July 9, 2007

"UnAustralian"... "This is what happens when you let hippies organise a big event."

Live Earth was a flop because it was too hard to buy beer.... and lots of other reasons.

In the UK, they didn't like the f-word... and the Princess Di tribute was so much nicer.

There was some skepticism -- here in America -- about the connection between the cause and the event:
Just 22% [of Americans] said they followed news stories about the concert ...

Most Americans (52%) believe the performers take part in such events because it is good for their image. Only 24% say the celebrities really believe in the cause while another 24% are not sure. One rock star who apparently shared that view is Matt Bellamy of the band Muse. Earlier in the week, he jokingly referred to Live Earth as "private jets for climate change."

Only 34% believe that events like Live Earth actually help the cause they are intended to serve. Forty-one percent (41%) disagree. Those figures include 10% who believe the events are Very Helpful and 20% who say they are Not at All Helfpul. Adding to the skepticism, an earlier survey found that just 24% of Americans consider Al Gore an expert on Global Warming.

Given a choice of four major issues before the United States today, 36% named the war in Iraq as most important. Twenty-five percent (25%) named immigration, 20% selected the economy and only 12% thought Global Warming was the top issue.
So you can't stir us up with a big rock show? That's a good thing, isn't it? I mean, this cause may be a good one, but it's nevertheless good if we're immune to the use of music for propaganda purposes.

I watched some of the show. I TiVo'd everything, then fast-forwarded through most of it. I enjoyed Crowded House and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. And everyone likes Madonna now. She works so hard. She's still willing to get out on the dance floor flat on her belly and writhe until we are entertained. Alicia Keys is okay, but when she deigned to participate in "Gimme Shelter," she made it very obvious -- to those of us who will always have the sound of Merry Clayton imprinted on our brains -- how much more of a voice it's possible to have.

My favorite part of Live Earth was one of the conservation film clips that I mostly skipped. Some guy was showing off his apartment -- a table he found on the street and the hemp upholstery on his sofa -- to explain us a few of the manifold techniques we could use to save the planet. And then -- this was supposed to seem hip and not comic -- he advised us to wrap presents with metallic paper obtained by turning potato chip bags inside out and washing the grease off it. Oh, that brought back memories of a job I had in the mid-70s that required me to read Women's Day. I'll never forget the article that advised women to make curtains out of pop tops -- remember pop-topping? -- and to save the string from bakery cake boxes and knit it into dish cloths.

It's really easy, by the way, to cut back your consumption of fossil fuels. There's no need to embrace this depressing 70s vibe. But it's funny as hell to see a young hipster recycling it for us with utter sincerity.

IN THE COMMENTS: A hot and funny fight between ace commenter Bissage and planet-famous music critic Steve Simels.

53 comments:

Bissage said...

Oh, goody! This Althouse post touches on many topics, including POP MUSIC and even POP MUSIC CULTURE!!!

World-renowned POP MUSIC CRITIC Mr. Steve Simels should be here any minute to bring it all together, such that even the unwashed, such as myself, can develop a fuller understanding of WHAT IT ALL MEANS.

Thank you in advance, sir, for your expert opinion!

I sit here at my computer in humble submission, awaiting the bright shining light of YOUR REASON.

(GO, CAT, GO! GO, MAN, WILD!)

Dewave said...

I wonder how many tons of greenhouse gasses got pumped into the atmosphere as a result of all the private jet flying involved with this party.

Any gains you make from using potato chip bags instead of wrapping paper or duct tape underweaer instead of evil synthetics are completely dwarfed by one unnecessary flight.

When the global warming prophets start actually making meaningful sacrfices, then maybe I'll be willing to believe they actually are concerned about this issue.

Doug said...

I will use the mention of hippies to bring up my favorite Eric Cartman quote:

Hippies.They're everywhere. They wanna save the earth, but all they do is smoke pot and smell bad.


I tried watching it on cable, but it seemed like whenever I turned it on, there were a bunch of kids on stage saying something in a foreign language. I saw Black Eyed Peas and Nicole Kidman's husband, and I am not a fan of either one, I would have like to made it through to see Crowded House.

scott said...

$50 for a beer? Now that is UnAustralian!

P. Rich said...

"...this cause may be a good one..."

I'm so glad you said "may," Althouse. The whole notion of raising cash in order to pour it down some typically unspecified and unquestionably wasteful rat hole is much more about egocentric feel-good or "let's get high on the vibes dude" than anything faintly resembling a solution.

In the case of "global warming," it is far from clear there is a problem, never mind the magnitude of it; and no one has a clue about how to implement a sane approach to dealing with this global phenomenon even if it can or should be dealt with. All of which makes this "event" rather pathetic.

SteveR said...

A much better idea is to use those gift bags, over and over. Greasy potato chip bags, not so much.

There is so much access to "music" these days that paying big bucks to sit around with a bunch of smelly people and pay $50 for a beer does not motivate me off the couch.

But world-renowned POP MUSIC CRITIC Mr. Steve Simels may have some insight I've missed.

George said...

Rock may not be dead, but it sure is over.

Saw Steely Dan a few months ago. Those jokers were on-stage no more than 80 minutes.

Saw Skynyrd. Got to see more pictures of dead people than I would in a horror movie.

Saw Clapton. People were too busy stuffing their pie holes with cheese nachos to stand up and show their respect for the master.

Saw Rod Stewart recently, too. Creeped me out watching a 60-year-old man shake his booty for squealing grannies.

Also caught the Chili Peppers. They were loud and stupid. Maybe there's hope for rock 'n' roll after all.

DStevens said...

Dewave said... I wonder how many tons of greenhouse gasses got pumped into the atmosphere as a result of all the private jet flying involved with this party.

See this:

A Daily Mail investigation has revealed that far from saving the planet, the extravaganza will generate a huge fuel bill, acres of garbage, thousands of tonnes of carbon emissions, and a mileage total equal to the movement of an army.

The most conservative assessment of the flights being taken by its superstars is that they are flying an extraordinary 222,623.63 miles between them to get to the various concerts - nearly nine times the circumference of the world. The true environmental cost, as they transport their technicians, dancers and support staff, is likely to be far higher.

The total carbon footprint of the event, taking into account the artists' and spectators' travel to the concert, and the energy consumption on the day, is likely to be at least 31,500 tonnes of carbon emissions, according to John Buckley of Carbonfootprint.com, who specialises in such calculations.

Throw in the television audience and it comes to a staggering 74,500 tonnes. In comparison, the average Briton produces ten tonnes in a year.

The concert will also generate some 1,025 tonnes of waste at the concert stadiums - much of which will go directly into landfill sites.

Moreover, the pop stars headlining the concerts are the absolute antithesis of the message they promote - with Madonna leading the pack of the worst individual rock star polluters in the world.



From: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/femail/article.html?in_article_id=466775&in_page_id=1879

Hoosier Daddy said...

Only 34% believe that events like Live Earth actually help the cause they are intended to serve.

Probably because anyone who remembers all the 'awareness' concerts from the 80s knows they don't. I tend to look at these concerts as LAMIC events - Look At Me I Care. Raising awareness is fine but doing something is more effective.

al said...

Tried watching for a few minutes but Keith Urban (Mr Nicole Kidman) playing Gimme Shelter was too weird.

The Daily Mail did some investigating on how much pollution and trash this event will produce. Interesting read. Carbon offsets are back...

steve simels said...

Bissage said...

Oh, goody! This Althouse post touches on many topics, including LAW and even LAW PROFESSERING!!!

World-renowned LAW PROFESSER Ms. Ann Althouse should be here any minute to bring it all together, such that even the unwashed, such as myself, can develop a fuller understanding of WHAT IT ALL MEANS ON THE BIZARRO WORLD.

Thank you in advance, maam, for your blithering idiocy!

I sit here at my computer in humble submission, awaiting the bright shining light of YOUR TORRENTIAL ILLOGIC AND BREATHY SELF-ABSORPTION.

(GO, ANN, GO! WE NEED MORE VEGGIE PORN)


Fixed your typos, Biss.

nick danger said...

Swing and a miss!

Sloanasaurus said...

What was that an attempt by Simels to fake a previous post. I almost fell for it.

Doesn't something like that get you banned?

Sloanasaurus said...

There is no doubt that many of the performers don't beleive in the climate change BS. Polls have shown in the UK that large majorities don't believe in it and the UK is a much more liberal country that the U.S.

I assume they go along with it because of the perceived industry pressure, which has a liberal ideology. No one wants to take the risk of going off the reservation... you might not get invited to some awards show next year.

The idea that humans are mostly responsible for global climate change is the biggest sham since greedy rulers used the passion play to appropriate money from Jews in the middle ages.

Charlie Eklund said...

So, America looks at Live Earth, with it's attendant hysteria about the end of life as we know it, and yawns.

This victory of Reason over Emotion must make Al Gore very, very...er...happy.

Mike said...

24% of Americans consider Al Gore an expert on Global Warming.

Sigh.

steve simels said...

Annie sez:

IN THE COMMENTS: A hot and funny fight between ace commenter Bissage and planet-famous music critic Steve Simels.

Okay, if I'm being used to sell tickets to this intellectual trainwreck of a blog, I'm outta here for good.

Have fun, kids.

Troy said...

Ann -- you're a genius. Now if you can only use Dave tm to flog your blog -- perhaps he'll go away too.

As to Live Earth. It -- to use the weather theme -- blew. The Telegraph article Drudge linked to summed it up... Where were U2, Radiohead, REM, and Coldplay. Springsteen, Dylan,.... I'm skeptical enough as it is -- I'm supposed to rally to Linkin Park?

Simon said...

Re the ongoing inanity from Simels, the Greenwlad sock puppets, the drive-by ADS victims, most of HDH's comments and so forth, does anyone else wish that we could bifurcate the comments section here the way you bifurcate a dinner party - y'know, a kids table and a grown-ups table? That way the people who want to conduct themselves civilly can do so, and the folks who want to yell, squeal and throw their rattle out of the pram can do so to their hearts' content?

I don't know who "Steve Simels" is. Everyone else seems to be treating him like "ooh, Steve Simels," but so far as I can tell he's just another vanilla ADS victim. Apparently he criticizes pop music for a living, which is perhaps the only job on Earth more inane and requiring less talent than actually making pop music. But really, who cares. You're measured by what you contribute not by who you are, and by that measure, Simels has a very, very small... uh... "contribution" to offer.

Internet Ronin said...

I'm outta here for good.

Fat chance.

Kevin said...

I missed it on TV, but Youtube has this gem:

Spinal Tap + Army of Bass Players

Obsimels: Many of the bass players had backed Madonna, a famous Pop Star.

NSC said...

Who is Steve Simels and why should I care? Funny last name though . . .

Tim said...

"I'm outta here for good."

Trolls are addicted; he ain't going anywhere.

Seven Machos said...

Please do not ban Steve Simels! He has taken you, a law professor to profound new heights.

Also, I find the way he keeps coming back and coming back and coming back and coming back to call Althouse obsessed sweetly amusing.

Toby said...

I saw about 20 seconds of the event. During an interview, Cameron Diaz was praising herself and being praised for purchasing a hybrid car 6 years ago. It's terribly obnoxious for the rich & famous to praise themselves like that. She's got enough cash that shelling out a few extra thousand for a hybrid is no sacrifice for her.

Victor Davis Hanson described such a thing as a "boutique piety." Works for me: more about image than substance, and no real discipline or sacrifice required.

Finn Kristiansen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Finn Kristiansen said...

I suspect that most of the musicians peformed at the concert despite giant carbon footprint so that we wouldn't have to walk that path ourselves.

It's very theological.

They are taking a Christlike method by taking our place and helping the earth die for our sins. Yes they must pollute in order to get the message out, but if we listen to that message, then the overall net positive is immense. Huge! Heaven on earth!

In their polluting ways, they are in effect taking our sins upon themselves.

And when we are alone walking the beach filled with waste and used condoms, and we feel lost, and say, "God why have you left us alone to die by from ozone stuff", it will be Fergie who can say, "Do you not see that one set of carbon footprints in the sand? That is where we carried you in your weariness".

It's beautiful.

(reposted-typo correction)

Bissage said...

Thank you for being a friend, Mr. Simels. You light up my life!

Your corrections to my comment made a real improvement; not only stylistically, but substantively, as well! You thought of ALL KINDS OF THINGS that never even occurred to me.

That’s because you’re smart.

Which comes as no surprise to anyone. After all, you’re a POP MUSIC CRITIC!!!

And I can tell you’re a nice guy (sorry about calling you a Gollum-like creature, back there, but you hurt my feelings). And I can tell you didn’t mean to go breakin’ my heart, like that, when our little 4th of July party went without the world’s most happening POP MUSIC playlist from the mind of the world’s most happening POP MUSIC CRITIC.

(It’s just as well, too. The neighbors who were uninvited to the party would have become insanely jealous that we’d scored the top-ranking contact-high that comes from the merest whiff of steve simels’ boss cool.)

But since you’re here, may I please ask another favor? It’s smaller than the last one. I promise.

You see, I got into a dust-up with my brother-in-law because he said that Camel was better than Procol Harum and I had too many beers and my face got all red and I screamed loud enough that the children could hear: “What the heck are you talking about? ROBIN TROWER, DUDE! EFFING ROBIN TROWER, YOU MORON!!!”

The scene cooled off fast enough, but still, I wish it had never happened.

So, what’s the favor I ask? I need a way to get back at him and you’re smart, because you’re a POP MUSIC CRITIC, so I know you’ll have a really good comeback I can use next time.

Pretty please?

(Remember, it won't be loooooong, till your gonna need, somebody to leeeeeeeeeean on.)

Sheepman said...

"he advised us to wrap presents with metallic paper obtained by turning potato chip bags inside out and washing the grease off it"

To wash the grease off you'll need plenty of hot water and soap. That'll go a long way in offsetting any meager gains this ludicrous action might bring.

David53 said...

Bissage,

Stop it.
You killing me.
I have to work today.
Robin Trower.
HA!

SGT Ted said...

Okay, if I'm being used to sell tickets to this intellectual trainwreck of a blog, I'm outta here for good.

Have fun, kids.


One can only hope.

BJK said...

"private jets for climate change" may be the funniest thing I read all week.

I completely forgot that the Live Earth Concerts were even taking place this weekend. On a related note: Comedy Central aired the ManBearPig episode last night. (I'm super serial!)

Excelsior!

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

To combine my distate for Live Earth and PETA yestrday I grilled pig, deer, and cow meat over coal-driven flames.

But since I listened to tapes by some of the performers at Live Earth in the background, and mentioned the word Prius at least seven time (okay, not exactly at appropriate moments), I was granted an indulgence here and my net carbon footprint was zero.

stoqboy said...

Is Prius a contraction of Priapus?

The Exalted said...

simels must have been on the b team over at tv guide, check out the movies he was assigned:

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/author-3497/?cats=1%2C+2%2C+3%2C+4%2C+5%2C+7%2C+8%2C+29%2C+12%2C+13%2C+14%2C+16%2C+17%2C+18%2C+19%2C+20%2C+21%2C+22%2C+24%2C+23%2C+26%2C+27&genreid=&letter=&switches=&sortby=&limit=50&page=1

TMink said...

I would like to say a few words for the real Steve Simels.

The real Steve Simels (RSS) is a great writer about music. I make that statement with deep sincerity!I have enjoyed his work since it was in a stereo magazine I often read, and I think he went on to do some reviews for the Village Voice (but I could be wrong about that.)

He has a blog about music that is witty, cogent, and fun. I have just started to post and read over there. Here is the address, I suggest that you check it out and read what the RSS writes for yourself.

http://powerpop.blogspot.com/

Now what he has written here, and what he wrote there, are SO different in tone and quality, that I have begun to believe that the Steve Simels who posts here is not in face the RSS.

This my be my private delusion, but the conspiracy theory goes farther than that. The trademarked david posts over there a lot. And frankly, his posts are more similar here and there than Steve Simels and RSS. So I am wondering if the trademarked one has appropriated or been allowed the use of or out and out stolen the name Steve Simels from the RSS to post here. The Steve Simels here writes a bit like he who shall not be named due to the trademark, which is nothing like the RSS.

Call me crazy, and I will not really argue with you much on this point. But I felt it was my duty to defend the (what I consider to be excellent) writing of the RSS, and to distinguish it from the trollish sniping of the Steve Simels who posts here. That just sort of led to the whole conspiracy theory thingy.

Trey, who calls them as he sees them, even when he sees them crooked

Ann Althouse said...

TMink, when you click on the "Simels" name, you get a profile that includes the powerpop blog. I know people fake names sometimes. I have this problem with my name on another blog, so I made a point of checking. If someone's name is being faked on my blog, they ought to write to me and ask me to remove it, which I will do (if the person who writes is the real person).

TMink said...

Ann, I claim this as my conspiratorial delusion. It could turn out to be a fact, but I bet it is the convoluted machinations of my twisted mind.

Trey

Peter Palladas said...

So we now get the message:

If you want to save the world - and let's leave that as no more than a maybe for now - you stop listening to rock stars and stay home to make your Own Entertainment.

Remember Cousin Martha (the one no one, not even her own brother, would marry) at the piano forte, with Young (about 307 and drooling) Jimbo on the viola, plus Uncle Mike (the pervert one with bad teeth and a Secret Room) in full cant bellow?

Murdering some innocent Schubert song while the rest of the family slowly lose the will to live?

Hmmm...save the world eh? Not yet sure I want to. Let me take in an early Van Morrison and I'll get back to you.

Mr.Murder said...

bissage... e_big_ass


Couldn't help but notice that in comparison to most concert sales the event had amazing attendance.

Or did i miss the gate receipts for Toby Keith and Reba McEncasino lately?

Jon Bon Jovi isn't interesting? Roger Waters?

The stars have abandoned the AWOL bandwagon, all that's left are burnouts and has-beens. Ted Nugent is reloading and sponsored by AARP in addition to the NRA this time around!

Polls regarding climate change, as opposed to raw scientific data. So that's why Bush cut NASA satellite feeds that show heating trend patterns, he listens to public polls!

As evidenced by his popular war, plan to abolish social security, and attempt to play both sides of the immigration fence!

And people say he's living in a bubble! John Travolta already made that movie!

Bush is in a bubble of popularity! underwritten by credit from China and a housing market ready to flatten! Dumb is the new black! Wear it and share it.

Seven Machos said...

Yeah. It's going to be terrible when the housing market finally goes bust.

Palladian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Palladian said...

Man, Mr. Murder, that's almost a Simels-level piece of prosody!

Throw something about trees, Jews, and Halliburton in there and we can flog it at LiveEarth II: The Reckoning.

Dewave said...

I think humans have a deeply ingrained instinct to look out for the next apocalyptic calamity and illustrate their own prescience and superior moral insight by 'caring' about it more than the other guy.

First we were worried about an ice age. Then we were worried about overpopulation. Now we're worried about global warming and soon the talking heads will be talking about the inevitable depopulation of Europe.

It gives people with not enough to do (academics, performers, journalists) something titillating to worry about.

Seven Machos said...

If you think about this, it fits in very well with every religious instinct.

Humans are bad and do bad things. Natural calamity that is visited upon us results from our bad behavior, and our current bad behavior will be cause for future natural calamity. We must change our ways in order to avoid future calamity.

Does the agent of the calamity really matter? Does it really matter whether the agent is God or just nature as a force? Are God and nature as forces acting on humans because of human badness really any different from each other?

Bissage said...

bissage... e_big_ass

Hey, that’s not too bad, but it must have taken a lot of thought, especially to convince yourself that “e” is a word.

But I’m here to help so I’ll make it easy for you. Whenever you think of me and my “e_big_ass,” think of yourself as Borat.

Sincerely Yours,

e_bun_carlos

P.S. Too bad he’s gone forever. The incredible Mr. Simels would have found that one a side-splitter, . . ., it’s a POP MUSIC joke!

P.P.S. Gone but not forgotten; Hey hey, my, my!

Ann Althouse said...

Simels needs to get his e big ass over here again.

Trevor said...

"You two! We command you to fight to the death for our amusement! (And traffic.) More wine!"

Tacky, Professor.

Mr.Murder said...

Seven Machos said...
Yeah. It's going to be terrible when the housing market finally goes bust.


"Housing investment declined at a 17.0 percent annual rate, the sixth consecutive quarter of decline. Housing investment is now 17 percent below its 2005 peak. The last time there was such a sustained falloff in the housing sector was in the 1981-82 recession. With inventories of new and existing homes both at near record levels, this decline is likely to continue."

Mr.Murder said...

"Hey, that’s not too bad, but it must have taken a lot of thought, especially to convince yourself that “e” is a word.

But I’m here to help so I’ll make it easy for you. Whenever you think of me and my “e_big_ass,” think of yourself as Borat.

Sincerely Yours,

e_bun_carlos"

So snark worthy.

'E' Pluribus Onion.

It's niiiiiiiice!(/Borat)

Mr.Murder said...

Until you show off those lumps, those lovely lady humps, we'll have to keep conversation on bigness of ass to limited scope...

then again, you higlight when people mock minimalism...


literally or figuratively.

Simon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.