I usually love this city. I love the fact that everybody tells it like it is and wears their emotions on their sleeves and is fiercely loyal to the city, even as they insult it. But I am so sick of the whining concerning Live 8 that I gotta just say: Shut up! First, a disclosure. I have been guilty of it myself. Yeah, I was miffed that the Roots got turned away, and a band as crappy as Maroon 5 got invited. But it was put in perspective when somebody said, “Did Woodstock end up being a crappy event because Sha Na Na was there and Dylan wasn’t?” Good point.
The stupidest thing I’ve heard is, “I’m going to the Shore this weekend to get away from the terrible traffic.” What? I’m sure the traffic coming back from the Shore on 4th of July weekend is going to be nothing but smooth sailing. And yeah, traffic occasionally gets tied up because of huge events. Maybe we should ask the Eagles to stop playing home games because it ties up 95. Then, “We don’t want all those tourists in our city.” Why not? I’m proud of this city and I’m excited to show it off to people. I came here as a tourist, and liked it so much I decided to move here (of course, that might just strengthen your argument.)
And finally, “It’s not really going to do any good.” This is the one that really gets me angry. My answer to that is, “So what?” It certainly can’t make things any worse. I’m reminded of the best scene in one of my favorite movies. In One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, Patrick McMurphy (Nicholson) bets everyone that he can move that giant water fountain, and tries desperately to do so, albeit unsuccesfully. At last he gives up, looks around, and says, “Well, at least I tried.” It’s easy for an armchair “expert” to sit on the sidelines and complain that Live 8 won’t do anything to help Africa, and maybe they’re right. But at least somebody’s trying something.