Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

News, notes and ideas on music marketing, self-promotion, artist empowerment and more

June 26, 2006

On George Carlin & Al Gore

Pardon the off-topic post, but this is a topic I feel compelled to write about.

At first glance, George Carlin and Al Gore don't seem to have a lot in common, but I think they do. About 15 years ago, Carlin recorded a hilarious routine called "The Planet Is Fine." Go here to read the full text, but here's an excerpt:

We're so self-important. Everybody's going to save something now. "Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails." And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. Save the planet, we don't even know how to take care of ourselves yet. Besides, there is nothing wrong with the planet. Compared to the people, the planet is doing great.

The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles ... hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worldwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages ... And we think some plastic bags and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? The planet isn't going anywhere. WE ARE!

We're going away. Pack your shit, folks. We're going away. And we won't leave much of a trace, either. Maybe a little Styrofoam ... The planet'll be here and we'll be long gone. Just another failed mutation. Just another closed-end biological mistake. An evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet'll shake us off like a bad case of fleas.

The planet will be here for a long, long, LONG time after we're gone, and it will heal itself, it will cleanse itself, 'cause that's what it does. It's a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover, the earth will be renewed.

Carlin's point was that the environmentalist slogan should have been changed from "Save the Planet" to "Save Our Own Asses." Last week that idea was driven home a lot further when I saw the film "An Inconvenient Truth," the new documentary that chronicles Al Gore's mission to make people aware of the real consequences that humans are beginning to witness after decades of short-sighted treatment of the Earth's atmosphere.

There are no tree huggers, no pleas to be kind to Mother Nature. Gore simply shows -- using a nice blend of humor and facts -- how global warming, melting ice caps, and rising CO2 levels are having a real effect on people's lives -- and how things will only get worse for humans if we continue to ignore the changes taking place.

See "An Inconvenient Truth." Keep an open mind. Decide for yourself how important this issue is.

Or at least take 90 minutes to learn how a future generation may be shaken off the Earth like a bad case of fleas.

Here's a trailer for the movie at YouTube:

And here's Gore being interviewed by David Letterman:

Again, see the movie. Keep an open mind. And decide for yourself how important it is.


posted by Bob Baker @ 11:34 AM   5 comments


At Jun 27, 2006 1:53:00 PM, Blogger mattvoth said...

My name is Matthew Voth. I am a musician from Portland, OR.
Last September I had a unique opportunity to go to New Orleans to work as part of the "relief effort" and was transformed by my experiences there. To have witnessed not only the mass human exodus, but the immense volume of debris and industrial waste, I agree with both George Carlin and Al Gore.
As a musician, I was inspired to write a body of work that transcends the event to speak to larger issues that affect us all. The result is an EP, "The Katrina Sessions".
In a spirit of community, I am reaching out to people, both musical and non, who are committed to creating positive change. I believe this music will resonate with people in today's world, and am dedicated to getting it out there in the hope that this event, and what it means to us all, will not simply fade from our collective consciousness. If there is a way this music can contribute, I'd be happy to do what I can.

At Jun 28, 2006 10:17:00 AM, Blogger Miguel de Maria said...

Actually, Carlin had a good point. It's not the Earth that must be saved, because in 100 million years there will be no trace of us, but _this_ Earth and our relationship to it. And we are in true danger of altering it enough to wreak havoc, perhaps enough to destroy civilization (wow, that sounds kind of apocalyptic, doesn't it).

At Jun 29, 2006 1:13:00 PM, Blogger Douglas Cootey said...

I'm skeptical that we are causing global warming. I still remember being warned about the oncoming ice age when I was a kid in the 70's. Now we are warm. Coincidentally, the sun is warmer as well.

Of course, that doesn't mean we don't impact our environment negatively. Pollution, waste, and our voracious consumption of natural resources all have detrimental effects on the world we live in. What I'd like to see is less bans and more alternative solutions. It's the 21st Century already. Let's see new environmentally friendly energy sources. Let's see wiser management of waste. Let's see more support for recycling, cars with better gas mileage, and less artificial preservatives in our foods.

These days anybody can make a movie or write a song in protest. I'd rather Gore had put his money and media hype into pushing solutions not speeches. Make it more efficient and cheaper than what we use now and people will flock to it in droves.

At Jun 29, 2006 1:33:00 PM, Blogger Bob Baker said...

Douglas, Thanks for your comments. If you see the movie, I think you'd agree that's exactly why Gore has given this presentation more than 1,000 times over the years.

He's trying to make people aware of the consequences, and he outlines a number of things that individuals (as well as companies and governments) can do to make a difference.

Sadly, too few people and businesses seem to care. Many governments are taking the right steps (but the U.S. is way behind).

You're right, people won't act until they see a personal benefit. And that's what I took away from the movie -- take action now to make sure we all avoid trouble in the coming years.

Also, Gore didn't make this movie himself. Actually, it was the wife of "Seinfeld" creator Larry David who wanted to see his message turned into a film.


At Jul 17, 2006 3:33:00 PM, Blogger Tim Hamm Blog for Indie Musicians said...

First off, I'm a big fan of your books Bob, and have enjoyed the "Guerilla Music Marking Encore Edition". But, sorry Bob, but I just can't bring myself to put any money in Al Gore's pocket. I just can't support the guy. I also question whether he has tailored his findings to support a pre-determined conclusion. I'm sure I could find 5 scientists who could argue the world is flat, while I am still more than confident it isn't. I agree the Doug about being told about the coming "ice age" in the 70s. That's totally switched around now, hasn't it? There is also the point of we are only able to draw conclusions upon our current level of understanding. A volcano can spew out thousands more units of "pollution" into the atmosphere, than anything mankind has ever created. Yet, mankind still seems to survive the event (with the exception of those nearest the blast). I'm just not convinced all science is reaching the same conclusion about so called "global warming", and I'm not paying to see Al Gore lecture me on it. Besides, the last record high we have had in July in Grand Rapids Michigan was 1988, and the last record high in August was 1964 (both were 100 degrees). Not sure I undertand the consistency there. August is supposed to hotter, isn't it?


Post a Comment

<< Home