“He was particularly unaccepting of the act of keyboard warriorism, describing “venting your spleen” on some internet discussion forum as “cyber wanking”, before encouraging us all, as university students, to go out and march, lobby or knock on doors in order to make a difference to the global political landscape.”
“Where’s the fire, you know?”, a rather disillusioned Geldof exclaimed to a group of no more than 100 Trinity students in a d’Olier Street lecture theatre earlier today. This question seemed to reflect the theme of the whole Q and A, as Geldof unashamedly expressed his frustration with the corrupt world in which we live and the apparent reluctance of the people, particularly college students, to stand up for the grievous injustices which are taking place all around us.
Geldof is best known for speaking out about these injustices, as an activist, a founder of the charity supergroup Band Aid, an adviser for Bono’s ONE Campaign and a member of the Africa Progress Panel. You could be forgiven for forgetting that he first became famous as the lead singer of the Irish rock band The Boomtown Rats. With a CV as broad as his one, it’s not surprising that the range of subjects which Geldof spoke about was both varied and fascinating, beginning with his desire to escape parochial 1960s Ireland, before moving on to more topical issues such as Brexit and the death of Rock and Roll culture.
His criticism of modern youth culture (or lack of it) and passivism was particularly interesting, if not entirely surprising. He was particularly unaccepting of the act of keyboard warriorism, describing “venting your spleen” on some internet discussion forum as “cyber wanking”, before encouraging us all, as university students, to go out and march, lobby or knock on doors in order to make a difference to the global political landscape. Controversially he acknowledged the current attention and campaigning focused on gender equality issues, but deemed them “not critically important” in the “crucial moment” in which we find ourselves. This is an opinion that may not be entirely popular among Trinity students but it cannot be denied, amidst mass wars and turmoil, where Geldof is coming from.
Despite expressing concern with many aspects of modern life and culture Geldof himself never came across as overly critical or, dare I say it, preachy. His charisma and laid-back charm shone through from the moment he walked into the lecture theatre and his undying passion was genuinely infectious. Whether you consider him a fascinating philanthropist or a bit of an attention seeker, there is no doubt that Geldof shares a simple message of fighting against blatant wrongdoing in the world. I can safely say that everyone left that talk with both a rejuvenated enthusiasm to make a genuine stand against injustice and of course, Geldof’s famous Band-Aid single, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” ringing in their ears, for days to come.