Live Earth has come and gone. The concerts are over and the people have all gone home or shut off the live streaming video on MSN. Only problem now is that MSN can’t get over their smug selves enough to admit that Live Earth really wasn’t that cool.
Don’t get me wrong, it was cool. There were several phenomenal performances and the list of performing artists was stellar. I enjoyed watching the live broadcasts on A&E, and TiVo’d whatever I couldn’t watch live. (Although, my DVR went wacko and cut out half of AFI’s set.) Yet, there were a couple of minor details in the broadcast that disturbed me.
First, the commentary was provided by a bunch of eighties era MTV washouts. Not that their presence was a bad thing; after all, they still need to make a living. But the girl in the brown dress (no idea who she was) that was providing studio commentary on A&E was a complete moron. She seemed star-struck and acted like she was every band's biggest fan. Yet, her remarks about artists’ performances truly revealed how little she really knew about (or payed attention to) each of the bands she pretended to like so much. This observation showed itself clearest after the set from Black Eyed Peas, who opened with a rocking version of ‘Let’s Get Retarded.’ When that song was released as a single the word retarded was not politically correct enough for American airways, so BEP re-did the lyrics for the radio and changed the song to ‘Let’s Get It Started.’ For the Live Earth performance, BEP retained the original lyrics in the chorus, “Everybody, let's get into it, get stupid. Get retarded, get retarded, get retarded. Let's get retarded, let’s get retarded in here.” Between the BEP set and the band that followed, the girl in brown proceeded to express how awesome their show was by singing her favorite song… Let’s Get It Started.
The next thing to bother me about Live Earth was their self-proclaimed title of “unprecedented” early in the broadcasts. According to Merriam-Webster, unprecedented means having no precedent - novel, or unexampled. So, according to concert promoters, Live Earth had no precedent; it was a novel idea with no prior examples. Hmm. That must mean that nothing like Live Earth has ever happened be for, right Bob Geldof? Ten concerts in ten different cities, all across the globe, on a single day, televised, to raise awareness, and asking people to make pledges. Yup… That’s never happened before. I will give Live Earth some credit though. They managed to have a concert in Antarctica, something that Bob Geldof would not have been able to accomplish with Live 8. But who are we kidding. Several artists performed for both Live 8 and Live Earth. In fact, one could easily argue that Live Earth is Live 8 with a different mission; but more people watched Live 8. (And in my opinion, Live 8 had a cooler logo.) ATTENTION MSN: LIVE EARTH WAS NOT AN UNPRECEDENTED EVENT. Quit pretending like it was.
The final thing that bothered me was the hypocritical nature of such a massive event. To pretend that such a show is going to make a difference in our environment is asinine. Live Earth was NOT an eco-friendly event. Points to ponder: how much fuel was spent jetting these artists to the events (many of them traveled overseas to get to their venue); how much electricity was consumed by the massive sound systems, reader boards, lighting, and projection screens; how much energy was spent preparing food for concessions; how much trash (waste) was generated from those concessions. Now, I realize that event organizers are going to try and recycle as much trash as possible, but every shot of the crowd included several plastic cups filled with beers raised to the sky. I can guarantee that most drunken idiots can not tell the difference between a trash can and a recycle bin after a day-long concert under the hot summer sun. Yes, they do recycle, but there was still probably as much (if not more) trash collected at each of the Live Earth events as you would typically see at a major sporting event. Furthermore, I fail to see what Madonna’s f-bomb, Shakira’s contortionistic dancing, and Ludacris' rapping about booty has to do with the environment. Yes, Live Earth is looking at a worthy cause. We all know our environment is fragile and we should take care of our planet, but the fate of planet earth is in debate. Environmentalists can not agree if the impending doom of climate change is leading to a new ice age, or if it will cause all glaciers to melt and raise existing sea levels to unlivable heights. Some scientists say global warming will cause the next ice age, and some scientists say global warming is nothing more than pseudoscience. At least Live 8 had a theme that no one could dispute: poverty in Africa.