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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Saturday, 15 December 2007
Stairway to Heaven in the age of dangerous climate
Mood:  lyrical
Topic: globalWarming


It's getting hot at the Bali UN conference on global warming apparently, going into extra time and all this Saturday Dec 15th 07.

There is another parallel seemingly unrelated global phenomenon going on too with aging rock music fans lapping up the Led Zeppelin reunion concert (see below). Many of us are thinking whoa, if they can pull it off maybe anything is possible? 

See list of various clips from YouTube here

Indeed what are the politics of the commanding Led Zeppelin reunion concert?? Politics? Aw come on, its a pop music show, it's not politics.

Well maybe, and maybe not. There is certainly something subliminal going on here in our western pop culture of interest to anyone in politics.

Stairway to Heaven their signature tune, amongst some other gems, is running at 835,434 views on YouTube since its posting Dec 10th, which presumably is early Dec 10th 2007. Only 5 days.

We are not sure how this compares with other big listings on YouTube having seen some at say 4 or 5 million views but only after a long time. We suggest 800K in 4 days is huge. It's gone up 200K in the last 36 hours.

Is this just music industry marketing significance? Certainly it's clever marketing for the copright owners to allow it up on YouTube because it's mere phone camera quality and just whet's the appetite to buy the real DVD.

The quality US politcial insider press apparently runs this reported quote:

The Washington Post claimed that, “By the time they finish their second and third songs — ‘Ramble On’ and ‘Black Dog’ — it is becoming clear that, even if they are not gods who walk the Earth as men, these are no mere mortals before us. And this is going to be no mere rock show. We are witnessing history.” The Wall Street Journal reported that Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham, the son of John Bonham, Zeppelin’s original drummer, who died in 1980, “mixed their brand of rock and metal with an authority that suggested they still might be the best rock band in the world.”

Consider this in the public political domain:

- Led Zeppelin play their first recorded song 1st album called Good Times Bad Times of 1969 as their opening tune in London 4 days ago. Does that title resonate beyond its surface meaning?  We are in good and bad times when it comes to impending dangerous climate change. In fact the opening stanza are Viking style thunderclaps presaging a fatal ice storm of the US mid west or massive hail damage here in Sydney

- Plant and Page in particular as lead singer and guitarist respectively present as your archetypal hippy musos, as brilliant as they are. With all that heavy rock they would still fit in easily to your local hippy flower power organic produce market scene.

- They embody a more hopeful, yet also intensely serious time of the Vietnam War tragedy, a time of social change and flux of the 60ies and 70ies. Much like this documentary of idealistic Berkley in the Sixtes.

- Their recent London location for their reunion concert success is a place protected from sea rise by the Thames Barrier, and world wide interest tells you at least quite alot of people want to feel like they did 40 years ago when another future seemed quite possible.

- The concert was a charity event for the Ahmet Ertegun Education Fund in the name of their friend and original promoter, as a homage to him. Education as a public value in itself. Quite a hint about climate ignorance in fact, intended or not.

- in terms of frugality to match the times, it played to a humble 20,000 fans when 20 million wanted to see them. Hence all the calls for a concert tour. There is a profound metaphor in all this. Manage with less, not more. The old ways of extravagant excess have to end. That's a good philosophy in the age of the threat of dangerous climate change. Don't fly to the concert. Watch it on YouTube at least in part. Even people helping themselves via YouTube to experience the event rather relying on some monolithic agency to organise it for them. Sounds like random action little people are taking all over the place to halt global warming.

Methinks like many seemingly humdrum things, this concert, has turned out to be a political event, intended or otherwise. Not for open prosletising but for Led Zep phenomenon being what it is. For being themselves.

We wrote elsewhere too about this beaut Plant/Krause bluegrass duet from their recent album Raising Sand (another oblique hint about our situation?) called:


which sounds so much like the Bob Dylan 'get your mojo back" Time out of Mind album.




It's no surprise to us 'Planty', as I have now dubbed him in the Aussie style, is progressing that gentle music with sweet Alison Krause, ie her ying to his yang. It does really work. After to listening to that track in particular you would have to be made of stone to think there is no spirituality in Plant's return to the public stage.

This morning Don Henry, as director of the Australian Conservation Foundation has said "the truth is there are few angels on the ground here" at the extra time in the Bali UN Framework on Climate Change Conference: 10 am ABC radio news, Sydney Australia Dec 15th 2007.

Few "angels" on a



It just might be a sound track to the end of our climate and maybe us. Or as the evolutionary biologists like Harvard professor E O Wilson put it 'the best and worst of times for all creation'. May God have mercy on us.

Posted by editor at 10:26 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 15 December 2007 12:01 PM EADT

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