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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

"Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?"

I've finally had it with the sons of Live Aid. I never want to hear of another large-scale charity or consciousness-raising show. I was prepared to give Live8 the benefit of the doubt but the swiftness with which its impact has already faded means that we can all see Al Gore's Live Earth coming and we're composing our features into an expression of profound scepticism already. It's not just the fact that there is simply nothing more planet-polluting than a massive great rock show. It's not just the dispiriting list of the usual suspects making up the bill. It's not just the fact that corporate sponsors and "media partners" are already fighting to make sure they come out of it on top. What's profoundly depressing is what it says about our belief that the best way to meet massive challenges is with massive media events. The idea that if you provide a spectacle that can excite the public for as long as a day you can help bring about some kind of fundamental change in their behaviour says everything you need to know about the relationship between the entertainment industry and the rest of us. Live Aid had an impact because nobody - not even Bob Geldof - really saw it coming. There are months to go before Live Earth and already we feel we've been had.