Archive for the ‘Live Earth’ Category

When I was in elementary school, I had a sticker on my door that I got in one of those gumball-toy machines for a quarter: “Ev’ry Litter Bit Hurts.” So began my conservationist quest. That’s right. I subscribed to Ranger Rick. Since then, I have twice collected aluminum cans. Once, I turned them in for recycling. And, I recycle newspapers, usually turn the lights out (some of which are energy-saving bulbs), and drive a car with a PZE sticker. Most Americans would probably consider me a rabid environmentalist. And a Democrat. All that to say, I do a pretty crappy job of helping the world. Full disclosure section completed.

There was a great discussion on this week’s To the Point about the impact of Live Earth and similar events. Guests (including Harry Shearer, who performed in London with Spinal Tap) reflected on the problem of whether artists get and communicate the message they’re promoting, and whether participants (especially at an event aimed at altering daily practices and pushing for international policies) merely feel that purchasing tickets and joining the cheering throng supported the cause. There are a lot of questions here, although Shearer and others feel that the “nudge in the right direction” is worth the spectacle, and I tend to agree (what else were we all going to do last Saturday?).


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Happy Live Earth Day. I hope I can catch the Police, in my only chance to see the reunion for less than $300 (other than three underwhelming minutes at the Grammys). Is it wrong to be excited about getting free music from a benefit concert? Is it wrong to be a benefit concert?

I remember Live Aid in ’85. My family was at somebody’s home for most of the day. Somebody with cable. I remember watching U2, the main act as far as I was concerned. I remember Duran Duran. And Little Steven. But mostly I remember Tracy Chapman. I had no idea who she was, or if she was male or female, but that was a significant moment for me. Maybe my first conscious encounter with the singer-songwriter idea. In the midst of all the noise and hype, she just stood there with her guitar and was amazing.

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