Thursday, October 19, 2006

wouldn't the moral entrepreneurs make a nice name for a band?

i generally reserve howard becker's term moral entrepreneurs for full-on self-righteous crusading reformers such as prohibitionists. yet one needn't look far to find mellower unplugged and acoustic versions of the concept.

chris riemenschneider, the strib's fine music writer, offers a front-page story this morning on environmentally friendly concert tours. performers such as gomez, the dave matthews band, pearl jam, jack johnson, bonnie raitt, and even the entire warped tour (!) have gone at least a little bit green.

cloud cult singer craig minowaare and others try to model environmentally friendly lifestyles without "sounding like some preachy folk singer." what behaviors are they modeling?

* Using biodiesel tour bus.
* Buying renewable-energy "credits" to offset fuel emissions.
* Using soy-based ink and recycled paper in merchandise.
* Selling organic cotton T-shirts.
* Serving organic food backstage.
* Minimizing bus idling.
* Staying at hotels identified as eco-friendly.

as gusfield pointed out, status politics are at play when uppers tell lowers how they should live. but bands such as gomez aren't really cultural elites (yet) nor are they too wealthy to feel the extra cost of their green livin'. so all this seems quite socially responsible to me, though i wonder how ol' keith moon would have fared in such a band. maybe he'd personalize the practices:

* Driving biodiesel tour bus into holiday inn swimming pool.
* Smashing corn-plastic drum kits.
* Detonating biodegradable explosives.
* Recycling endless stream of Courvoisier bottles.
* Dressing in organic cotton vicar's, clown, and santa claus costumes.
* Heating room with detritus of smashed televisions, chairs, dressers, beds, and cupboards.

i wouldn't count mr. moon as a moral (or immoral?) entrepreneur, but he certainly qualified as a professional discoverer of wrongs to be righted, of situations requiring new rules.

No comments: