Friday, February 16, 2007

How Did Al Gore Get To Be So Cool?

(image via bodogbeat)

How cool is former Vice President and alleged inventor of the internet, Al Gore? Bloomberg notes that he is set to educate about the Planetary Emergency that is Global Warming by holding a concert with, among others, Snoop Dogg and Fall Out Boy, among others (Watch for the clusterfuck of A-List acts soon to follow). Do you remember when Al Gore was referred to, acidly, among The Chattering Classes as "Al Snore" (And did you observe on 60 Minutes Nora Jones disintegrate as Katie Couric meanly asked her about being called "Snora Jones? I'm just saying ..). Gore's comic writers used to struggle to wring out timely references to "Dutch Elm Disease (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned deatchment)." From Bloomberg:

"The group headed by former Vice President Al Gore is planning a single day of concerts on seven continents featuring more than 100 performers, including Bon Jovi, Snoop Dogg and Fall Out Boy, to promote awareness of global warming.

"The 'Live Earth'' shows will take place July 7 in London, Shanghai, Sydney, Johannesburg and locations to be determined in the U.S., Brazil and Japan, Gore and music producer Kevin Wall said today in Los Angeles. Details of a show in Antarctica will be announced next month, Gore spokeswoman Kalee Kreider said.

"The concerts are part of 'Save Our Selves,' a new campaign founded by Wall, the producer behind the 2005 Live 8 concerts that raised money for Africa. General Electric Co.'s NBC Universal Inc. television and movie unit will televise the shows in the U.S. Gore and Wall said they expect 'Live Earth' to be the most viewed event ever, reaching more than 2 billion people through television, radio, the Internet and film.

"... Proceeds from the concerts will go to the Alliance for Climate Protection, a group Gore heads that includes Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. Managing Director Theodore Roosevelt IV and Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser to President George H.W. Bush. Tickets will go on sale next month."

Now, Al Gore is a man of Honor, Respect, defended by idealistic Canadian youth, and on the verge of Oscars and -- dare we even think it? -- a Nobel Prize. He cavorts with prestige-factor Republican statesmen like Brent Scowcroft. Whereas Gore was once an Ozymandian stiffie, ambling after the task he was borne to carry out: in the White House for The Gores of Tennessee.

The turning point was, of course, last year's Sundance -- the last cool Sundance before Sundance jumped the Shark -- where his documentary "An inconvenient Truth" was unveiled to the hipsters and the glitterati with tremendous fanfare. From the salmon-colored weekly:

"It’s too much to say that Al Gore has decided to run for President in 2008.

"But it does seem that he wants to preserve the option.

"Certainly, the recent buzz about a possible Gore campaign in 2008 doesn’t seem to be spontaneously generated. According to one influential Democratic insider, close associates of the former Vice President have communicated to him and other prominent fund-raisers who are uncommitted to the other ’08 candidates that Mr. Gore will consider entering the race—if an opening presents itself—in September."

We wrote, roughly one year ago:

"After six years in the political wilderness surviving on a diet of locusts and honey former Vice President Al Gore is, curiously, metamorphosing into the Progressive-visionary alternative to those prevaricating 2008 Centrist candidates (Allen, Richardson, Bayh, Vilsac, Clinton, et al.). We add "curiously" because, well, no one ever mistook the maddeningly cautious Al Gore as anything remotely approaching a visionary; at least not in his previous incarnation as Congressman, then Senator and, ultimately, the Vice President of the United States. After conceding the Presidency in 2000, and refusing to run in 2004 (opting, instead, to appear on SNL -- averted gaze), Gore returned to private life, teaching at Columbia Journalism School and then at Fisk in his native Tennessee; he started Current TV; he gained weight. That was supposed to be the end of the public Al Gore, at least until his epitaph.

"The pendulum swings. Something happened on the way to political obscurity. It smacks of Nixon in '68. Nixon, who had left politics to become a lawyer in Los Angeles made -- unpredictably -- the greatest political comeback in American history, winning the Republican nomination and, ultimately, the Presidency. This, after his infamous, citric 'They wouldn't have Nixon to kick around anymore.' (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment)

"... Gore's then-quixotic backing of Howard Dean in 2004 now seems, in retrospect, an astonishingly bold political maneuver with no negatives. At the time, remember, there was a great questioning as to how he could betray Joe Lieberman like that; now, 4 years later, Lieberman is all but a Republican."

Al Gore, 2008?

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