July 06, 2005

on timing, live 8 and my scottish granny talking smack

I subscribe to the Real Simple.com Daily Thought newsletter. Call me sappy but I like receiving a snippet of wisdom and/or inspiration every day. The emails are sent to my work address so I had several to catch up on this morning after the very long weekend. I found this one to be particularly fitting considering my recent financial distress:

"I'm living so far beyond my income that we may almost
be said to be living apart."
— e.e. cummings

True dat, e.e.

I also find it equally fitting that on the day I went to Jersey with my tail between my legs seeking financial aid from my parents (Saturday), a series of concerts was held the world over to promote debt forgiveness. I don't mean to place my self-imposed sentence in debtor's prison on the same level as severe global poverty but the timing didn't go unnoticed my moi. 'Cause I'm self-absorbed like that.

Speaking of Live 8, I completely support the purpose and intent behind this massive undertaking. At first I was all skeptical of the free tickets and the bold, "We don't want your money" declaration. Huh?! I was all whatchoo tawkin' bout, Willis? But then I thought about it and I understand now. The concerts headlined every newscast on Saturday and Sunday. I watched various roundtable discussions and debates on poverty, fair trade, self-sufficiency, et al. MTV and VH-1 correspondents broke down those very complex topics for their viewers. Some might say that it was one-sided or overly simplistic but you really can't argue with helping people. Whether Saturday's concerts resonate or are quickly forgotten, awareness was at least raised. And maybe some people will take the extra step to write a check, volunteer or help in some other way. Even I can't be cynical about that.

I watched bits and pieces of the concerts both on TV and on the web. It was exciting but, at the same time, I felt that it lacked some of the punch of the original Live Aid. Not in terms of effort or emotion though. In 1985, the concert wasn't available on multiple cable channels and the internet. We had to make do with MTV's whim as their coverage jumped back and forth from Philadelphia to London. As odd as it sounds, the availability and abundance of choice for this year's event restricted my enjoyment somewhat. The original played hard to get. It turns out I like that as much in a global event as I do in a girl.

I was so excited on the day of the original Live Aid. It was a gorgeous summer day but the streets of my neighborhood were barren. Everyone -- including me -- was holed up at home watching the concerts on MTV.

Make fun all you want but I nearly peed when Wham! took the stage. I called up my best friend to gush about George and Andrew. We then discussed which city had the better lineup. She was all about America but I felt compelled to take up for the Brits. Sorry but at the risk of sounding un-American, Do They Know It's Christmas? kicks We Are the World's ass. But we put our issues of nationalism aside and agreed on several other key points: Paul Young looked really cute during his set and Mick Jagger danced like a tard in the video for "Dancing in the Streets." I also added that I didn't quite care for David Bowie's pants in that same video. My best friend agreed. Meeting adjourned.

I nearly lost my shit when Madonna performed with the Thompson Twins. My granny from Scotland was visiting us at the time and even she watched the show. My granny was pretty cool. It was during that same visit that her American grandkids introduced her to the wonders of professional wrestling. By the time she went back to Rutherglen, she was bandying about terms like "sleeper hold" and complaining about the "dirty tactics" of The Iron Sheik. She also became quite fond of the Smurfs, as I recall.

So I cozied up next to my gran to share my excitement with her. Up until then, she was really enjoying the concert and was particularly chuffed while Elton John performed. But then she changed her tune when Maddy took the stage. She tsked and spat, "She's got a load of cheek, that one." I scowled at my granny. Hard.

But I got over it and quickly fell back in step with the show. I remember all of Wembley Stadium clapping and pumping their fists with Rockette-like precision during Queen's "Radio Gaga." I thought that was the coolest thing ever... until Phil Collins dropped his drumsticks in London, hopped aboard the Concorde and made it to Philly in time for the American finale. I thought that was pretty kick-ass as I'm far too lazy and jet lag-prone to do such a thing. I'm exhausted after visiting two boroughs in one day, nevermind two continents.

Oooh! I just found a list of every Live 8 performance by every singer/band in every city on AOL Music. Okay, so I take back what I say about my lack of excitement. This shit's cool.