10 July 2007

Lame Earth: rock + environmentalism = petrol + clean water

Plastic cups? A jumbo-tron? Where's the green?

I tuned into Live Earth. I saw Keith Urban and Alicia Keys' disappointing Stones cover. I threw in a DVD and watched Clueless instead. When it was over, LE was still on. I watched for about 10 more minutes, then turned it off. I'd seen all I needed to see.

Bombing for peace is like fucking for virginity, and throwing nine stadium-sized rock concerts for a greener planet is like taking a drink for sobriety. The event was so egregiously unnecessary, so inherently wasteful, that it was defeating its own purpose in the most sadly ironic way possible.

I'm sure the sets were made of recycled materials, everyone was wearing American Apparel T-shirts and hemp jeans, and buttloads of carbon offsets were purchased to fly Joss Stone to South Africa (what? they didn't?). How many resources did it take to put together the one in Antarctica?

Rock always has been--and forever should be--a celebration of excess. I don't care if your guitar is made of reclaimed bamboo; no one is going to start shooting up organic heroin. It's the very antithesis of everything that IS rock 'n' roll! (At least one thing hasn't changed between Woodstock '94 and today: don't forget to check out the merch booth.)

I mean, I get it. I get the environmental thing. I have a membership in a CSA, I drive a Prius, I compost, I don't consume commercial meat or dairy, I buy used clothes/music whenever possible. I admire that artists like Guster and Andrew Bird are making conscious efforts to "green" their tours, but it's a drop in the bucket to the kind of toll the road takes.

And, while making these small efforts is better than doing nothing at all, the amount of waste produced from such a massive event is, by nature, totally counterproductive to the message.

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