could have done without.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:52 PM on February 14, 2010


Michael Jackson was never convicted of molesting children.

Hitler was never convicted of genocide!!!!
posted by xmutex at 11:32 AM on February 15, 2010


I donated more than once to Partners In Health, including my $50 one day app store sales from Indie Relief, after reading what Régine Chassagne wrote.

I can never hear her song "Haiti" without crying now.
posted by mike3k at 7:38 PM on February 15, 2010


To get rid of the awful taste from that song, watch & listen to Haiti.
posted by mike3k at 7:40 PM on February 15, 2010


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