Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Green-Eyed Monster

It seems the world has been bitten by a bug. It’s big, it’s green, and it’s making a helluva lot of money for people who are already too rich for their own good. Yup, the planet is ‘going green’. And it seems the music industry is no exception. This annoys me even more than when my hippie sister tries to explain to me why, despite my coffee tasting like eco-friendly shit, organic creamer is better than milk.
I actually wrote most of this a while back, without ever getting around to posting it. Since then I received a newsletter from Black Sheep Bleach, revolving around exactly what I am discussing here. When I received the newsletter I was invited to “judge away”. Really? So sweet of you, guys, to allow me to indulge in my favourite activity!
Black Sheep Bleach’s members call themselves a “green band”. And they’re planning on winning a Grammy in a couple of years’ time. Now, I’m not sure if they intend to win one using their “greenness”, but I can assure you that the amount of talent going around is not even enough to feed a starving African baby, let alone a Grammy. Between Tom Petty and a cover of Katy Perry’s already awful “I Kissed A Girl”, my ears were less than happy with me. But I digress…
What exactly makes them a “green band”? Well, they aren’t wearing hemp clothing which they made themselves. Their equipment was all bought from some place where all the other musicians buy theirs, funding some far-off capitalist’s Malibu mansion and creating job opportunities for 11-year-old Asian kiddies. They drive to their gigs just like everyone else and no, their cars are not electric. Finally, not even their lyrics revolve exclusively around the environment. All of the above, combined with the fact that “lol” was used in the newsletter, leaves me with one adjective for this: bullshit.
The argument is that they can not go everywhere on horseback or “play plastic guitars”. I thought plastic was bad for the earth too? Fair enough, their goal is to reach people and raise awareness, but I don’t see much of that happening either. Having seen this band play twice, I still leave my lights on when I leave my apartment, my geyser has never been switched off, I smoke, I drive everywhere and I haven’t the foggiest idea even how to recycle. Hell, even my horse excretes Carbon Monoxide or something. All in all, I am an environmental disaster, along with most other people on earth. And Black Sheep Bleach has not changed that.
Apparently the band has a “desire to be real and authentic first and foremost”. Well, mate, covers are probably a barefoot step in the wrong direction. Who knows, maybe their aim is to recycle the actual music. Their plan is to expand into a “full electric outfit early 2009”. Keyword: electric. At the end of the day, the eco-friendly fever has become just another capitalist endeavour in this money-driven, slowly dying world. Is it just me, or does electricity kill the earth too? Why else are we perpetually reminded to switch off lights and geysers? Then what it is that is so revolutionary about the electric car? And your 3500% marked-up organic food is often the same mass-produced stuff that is transported by the same gas-guzzling trucks. Oh, but it does have a pretty label on it that says “organic”. Just for the record, those labels were trees once upon a time too. My point is, it’s all one big, money-making paradox. Unless you are living on your own plot, with a house you built yourself from natural materials, growing your own vegetables and fruit, making your own clothes from natural fibers and living as minimalistically as we did back when we were still Neanderthals, “green” is something you can barely call yourself with a straight face.
Forgive my skepticism and brutality. But whatever your opinion of mine, you can not say I am not honest. I, unlike others, admit to what I am. “Green” I am not. Then again, I am not running around telling everyone that I am, and I certainly do not plan to win an award for being a fake hippie. Perhaps if there were a Grammy for being a bitch…..

1 comment:

nick frost said...

Wow liza, that was awesome! and 100% agreement from my corner. I despise the way some people put on these daft eco-friendly, tree-hugging personality fronts and then expect YOU to feel bad because you're not taking part in their shitty cause that is probably doing more harm than good. The world was given to us. Let's use it. When everything runs out, we will make a plan. It's called evolution, and it's been happening for a long time.