Posted by: Opey | July 9, 2007

Live Earth a Dead Flop

The largest global concert event to ever happen on this planet took place over this past weekend.  No, really, go check out your favorite media source (besides my blog of course) to prove it to yourself.  I knew such an event was in the works, but I honestly didn’t know it was happening until I was flipping through the channels and I saw Linkin Park in front of the most lit up stage I’ve seen in awhile singing to a crowd in Japan.  “Live Earth,” the concert extravaganza organized by Al Gore, took place on all 7 continents of the globe over the past few days (yes even Antarctica got in on the mix with a group of scientists putting on a small performance).  This event was the most recent in a line of concerts whose aim it has been to “raise awareness” about a certain cause or situation.  Well, hindsight being in fact 20/20, there have been some heavily mixed reviews of the sucess of this event, and I put myself firmly on the side of the doubters.  There are several places where Live Earth failed, but it’s always best to start out with any hypocrisy.  For an event that is designed to raise the awareness necessary to curb global warming and other environmental problems, why would you put on a massive, multi-continent concert where tremendous amounts of electricity and oil were needed to both transport stars to all the locations and then allow them to perform their lavish acts.  The usual lights and production were there for most acts, sucking down electricity like water.  Yes, the organizers said biofuels were used in some transportation and generation tasks, but not enough to negate the large amounts of fossil fuels used.  And then there was the message, or lack there of.  Coherent was not a word I would use to describe this event.  Everyone was sure there would be at least the usual bashing of conservative politics, or US politics in general, but even that was largely absent.  Instead, there was some minor mention of what everyone could do to help, when a performer actually made a point to say something, which was not often.  Then, during the commercial breaks on the TV broadcasts, they could have put on PSAs about what you could do in your daily life to help out the “cause.” Of course they didn’t and instead ran billions of ads that raked in millions of dollars for organizers.  There was a lack of a true leader of the movement in an inspirational sense.  Al Gore was there as usual, but his charisma has always been his downfall, and you need a lively leader to launch a movement of this sort.  Bono could have done it, but then again, what hasn’t Bono gotten his hands into these days.  He has stretched himself so thin that he’s a bit of a joke at this juncture.  At one point, Cameron Diaz was even quoted as saying that the day, “is not about gloom and doom. It’s a celebration.” (CNN.com)  What?!?  If there is a problem your trying to solve, or raise awareness about, you don’t celebrate, you light a fire under people’s asses.  That leads me to my final problem with the event, and all events of this kind: the idea of “raising awareness.”  That is such a boatload of crap.  What happened to raising money, or gathering volunteers to support a cause?  Is there really anyone out there who needs their awareness raised as to the fact that global warming is at least an issue in America?  I have to wonder if organizers have started to use this tactic to deflect people’s ability to judge the success of such events.  To quote John Mayer, “If you want to peg me as not being entirely eco-friendly, you’ll win,” said John Mayer, speaking to reporters after his set. “I also think it’s very difficult to judge the success of a movement. … You can’t find out by 9:00 this evening how much awareness was raised. … What you’re really talking about is the placement of an idea at a rock show.” (CNN.com)  If you raise money or gather signatures, there are tangible statistics to measure success or failure.  Raising awareness is such a vague B.S. reason for a concert that it allows for gray areas.  There is one area where Live Earth can still be statistically judged, and that is turnout, and judging by that mark, the concert fell short of a true victory.

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