My Last Word on Live Earth

I have an op-ed today in the Examiner newspapers taking to task those who criticized Live Earth, including Sir Bob Geldof, the British press and conservative bloggers. A snippet:

Yes, [Sir] Geldof, it was just a big pop concert. It won’t solve the energy crisis any more than your Live 8 concert ended poverty in Africa. But both are worthy endeavors.

Rock music is a great unifier. It transcends race, age, class and even politics. In today’s celebrity-driven culture, rock stars carry a lot of clout. To criticize them for using it to inspire positive change across society as they entertain us rings hollow.

The published piece omits the [Sir] which was in the version I submitted. I'm adding it back in here since I wouldn't have called Bob Geldof out only using his last name. Seems kind of rude.

Update: The AP Style people, Wikipdedia and commenters below point out that "Sir Geldof" would not be a correct appellation. I stand corrected, but again, I meant no disrespect to him.

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  • Display: Sort:
    No 'Sir' for Bob (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by chemoelectric on Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 04:01:51 AM EST
    Bob Geldof, not being a citizen of a Commonwealth nation (he's from the Republic of Ireland), is not entitled to use the title 'Sir', though he can put 'KBE' after his name.

    Wikipedia explains all. :)

    Excuse me (none / 0) (#3)
    by chemoelectric on Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 04:04:12 AM EST
    I meant to say 'Commonwealth Realm'. :)

    I believe... (none / 0) (#1)
    by TomStewart on Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 03:35:47 AM EST
    that British tradition uses the title Sir, with the  knight's first name, like Sir Bob, or Sir Robert. Lords use the last name, ie: Lord Geldof.

    Nice piece though, sorry to see such pettiness from the very people who should be part of the solution.

    The AP Style People (none / 0) (#16)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 12:31:56 PM EST
    say it would not be appropriate to call him Sir Geldof.  So I was wrong. Thanks for pointing it out.

    Bob's a fine human being (none / 0) (#4)
    by Stewieeeee on Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 04:05:13 AM EST
    with a bit of a passive aggressive ego problem.

    i wonder if he read "catcher in the rye" during his A levels and wrote a nice long essay about what a brave and admirable boy holden caulfield was.

    i was prone to do that myself back in the day.

    I read (none / 0) (#5)
    by HK on Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 04:41:05 AM EST
    that someone did an assessment of the carbon footprint of various stars and Madonna was one of the worst offenders.  She was then criticised by various people for the hypocrisy in taking part in a concert for the environment.

    I am, as my husband loves to say, a bit of a tree-hugger.  I recycle, used washable nappies for my children and only got a car two years ago out of absolute necessity.  I am not particularly a fan of Madonna.  On the one hand, maybe she should get her own house in order before she starts preaching to the rest of us.  On the other hand, how is she going to get a team of 100 dancers, technicians etc to concerts around the globe if she doesn't use a plane?  And while she could choose more environmentally friendly cars, why is it such a big deal that she has more than one?  She can only drive one at a time!  I think that individual responsibility is an issue when it comes to the environment.  Quite simply, we all have to do our bit.  But when anyone does anything it is better than nothing and so this concert was a positive thing in my view.

    BTW chemo and Tom are both right about the title.  I shouldn't worry about calling him simply 'Geldof' though; I can see why you prefered not to, but the British press wouldn't have hesitated to do so.

    HK - Good morning (1.00 / 0) (#9)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 08:57:24 AM EST
    Good morning HK, I hope the garden is doing well.
    As you know, I'm not a believer in man made GW, and I take a rather jaundiced look at all of this. So I would like to answer your question:

    On the other hand, how is she going to get a team of 100 dancers, technicians etc to concerts around the globe if she doesn't use a plane?

    Commercial aviation. Passenger jets and air freighters go to all of the places the concerts were held..

    And yes, "you, the star/politican/moneybags" will be less comfortable, even in First Class, and yes you will have to submit yourself to what the rest of do while traveling, but if you are serious about your cause, then you must do what you want the rest of us to do or accept being called a hypocrite.

    That is not just true of Madonna, but everyone who wants to claim a deep concern for this non-crisis.

    BTW - Driving home Sunday night I briefly had an AM station locked in that had some Right Wing host, playing a cut from a recording of one of the concerts where the "star?" was singing a take off of the Doris Day hit, "Que Sera Sera." The song goes like this:

    Que sera sera,
    What ever will be, will be,
    The future's not ours to see,
    Que sera sera,
    What will be will be,

    I almost ran of the road I laughed so hard.

    Exactly I thought. Even their music admits they don't know.


    Willie Nelson.... (none / 0) (#10)
    by kdog on Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 09:09:43 AM EST
    seems to get his touring on quite well with his bio-diesel bus. When he's not getting harassed by John Law, that is.  

    Good enough for Willie, good enough for Madonna or any other act.  Going from continent to continent is one thing, but private jets from city to city should be a no go if you really give a sh*t.

    But based on my opinion of Madonna, this is just another trend she decided to jump on.  She used to make trends, now she follows 'em.  Lets see if she sells her Alcoa stock...lol.


    Shorter PPJ (none / 0) (#13)
    by Al on Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 11:57:42 AM EST
    Bah, humbug!

    Al (1.00 / 0) (#14)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 12:19:55 PM EST
    Not really.

    "Bah humbug" was about Christmas, which actually does some good by reminding us all about faith, hope, love, family and charity.

    Fighting fake man made GW will cost billions, increasing the price of everything by increasing actual costs as well as taxes designed to make people bend to the high priests of this new religion.

    Slowed economies always impact the poorest among us the most. Funds that would have gone to Africa and other third world countries won't be there, and deaths will occur that might not otherwise.


    Jim, Don't Hijack This Thread Please (none / 0) (#18)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 12:46:21 PM EST
    Wild and active (none / 0) (#6)
    by koshembos on Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 06:57:33 AM EST
    Geldof (blip the title) reminds me of the saying that the neighbor's kids are wild but yours are active.

    A bit of both.... (none / 0) (#7)
    by kdog on Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 08:17:26 AM EST
    Any reason for a rock-n-roll show is a good reason in my book.  If only a handful of people use less resources its a good thing.

    But then again,  I can't help but wonder how many tons of garbage got trucked out of the varous concerts to clog landfills or get incerated.  All the private jet flights moving the talent around.  

    Some of the criticism is valid, but I see the concerts as a positive overall.

    kdog (none / 0) (#11)
    by Sailor on Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 11:14:35 AM EST
    they did a large amount of coordinating and educating of thhe performers before all the shows and also offset the carbon footprint thru various means. They walked the walk on this one.

    Besides, it's not like the audience would have stayed home and not contributed to climate change if they hadn't gone to the concert, and the 10,000,000+ people who did stay home and watch it could have had a positive effect.

    Just sayin'


    Sailor (1.00 / 0) (#15)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 12:21:37 PM EST
    offset the carbon footprint thru various means.

    And these were???


    This (none / 0) (#29)
    by Wile ECoyote on Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 04:06:48 PM EST
    I gotta hear.  How did they offset the carbon footprint?  And that entitles them to pollute with clear conscience?  I need to buy some calorie offsets before heading to the buffet.  I will feel better about myself.  

    Music (none / 0) (#8)
    by Peaches on Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 08:43:18 AM EST
    is the great unifier. Rock music is more about celebrity worship than it is about music, so I am not sure it can really unify us as much as it is used to condition us to idolatry and consumerism.

    If you can separate the music from the hype, sometimes you can hear some artistry in there. Most of the artistry in what is called Rock music is exhausted, I am afraid though.

    As far as Live Earth and the connection between Rock musicians and the environment, I am happy some of these musicians promoting a worthy cause, however hypocritical. But, if we want to save the Earth from the destruction of wasteful consumerism, what we know as rock music and the idolatry and celebrity worship that accompanies it will need to be a relic of a past age and Music without the Rock in front of it will once again be a unifier of communities where everyone is a participant.

    OK... (none / 0) (#12)
    by Deconstructionist on Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 11:46:11 AM EST
      concerts won't better the world, many celebrities are simply either cynically grabbing an opportunity for exposure, hypocritically preaching for others to do what they won't do or naively  engaging in "feel-good" gestures but, at least they spared us from some atrocious schlock anthem like "We Are The World."

    It was a bust (none / 0) (#17)
    by Slado on Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 12:43:29 PM EST
    No other way to put it.  A big concert by do as I say not as I do celebrities.  That anyone can pay tribute to their use of carbon offsets to expalin away the tons of killowats they had to use to pull this off just shows how unserious you are about a made up problem.

    The ratings where terrible...

    "The main three-hour American TV broadcast on NBC averaged a meager 2.7 million viewers, ranking as the least-watched U.S. program on Saturday night and falling below NBC's summer prime-time Saturday average, Nielsen Media Research reported on Monday.

    Even rival network ABC's rerun telecast of the animated film Monsters Inc garnered a bigger audience -- 3.3 million viewers"

    By the way it's snowing in Argentina today.

    It's also winter in argentina (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Deconstructionist on Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 01:09:26 PM EST
    isn't it?

    Yes (none / 0) (#22)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 01:22:30 PM EST
    I think that's right. By the way, welcome back Deconstructionist. A reader was asking me the other day where you had gone.  

    I had a trial and then a vacation... (none / 0) (#25)
    by Deconstructionist on Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 01:37:06 PM EST

    BUENOS AIRES, Argentina: Thousands of Argentines cheered in the streets of Buenos Aires on Monday as the capital saw a rare snowfall, the first of its kind since 1918.

    I know, I know, GW means some places will get warmer while others get colder and still others stay the same.

    A "can't-miss" prediction, as some reasonably point out...


    wrongwing spin (5.00 / 0) (#23)
    by Sailor on Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 01:23:51 PM EST
    1. it was a live world wide event, judging it one US TV network ratings is fallacious. The point was to raise awareness,

    2. NBC, The Sundance Channel, Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC, Universal HD and Telemundo all carried it. About 19 million viewers among them. (CBS, the winner, had 5.2mil) It was also the largest live streamed net event ever with 10,000,000 to 60,000,000 people caught at least part of it on the net.

    3. It was intended to raise awareness ... (tho we're all cognizant that isn't possible for everyone;-) ... not profits.

    4. And as far as awareness goes, in addition to the 'home team' all the wrongwing hacks attacked it, so even their audiences are now 'aware' of the event and may get off their couches and youtube their favorite bands ... with a resulting exposure to environmental concerns they otherwise would not have had.

    The sheer shrillness of the attacks by the usual suspects make me wonder why the feel the need to go after such a dud event.[/snark]

    The (none / 0) (#30)
    by Wile ECoyote on Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 04:17:47 PM EST
    shrillness of the attacks stem from people living like limousine liberals flying around the country in private jets, living in huge houses telling us there is a crisis, and we need to change yet they are living like, well limousine liberals.  The only thing worse than a limousine liberal is a Gulfstream environmentalist.    

    What did the front man for Muse call it?
    "private jets for climate change"

    I'll start paying attention when former Vice President Gore and Leo DeCaprio downsize their mansions to a normal persons abode size and start getting their message out via teleconferencing from their houses.  Buying carbon offsets from their own companies or having a fleet of Priuses (Preii) don't cut it with Wile E.  


    your link to argentina (none / 0) (#20)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 12:51:39 PM EST
    is to an email address. What is the relevance to Argentina, there was no concert there?

    oopps... (none / 0) (#31)
    by Slado on Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 08:33:55 PM EST
    I always click the wrong button...


    First of it's kind since 1918.  

    Also here's the former Director of Meteorology at The Weather Channel discussing the hysteria.



    Those rating numbers (none / 0) (#19)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 12:49:54 PM EST
    are for NBC's 3 hour wrapup which was awful and filled with chatter by the show's hosts. I turned it off after 30 seconds.

    The place to watch it was Sundance and Bravo (though I could have done without Bravo's hosts as well) and on the internet.  Particularly on the internet, it was a resounding success.

    That was for Slado (none / 0) (#27)
    by jondee on Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 01:46:23 PM EST

    WSWS on Bob Geldof (none / 0) (#28)
    by Andreas on Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 02:59:20 PM EST
    Live 8: Who organised the PR campaign for Blair and Bush?
    By Ann Talbot, 11 July 2005

    "Live 8"--a political fraud on behalf of imperialism
    Statement by the Socialist Equality Party (Britain), 1 July 2005