Brilliant Artists are Privileged

Now, this is a curious thing. The Rhetoritician makes the valid point that Hollywood wishes to excuse men like Roman Polanski from their wrongdoing, but will work to destroy men like Mark Foley for theirs.

Recalling Orwell’s Animal Farm The Rhetoritician entitles his piece Some are more Equal than Others.

Looking at pictures from U2’s big concert in DC last night, I am seeing a pattern emerge.

I am a fan -a big fan- of U2’s music. I still think Achtung Baby and Zooropa are two of the best Pop albums ever made, and I still play The Joshua Tree as much or more than All That You Can’t Leave Behind, but this bit about some being more equal than others – particularly if they belong to the artistic-elite class- has bothered me for a long time. And as I look at photos from last night’s concert – look at the lighting! Look at the carbon footprint! it comes up again:

I recall U2’s fun, splendidly ironic “Zoo TV” Tour of the early 1990’s. The band spent over 18 months traveling the globe in support of their fantastic album, “Achtung, Baby”, hitting all the stadiums and large venues on every continent. 157 shows. The tour boasted:

The stage…featured vidi walls, 36 video monitors, numerous television cameras, two separate mix positions, 26 on stage microphones, 176 speakers, and 11 elaborately painted Trabants, several of which were suspended over the stage with spotlights inserted into headlights, which all required 1 million watts of power to operate: enough to run 2,000 homes.

A total of 52 trucks were required to transport the 1,200 tons of equipment, 3 miles of cabling, 200 labourers, 12 forklifts and one 40-ton crane, required to construct the stage.

And that was for every show.

That’s a pretty impressive bit of consumption, but let’s add into it the luxury jets (and non-luxurious staff planes) that carted U2 and their handlers, techies, roadies, belly-dancers, make-up, costumers, etc all around. Add to it the air-conditioning at the indoor venues. Add into it the trains, planes and automobiles used to transport hundreds of thousands of people to the shows. Add to it the klieg lights used for every televised interview, the trees killed to print every magazine promo and to print the $30.00 posters sold at all 157 shows. And consider if you will the souvenir teeshirts – probably stitched together in some hellish Indonesian sweatshop – that weren’t even made out of bamboo fiber!

We are told that many politicians were at this concert; Nancy Pelosi was there. Undoubtedly many people who lecture us daily about the environment and are diligently working to ram the ruinous cap and trade boondoggle down our throats were enjoying the music, the lights, the pyrotechnics, the spectacle. Then they got into their waiting limos, and went home to their well-lit, well-heated and spacious homes.

You and I must turn out all of the lights, put on our sweaters, air-dry our laundry and consider biking everywhere we go, because we are energy gluttons who are killing the planet.

But for the rest of them -our betters- why the show goes on, and on, and on. A “crisis” for which you and I must change our lives, but not they theirs.

Cognitive dissonance, anyone? Some are more equal than others.

Btw, at the Politico, they write:

Bono dedicated “New Year’s Day” to Ted Kennedy and “Beautiful Day” to Eunice and Timmy Shriver.

They could not be bothered to mention that Bono dedicated his showpiece number, “One” to President George W. Bush & US Congress for “AIDS, malaria relief efforts in Africa, saving millions of lives. .”

So, again, some are more equal than others. It’s a hypocritical value the media itself promotes, endlessly.

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