Friday, August 22, 2003

I went to the Lollapalooza concert at the new USANA Ampitheatre.

This was my first trip to the USANA Ampitheatre. The ampitheatre was built on the largely undeveloped far west side of the Salt Lake Valley. This is one of the last areas of the Salt Lake Valley to be hit by the massive waves of development that paved the valley from the Oquirrh Mountains to the Wasatch Mountains. The grass fields in the foot hills of the Oquirrh were spared development largely because of fear of chemicals leaching from the Kennecott Mine.

I suspect USANA chose this land because it was among the least expensive large plots they could get in the valley. It also saved the organizations the hassles of fighting the NIMBY's that have managed to completely thwart development within Salt Lake proper for the last half century. NOTE, the actually population of Salt Lake City is dropping with the suburbs swell. The reason is that it is next to impossible to remove old structures int he NIMBY controlled city.

Anyway, it is a real pain to get to the theatre. My guess is that the amount of money spent on gas to drive out to the theatre each year will exceed the cost of buying the land and building the structure. It is a good example of the way developers externalize costs. The goal of a developer is to push off as much cost onto society as a whole. Power comes from your ability to force others to pay for your excesses.

Back to the concert. The show itself was quite melange of mixed messages. The The Axis of Justice had a booth that distributed literature on various cause celebre. There were also big fat gas guzzling pick ups, Hummvees and Jeeps on display each screaming about the fun of getting out into the desert and tearing up some wilderness.

Audioslave has been quite active on many issues. This makes the show more interesting. In the middle of a rather violent sounding song the pop out a peace sign. In a clearer mixed message, Jane's Addiction had three scantily clad girls dance on stage as they sang tongue in cheek about the dangers of getting mixed up with the wrong girl.

Of course, I see the whole set of mixed messages to be very disturbing. The last several years, we are seeing more and more things that are getting the way of our ability to communicate.

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