Monday, July 9, 2007

Popstars to save the Earth? What's the point?


It was a close one, but I think Kayne saved me from being killed by global warming on Saturday.

An afternoon of idling in traffic en route to cooking off $4 gasoline for recreational purposes on a manmade lake, and I was ready to sit back in the AC, leave the sink running and burn a few tires as some of the world’s most overrated musical performers simultaneously adult contemporarily rocked 7 festivals around the world. What better way to send message to the populous of earth that action needs to be taken and that Earth’s future is in the balance, then by jetting rock stars to the most overly populated cities on the planet and putting on massive concerts with smoke, lights, fireworks and port-a-potties…and the Pussycat Dolls? That’s right kids, the “polar” opposite of that would have been a good place to start, but hey at least we got a Spinal Tap reunion out of this whole Gore-fest.

As a society we are lucky that heroes like Shakira and Black Eyed Peas take time out of their all-important lives to share with us their depth of knowledge and understanding for complex and crucial issues such as the effects pesticides used in agriculture have on local eco-systems and how the PPM of these chemicals enter into the very waters we base our existence on, altering the pH tolerance levels for living species and effecting the chlorophyll of the earth’s vegetation, which directly effects the absorption of green houses gasses in our atmosphere resulting in depletion of our ozone which then raises the core temperature of the of the livable realm of planet earth, melting ice caps, and altering the course of nature. Doncha wish your girlfriend was a freak like me, doncha?

Al Gore optimized the wrong way to make a change once again with this over the top display of all show and no substance. The irony of ‘environmentalists’ like Al Gore is classic to me. How can I make a difference and teach the people the reality of the world around them? Perhaps I’ll get them to drive to Cineplex’s to watch my movies and flock to little cities like Rio and rock out to Lenny Kravitz and John Mayer. It’s almost too perfect!

Most of these acts could have no less in common with concerned and active environmentalists looking to make a change. Metallica, Madonna, Snoop Dogg? These people don’t give a damn, they are just trying to not be forgotten.

At the end of the day these efforts become nothing more than what they are at their most basic, a movie and a concert. That being said, people like Al Gore have turned serious and important issues like the environment into entertainment and have done so by enlisting elitist, materialistic celebrities, making the matter a chic trend…which is sad and terrifying.

I’ve come across some profound statements in regards to Live Earth and perhaps the one that I found most intriguing was one in which a concerned citizen expressed her hopes that Gore would use his clout and the pull/funds of his Hollywood cronies to make a real change, not just make headlines. Why not organize an effort for the people of earth to minimize resources used for one day and see what a difference it could make? If we get people to limit the use of water, electricity, gasoline and production of waste for one day, people could realize a means in which they could live and at the same time preserve. That would be great. It would also be great if Muslims, Christians and Jews could get along, but Hips Don’t Lie and if it ain’t sexy, it ain’t selling, not this day in age.

So why rockstars? People like Gore grew up in an era where musicians actually made a difference, not just filmed episodes of Cribs. Dylan, Joan Baez, Willie Nelson, The Dead etc. etc. these bands were a voice of a generation, at least for a while. The stars of today are a different breed and are hardly fit to be the voice of change. I’ll give ya Bono, he truly is a great musician and activist, but Kayne, he’s nothing but a Gold Digger. He’s 22! He didn’t go to college! He doesn’t know shit! Why do people listen to him, or any rockstar? It’s the fault of the media in part, making Paris Hilton more important than scientists, politicians, activists etc., shoot, name your state senator? Who is Kelly Clarkson? That’s just the reality of it.

I’m not going to rant on about society etc., but I will state that I think it is criminal and morally wrong for celebrities to abuse their power on the masses and use matters such as war and the environment as launch pads to get their names in the headlines and it troubles me even more so that we as a society actually care what they have to say. Wake up people, they aren’t more educated than you, they are just on TV, be informed don’t be a victim of the media and Hollywood. A lack of willpower, a lack of faith, a lack of something to set you straight.

“It's a bit patronizing for us 21 year olds to try to start to change the world," said Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders. “Someone asked us to give a quote about what was happening in Sheffield (floods that many blame on global warming, killing two) and it's like 'who cares what we think about what's happening'? There's more important people who can have an opinion. Why does it make us have an opinion because we're in a band?"

Indeed, indeed.

Roger Daltrey, of The Who, told British newspaper The Sun in May that "the last thing the planet needs is a rock concert." - - - "I've always been against the idea of rock stars lecturing people as if they know something the rest of us don't,” Neil Tennant, The Pet Shop Boys.

At least some people get it. Gore used to get it, and I hope he can find it again, we need a voice like his, it just sucks that someone like Gore isn’t enough he needs The Police, for people to pay attention.

-On a bright note, there was an awesome band from Antarctica, Nunatak, composed of scientists that were good and perhaps the most ironic of it all the satirical outfit (which is a direct attack on rock stars and their decadence) Spinal Tap put on the best set of the entire festival.


Cam said...


Come on man. Climate change is THE ISSUE OF OUR TIME. How can you honestly claim that the concert to be a net a bad? First I'm sure it raised a ton of money. The advertising and ticket receipts generated revenue which would not have concentrated for reversing climate change. And this is important for research, carbon offsets, and even PR to fend off ridiculous energy (Big Oil) PR stall campaigns like Shell's that they are doing everything they can do find a better energy source because they have some actor named "Jaap" watching his son drink a fucking milkshake. Raising money to offset climate change simply is not a bad thing.

Next,I don't think you should be so quick to patronize the power the masses can create just by assembling in public. It's a sort of fallacy of later generations to think that human progressions are inevitable. But every movement needs a triggering event; they just don't happen. The only reason that there is anything approaching racial equality in this country is because blacks took the streets en masse in the 60s.

It is also crucial to make people- especially young people who will be on this planet for the next 50 years- realize what a critical issue this is. And how critical it is right now. Our planet will no longer exist as we know it if America elects another Oilman President for another 8 years. Action needs to be taken on a government-wide level now to come close to salvaging things. Getting the public united about this issue and exciting heretofore disinterested people is simply not a bad thing.

So, was it perfect? Of course not. And it is even a bit patronizing to be preached to by celebrities. Although I know our generation's would be a lot more credible if they just took more acid like back in the 60's.

Finally, as to your criminally lame critiques of the irony of the energy used at Live Earth, I offer this snippet from a TIME Mag story as a rebuttal:

But would the Earth have been better off if we all stayed home and did nothing, literally? "That's a fair thought," Linkin Park guitarist Brad Delson told TIME before his band's Tokyo show. "It's also a cynical one." He's right. It's time to get past the obsession over carbon footprint size and offsets, over who's an eco-hypocrite and who is truly green. We need to use energy far more wisely, both individually and internationally, but with hundreds of millions in the developing world getting richer and producing more carbon every day, the threat of climate change is far, far bigger than our personal conservation habits. It will require technological change and painful political choices such as carbon taxes, gas taxes and mandatory greenhouse gas emissions caps. That means, especially for the young, the un-rock star act of voting.,8599,1641046,00.html

Shakira RULZ!!!

bcp said...

I enjoyed your response and can truely sense your desire to write something on the topic for many important reasons. The most important I am sure is a need to take a break from studying for that little legal exam thingy you got coming up.

Regardless, you do raise some good points. I will try to clarify one subject you broached, that of the assembling in mass with common purpose and goal. I am by no means against such practice, in fact I encourage and recognize its potential for success. What I am against are the flagbearers.

There is a lot of truth to your 'leaders on acid' comment, but there is also a worthy rebutal. I never said Dylan was a patron saint and flawless voice, but he was a voice of a generation who fought for change, rallied in numbers, informed themselves and others of the issues at hand and ultimatley forced many social changes. The muscians of that era not only had a social/political connection with the masses it was the foundation of their entire artistic approach...folk/protest songs.

Here we have the same entertainers that sing of 'bling, dancin in clubs, pimpin out their rides and making so much money they can make it rain with cash' and they should tell us about conservation?

The irony is almost too much.

But, who are would be better suited? I'll give you some folks like Bruce, DMB, Wilco etc. these musicians prove they care and they pull in numbers at festivals.

Finally, I would have to say the bit about personal conservation, although a tough pill to swallow is completely true. It would be nice to think that my putting my Sunday paper in the recyling bin made a difference, but it doesn't, not on the scale that massive industry pollutes. At the same time if the people take strides to live their lives in such a manner and then force elected politicians to fight for change and new laws a change can be made.

Good luck on that law quiz.

Cam said...


I get your point and it came across clear enough on your original post. The post just cut a little too close to the shoot the messenger / pointless distraction type political arguments that are so prevalent. You know, the "Michael Moore is fat! John Edwards spent 10 minutes combing his hair!" insights that really only make sense in a frat house.

bcp said...

Well you have to keep my demo in mind Cam, have to write to the LCD...which is Luke.