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Re: SC45

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July 09, 2007 11:17PM
http://jameshowardkunstler.typepad.com/clusterfuck_nation/

Rain Dance

Live Earth is a 24-hour, 7-continent concert series taking place on 7/7/07 that will bring together more than 100 music artists and 2 billion people to trigger a global movement to solve the climate crisis.
-- The Live Earth Web site

Am I the only one who wonders whether rock and roll extravaganzas in the service of Great Causes might be exercises in grandiosity and futility? What I wonder especially: is this the only way we know how to respond to the difficulties that life on earth presents -- to engage a corps of professional narcissists to strut and pose in stadiums, affecting to wave their magic wands (or Fender Stratocasters) and make everybody feel better about a given problem (distress on the farm, disease in Africa, global warming....)? Can't we think of other, more meaningful things to do? Or are we stuck in a perpetually delusional rut of Woodstock-style symbolism, out doing a global rain dance instead of really changing our behavior?

I'm not convinced that these big public service rock shows do much harm -- other than perhaps inflating our expectations and using too much electricity -- but this particular one galled me a little.

For one thing, even though global warming is by definition a global problem, the notion of a global community as a permanent fixture of human history is, I think, a mirage. If there is any salient macro implication to the problems I term the long emergency, it is that the world will soon become a bigger place again; the great nations will soon retreat to their own corners of the world as they powerdown by necessity; and all the trade relations, cultural exchanges, and geopolitical conceits that have lately made the Earth seem like a big international hotel give way to much more local issues of sheer survival.

There was so much about the Live Earth show that actually expressed what is worst about the current state of American culture: the obscene posturing of zillionaire celebrities, awarding themselves brownie points for the largeness of their concern -- even while, like Mr. Sting of the band called the Police, they buy-and-sell $20 million Manhattan condos, and burn god-knows-how many tons of Wyoming coal amplifying the bass runs to "Roxanne." And the flip-side of these celebrity pretensions, of course, is the disturbing fealty paid to them by the fans, as members of the public caught up in celebrity-worship are called. Obviously, the whole thing is a kind of self-reinforcing feedback loop spiraling up to ever worse grandiosity on the part of the celebs and ever more pathetic groveling worship of these fake gods by the fans -- until it becomes little more than an object lesson in the tragic limitations of the human condition................

What happened after Farm Aid Concerts: Small Farms continued to disappear fast. What is the state of Africa regarding the rampant spread of disease, after world wide concerts some years ago were organized to try and address this devastating situation ( if you live in africa ), things continue to get worse for thier populations day by day. These are " feel good " events, like " carbon trading " makes people Feel Good that they somehow have " eliminated " thier carbon impact, footprint. Both of the latter, are not the mechanisms that will precipitate the vast changes in human actions needed to alter our current course towards dramatic climate change, and the very negative repercussions that will continue to increase in what looks to be, a quickening time frame. People tend to go back to thier mass consumer ways, in the affluent, well to do countries that use most of the earth's resources, and they will in large measure suffer the illusion that somehow they have solved a problem, " remember, we fixed that, we had that concert ". One needs only to look at the continueing trend lines, regarding all the problems we are facing, to see the reality of how quickly we are continueing to proceed in dire directions. These concerts are positive in sentiment, but essentially produce little of merit beyond the event.
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