Radiohead front-man Thom Yorke has joined The Big Ask campaign to push for a 3% yearly curb on carbon emissions. In this interview he details his reasons and thoughts on environmentalism and The Big Ask campaign, centered on challenging UK politicians and, primarily, the status quo.
Similar to the (PRODUCT) Red™ campaign in that’s being undertaken by celeb Bono and polit-child Bobby Shriver (y’know, the campaign with the shiny red iPod and a Blogger-powered blog?), but different in that The Big Ask seems to shun blatant consumerism for its effect, preferring instead to lobby government directly to change the law to get its way.
Funny how such campaigns reveal what forces really speak to a national collective.
On the one hand, it’s money and objects (as Bono says “Product Red — is a way of making it easy for people in the shopping malls and main streets … to get AIDS drugs to Africans who can’t afford them” and “This is using the force of consumerism”; on the other side of the pond, Thom Yorke uses a rational argument for getting involved and advocates direct democratic participation.
I’ll withhold any commentary on which seems more culturally valid — because both are enviable causes in different contexts. One initiative reflects the realities of “raw commerce” and “new philanthropy”. The other seems to be implicitly working to counter the power of “raw commerce”, using established protocol and the legal system.
Indeed, a fascinating state of the union.