Sigh. I didn't want to feel this way. I wanted to spend yesterday glued to my tv for pop-tastic moments and the feeling that for once culture could change the world. Sadly, it wasn't the case. From the moment Bono started singing the words to "Blackbird" (badly) over the chords to "One", it got right on my nerves. Obviously Coldplay up next didn't help matters. But I wasn't expecting to like too many of the acts, it did have to appeal to as many people as possible and apparently Primal Scream are offensive to middle England. Can't think why.
No, what really got me was the endless hyping of the event by everyone involved. Every act was "fantastic", "unbelievable", "superb", the day was "memorable", "life-affirming", "astounding" and tons of other tired superlatives. I guess they had airtime to fill but it doesn't excuse them. It's the old adage that if you keep being told what a great time you're having then you can't have one at all. Or is that just me?
And the guff being spouted by the people onstage. I got in last night just in time to hear Natalie Portman giving the Dave Matthews Band the kind of welcome speech usually reserved for Nelson Mandela or human rights campaigners in Burma. Jesus. David Beckham introducing Robbie Williams has to be the lowest point of this young century and made me shout "fuck off" about 10 times in a row. I was drunk, but it needed saying.
I'm sure it's all done a lot to raise awareness of the issues. I have no problem with that. It's just the small matter of popular culture being so fucking lame and so reliant on everyone telling everyone else how wonderful it is. Emperor's new clothes syndrome, in a nutshell. When the Who came on and stormed through "Won't Get Fooled Again" it was like the gods had descended to show the pygmies how to do it properly.
So all in all, I could have done without it. If it has the desired effect then who cares what I think, of course. I still reckon some kind of constructive torture involving honey and fire ants would be more effective on the G8 leaders though.