First it was Bruce Willis. Now it’s the Arctic Monkeys (website). Finally celebrities and musicians are starting to make sense. It’s scary. What the heck am I talking about? I’m talking about a growing number of famous folk that finally realize that celebrity does not equal an advanced degree in medical science. Or political science. Or climatology. It’s the “I only play one on TV” concept that was once obvious to everyone, but in recent years has become uncommon sense.
In a recent article, Matt Helders, the drummer for the Arctic Monkeys had this to say when asked for his news-worthy thoughts on Global Warming / Climate Change / Honey-I-think-the-thermometer’s-broken:
“There’s more important people who can have an opinion. Why does it make us have an opinion because we’re in a band?”
A-fricken-men, Mr. Helders! There are more important people who can and do have an opinion. An opinion based on careful research. They’re called scientists. I don’t mean to diminish you in the slightest as a musician or a person (I really do like “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor”). I just want to say I love it that you choose to focus on your abilities on creating catchy tunes, where they’re best suited. And while you do that, I’ll focus on programming websites for security firms, insurance companies and banks, because that’s what I do. And you know what? The scientific community will be OK diagnosing and resolving the problems that arise in their sphere of expertise. Remarkably well, even without our considered opinions.
That quote alone makes the article worth reading. But it gets even better. He also points out the irony and hypocrisy of the Live Earth concerts that keeps his band from attending:
“It’s a bit patronising for us 21 year olds to try to start to change the world… Especially when we’re using enough power for 10 houses just for (stage) lighting. It’d be a bit hypocritical,” he [Matt Helders] told AFP in an interview before a concert in Paris.
Bass player Nick O’Malley chimes in: “And we’re always jetting off on aeroplanes!”
Yep, it’s a massive concert series promoting, among other things, reduced consumption of power and resources. Featuring some of the largest power consumers on the planet. Of course, the this particular concert, according to the website will implement “Green Guidelines”, but will those musicians commit to following the same guidelines in their future concerts? And you’re telling me all the people attending the concerts get there by bike or bus? That green is starting to turn a little brown if you ask me.
Call me cynical, but I don’t see the point to this concert. Like the massive hippie jam festival in the classic South Park “Die, Hippie, Die” episode (see partial clip below), it’s a great excuse for people to get together, drink, smoke, socialize and listen to music, but it what exactly does that accomplish? (I’m not saying any of those activities are bad, mind you!) It’s not spreading awareness, hell, you can’t turn on the TV or radio without hearing heated debate on Global Warming. Every time something even slightly unusual happens with the weather these days, somebody brings up Global Warming. If anything, it’s diluting awareness. People like me are already tuning out on the subject.
“Let’s have, like, a week long music festival. Draw everyone here and then together we can tear it all down.” (6:30)
The beautiful deceit of the whole thing is, musicians continue to do what they were doing already (playing music at concerts and scoring with groupies) but now suddenly they get automatic kudos for “trying” to save the planet. (From a marketing stand point, its pure genius.) Well if that’s all it takes to save the planet, I call a Live Earth Bender! It’ll take place the last week of August, and I encourage everyone to go out and get plowed for a week. (Yep, I was already gonna do that on my previously mentioned road trip, but hey, now I’m spreading awareness, man! Instant Karma!)
OK, I hope nobody reads this as a Global-Warming-is-bunk post. I have my doubts, but I think it’s smart to hedge our bets and take the greener path whenever practical. (I hate fluorescent lights, but we’re using the compact fluorescents at home. The sacrifices I make… ) And that’s about as far as I’m going on it. I’m not interested in debating the topic, it’s too much like politics now. And politics is one of the three forbidden subjects for this blog. (Religion and the Great Pumpkin are the other two.) And as I mentioned earlier, I’m just apathetic.
However, you might not be. Being the fantastic blogger I am, I anticipated that possibility. So if you are interested in an extremely well-reasoned discussion of the topic, I invite you check out Scott Adam’s four-part Global Warming mini-series on the Dilbert Blog (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4). As apathetic as I am on the topic, I even found it interesting. You may not agree with his conclusions, but you have to give him kudos for a very fair, thorough handling of the subject.
I guess it goes with out saying that Matt Helders is one cool monkey.