Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Live Earth, Starring . . . .

We were outside enjoying belated July 4th fireworks during most of the "Live Earth" concert coverage, but thanks to YouTube, I didn't have to miss everything. Here's Madonna's official contribution, "Hey, You."

I like the contrast between the harsh visuals and her calm, sweet vocal delivery, and of course I agree with the message that each indivudal needs to recognize the threats to the earth & human welfare and act asap. Though I missed the multi-channel coverage, it was exciting to think of such diverse stars as Madonna, Garth Brooks, The Police, Corinne Bailey Rae, and so many others lending their talents to raise global warming awareness. Criticisms of the carbon costs of Live Earth were inevitable; critics can't legitimately argue that protesters are wrong to fear and oppose business as usual, so they accuse participants of being hypocrits.

But it does seem to me that the concert organizers missed an opportunity to celebrate the finest singers on the planet. Here's another YouTube video featuring just a few of these performers, all of whom are above the criticism that their work consumes too much fossil fuel:

If you think I'm kidding about the musical intentions of songbirds, I recommend reading David Rothenberg's delightful Why Birds Sing: A Journey into the Mystery of Bird Song. Rothenberg, a clarinetist as well as a philosopher, explores human understanding of birdsong from the perspectives of scientists, historians, poets, and fellow practitioners. Best of all, he expands on insights in the text with excerpts of birdsong and other natural music on his website. If the world made any sense, anyone who heard a lyrebird sing would be converted into a climate change activist. But as the world is now, I'm glad that Madonna's voice is part of the growing global choir.

No comments: