“Change, change, we got to start the change,” said Simon Le Bon from deep within his very tight pants. And, you know, he and his more junior fellows who took to a global stage (made, naturally, from recycled tyres) this weekend past well may have had a point.

It is entirely possible that First World consumers ought to stop using risky light bulbs, packing children needlessly in Styrofoam and start, in short, Answering the Call.

Both irrationally and conveniently, in fact, one could Answer The Call by sending an SMS. One did so in the hope that this Message of Ecological Promise would be flashed on the same screen used to debut the lyrics of Madonna’s new single, Hey You.

Everybody’s favourite menopausal hardbody concluded her vile song that, despite its liberal use of schoolchildren, made Papa Don’t Preach sound like Ballad of a Thin Man by contrast.

There’s something happening here, said my partner who had lost patience around the time Snoop Dogg had offered his final Bow Wow Wow. (Yes, somehow, the terms “beyatches” and, indeed, “hos” seemed to drain the meaning out of an already fairly meaningless event.) But you don’t know what it is, do you, Missus Ritchie?

Madonna asked us to “jump up and down” if we cared about The Environment.

This, along with many Earth Saving measures listed helpfully on the Live Earth website, was easier said than done. First, I had been drinking bourbon since about the time Peter Garrett had disgraced himself in Sydney with his eco-lite toadying and transparent campaigning. (You try enduring such a spectacle sober.) And, we had made a pact to take a shot of Kentucky Whisky every time Missy Higgins looked like she was about to cry.

(And, of course, another shot for every time a blond German child said something plaintive. By the time Astrid told us to “make handicrafts for politicians” we were completely stonkered.)

Second, I was occupied with wi-fi, television remote, mobile telephone and a bunch of missiles for lobbing at all these media. I couldn’t possibly jump up and down. Sorry, Madge.

There are many ways to unpack the shame and idiocy and ultimate failure of Live Earth. Of course, fans of John Mayer will tell you, “At least they’re doing something. What are you doing?”. Well, apart from feeling rather smug that I have now paid for Bob Dylan tickets AND old Zimmy had the good sense not to appear in this shambles, not a lot.

But I am not attempting to unburden myself of guilt by texting to the tempo of the Black EyedPeas or whatever else passes for popular music these days. And I do not suppose that in simply feeling emotional or being able to endure An Inconvenient Truth I am somehow saving Our Broken Earth.

We got to start the change, said Simon. Which is odd, considering that he had not changed his demeanour or outfit from earlier in the week which found him on exactly the same stage with the exactly the same expression In Memory of Diana. And, really, thanks to the miracle of Botox, he looked fairly much as he had back at the Granddaddy of pointless rock n roll international consciousness raising, Live Aid.

As did Madonna.

As she jumped up and down for the environment, and before I fell asleep, all I could think was: look at those thighs. I must enrol in a Pilates class.

I challenge you to derive any more inspiration than that from Live Earth.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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