Charity for Christmas is great. But why such a bad performance?

Temperature outside: 5 degrees. Maybe this is global warming.

Yesterday, zapping through the TV channels, I stumbled over the annual charity gala of the public broadcasting service ZDF. A huge event, all the very important persons were present and in the end they collected more than 16 million euro for the charitable organization “Ein Herz für Kinder” (A Heart for Children). Which is really really great! But the show – the show was crap. Sorry to say that, but it was bad. Speeches learned by heart and given in a mechanical manner and for me a little too much adulation for big companies that donated money. And “A Heart for Children” isn’t the only charity project that caused confusion this year…

I say it’s great that people donate money and the same is true for celebrities and companies, even if it’s just peanuts to them. Everyone who takes action or supports charitable projects does something good. One could wonder why it needs to be Christmas time for this, but I want to be absolutely fair: It’s  better to do something once a year than to do nothing at all! But one question I will ask: Why can’t they make a good show about it?

You can watch the video above, it may give you an impression of how choreographed this show was. It was almost 3 hours long, Chris de Burgh sang, Vitali Klitschko was there, Queen Silvia of Sweden got an award for her charity, handed over by the German family minister Manuela Schwesig and Jogi Löw, the trainer of the national football team, sold the yellow shoe of Mario Götze (who shot the final goal in Brazil) for 2 million euro. The last fact is quite crazy. And the “kids news” where they made children speak like adult TV presenters gave me goosebumps, really. All this stuff happened live. At the bottom of the TV screen ran a banner with the names of people who already donated. Among them seemed to be some kids who donated their pocket-money. They wrote their age behind the names, but – strange thing – these names sometimes were very old-fashioned, not very suited for little kids and some of them apparently had a lot of money… Let’s leave it at that.

The other example of an ambivalent charity project was the song “Do they know it’s Christmas?”. As you might know, Bob Geldof recorded his Band-Aid-30-Song to collect money to fight Ebola, together with musicians like Ed Sheeran, Ellie Goulding, Emeli Sande, Chris Martin and so on. And also 30 well-known German singers made a German version of this song, among them Campino, Marteria, Jan Delay and so on.

Here is what I don’t like about the project. It’s the fact that they didn’t make the effort to create something new. Why again “Do they know it’s Christmas”? Bob Geldof did this charity song before, in 1984. Why not record a new song that actually has some spirit? Okay, so the German singers invented new verses, but why not more? It could be a song people buy because they actually like it and not only because it’s for a good purpose. This way they could collect even more money.

I must say I enjoyed the rant of German satire show presenter Jan Böhmermann. He mocked that the people in West Africa actually can’t know about the song because the YouTube video isn’t available in their countries (he checked). But let’s not become too cynical. Bad show on ZDF, bad song by Campino. But in the end we have for example more than 16 million euro for children.

Besides, Germany apparently has a big heart, because the German version of “Do they know it’s Christmas” is now at the top of the Charts. 🙂 If the video is available in your country watch the video below and whether you like it or not: Happy second Advent!


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