the copy-cat concert that could

Live Earth – it was all over the television yesterday, and it’s been talked to death over the last few months. Bob Geldof wasn’t a fan from the beginning, and he wasn’t alone; there were a lot of people who asked: what’s the effing point? And, ya know, part of me agreed. I didn’t see the point of using all of that energy to put together such a blatantly extravagant event so that people could be entertained while learning things that they should already be concerned enough to know. My opinion of the concept did change however, when I thought about it for a while and came to the conclusion that: “there really are a lot of people who are not nearly as aware as they should be; and the modern west will more likely be moved by a bunch of extravagant concerts than by any other means.” Except, it went more like: “Nothing like a bunch of celebrities to get us all off our fame-crazed asses and actually do something!” The question still remains, however: will it work? and, how will we really know if it does?

The unfortunate thing about Live Earth is that we don’t really have any way to gauge exactly how effective it was, or will be. It was a fabulous way to bring about more – and seriously widespread – awareness on the matter of global warming and all of the consequences that come with it, and that’s great! I will definitely do a little bit more everyday to make the small differences I can, but will everyone else? and if they do initially – will they keep it up? All we can do is hope, I suppose; hope that all those musicians and celebrities making that much collective noise will make a lasting impression. This is one of those situations where some ask, “why should I?” and the answer is clearly, “why the Hell not?” Do what you can and feel good about the fact that you’re doing your part, right? There’s no reason not to.

And if that doesn’t work for you just remember: it’s your problem, too. The planet is just as much yours as it is anyone else’s, and its survival and well-being is just as much your responsibility as it is anyone else’s.

And this is the point in the entry where I ask: why wasn’t Canada in on all the earth-saving madness yesterday? I was started watching CTV‘s coverage of the event (which was generally good, though I would have done things a little differently), and the screen split to views of all of the various concerts, at which point it occurred to me that there wasn’t a Canadian city to be seen on the bill! I was immediately alarmed by the notion that Canadians hadn’t gotten in on a piece of the eco-saving action, but more than that, I was genuinely confused: why hadn’t some Canadian activist groups or an on-the-ball politician gotten something on the go? I mean, Toronto is where all the big stuff happens in Canada, and I know that we (read: Canadians) could have put off a Hell of a show – but we didn’t. I would like to know why, but it’s not terribly likely that I ever will. I spent the rest of the afternoon being genuinely perturbed in between enjoying the fabulous entertainment.

The entertainment portion of the day was pretty spectacular, I must say. The Pussycat Dolls got on my nerves a bit, as usual, though I don’t deny that Nicole has some proper pipes – unlike many of the others in the group. My favourite performances of the day included The Beastie Boys (who, I admit, I don’t listen to that often – but they were really good!), Kasabian (who I didn’t know existed until yesterday, but I immediately got my hands on some of their music after their set), The Foo Fighters (whose live rendition of Best Of You always amazes me), Metallica (James Hetfield’s beard was a highlight of that one; it was great to be reminded that they can still rock out), Joss Stone (bare feet and all), KT Tunstall (whose strangely golden legs weirded me out just a little), and Alicia Keys (who kinda blew me away with her rather passionate performance). That list is out of all of the pieces of the show that I saw live – I will be YouTube-ing lots of other performances that I didn’t get to see, or didn’t get to see in their entirety because of the switching back and forth CTV was doing. As you can see by my list, London was my favourite show – by far – but I’ll be looking up Dave Matthews (because he’s a genius, I love him, and I missed him!), David Grey (who I’ve seen live and am kinda convinced is super-human because he was so perfect), Snow Patrol, Wolfmother, and some of the other foreign acts that I would have liked to catch, just because it’s always neat to find out what’s popular in other parts of the world.

So, as I sit here in my rather bare (or minimalist, as I like to call it) bedroom in my newly acquired apartment eating green grapes and listening to the Kaiser Chiefs (whom I dearly love), I am thinking up ways in which I can change my life to help change the future. I actually paid attention to the fact that my Starbucks cup was 10% post-consumer recycled material, today (come on, Starbucks! You can do better than that!). I’d been trying to break the Starbucks habit because I was dubious about their Fair Trade practices; it didn’t work out very well! I did however, look into it a little bit more and I found that Starbucks coffee is not as evil as some friends of mine had made them out to be, and so now I don’t feel quite as bad. (Here’s a reason to feel good: Historic Deal with Ethiopia) There is, happily, a new coffee shop in town that only sells Fair Trade coffee, to which I could easily switch. Fair Trade coffee is worry free coffee, and I like that idea. Then all I have to worry about is the fact that I have a growing dependence on it.

Here’s another thought, since the theme of the day is music and being earth-friendly: how about buying all of your music on iTunes? Not only is it cheaper and easier, it also comes sans plastic and goes neatly stored on your computer and iPod (or reasonable facsimile thereof). That saves energy and means less plastic garbage produced by conscious music lovers everywhere. There’s already enough plastic floating around; it’s useless, gross and terrible. I already buy my music on iTunes, and thinking about it that way makes me twice as happy about it.

On that note, check out the song Generator by The Holloways. It’s a fun song, and it plants your feet firmly on the ground, reminding you that being happy is easy.

That’s something I can get behind.

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