Monday 11 June 2007

Live Arse

Live Earth is a derivative, nonsensical, self-important, collective ego wank that will achieve absolutely nothing except further needless carbon emission. An inconvenient truth? Afraid so.

To be honest, the writing was well and truly on the wall when Bob Geldof, the Boomtown Messiah himself, wanted nothing to do with the latest benign pop crusade. Al Gore, according to Geldof, you are wasting "yer fuckin' time." Geldof went on to condemn the event's lack of clear, concrete objectives. "I would only organise a gig like this if I could go on stage and announce concrete environmental measures from the US presidential candidates," he told a Dutch newspaper. To be fair Bob, time has shown Live 8 to be far from a monumental success in this respect either. People in glass houses...

Do not for a moment get me wrong. I care very much for the environment, and would dearly love this series of gigs to successfully awaken Middle-Class Earth from her ignorant slumber. The environmental importance of our generation and the perilous ecological imperatives of our time can not be underestimated. However I do not bother to hope for change as a result of Live Earth. Why so?
EDIT - Originally I had listed six bullet pointed reasons as to why Live Earth is doomed to failure. Yet on reflection, I have deleted these reasons, and offer instead a far more compendious explanation. Firstly, as Geldof says, Live Earth suffers from no clear objective. Its success can never be quantified. Raised consciousness is a fine and noble aspiration, yet unless Al Gore has a few X-Men tucked up his sleeve, it will do precious little to alleviate the harm being done to our environment. Secondly, in essence Live Earth is a hypocritical farce. Why spend millions staging Live Earth and jetting rock stars and their entourages around the globe, thereby creating unnecessary carbon footprints, in order to prevent the creation of unnecessary carbon footprints? Also, it is hardly cost efficient, which is the environmental movement's supposed trump card in the battle to bring change. Finally, Radiohead, perhaps the greenest band of them all - so much so that they have threatened to cease touring to cut down on carbon emissions - have laughed it all off. Thom Yorke stating the following: "the last thing the planet needs is another rock concert."

The reformation of spoof rockers Spinal Tap is perhaps the final nail in the coffin of Live Earth's credibility. Christopher Guest's rock mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap exists as unquestionably the finest jibe ever at the preening self-importance of the rock star. It hilariously lampoons the complete lack of self-awareness that insulates their hallowed world. I truly hope that Christopher Guest took up Gore's invitation as a means to successfully deride from within. I really do. It would do his filmic repertoire a real disservice if he's being genuine this time... The folly of placing Spinal Tap on the bill is perfectly captured by Robert Sandall in the current Sunday Times Culture magazine: "Al Gore had better hope that their (Spinal Tap) slogan for the day - "We're hot, and so's the planet" - doesn't catch on."

Watch it all unfold on the telly if you will, or join me outside for a walk, or a tree hug with Dick Roche, or a strum on my acoustic guitar. You should hear it when it goes all the way up to 11.

The above facts and quotes are taken from Robert Sandall's "Green age kicks", from the current Sunday Times Culture magazine, 10th July '07. Worth a read.

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