Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Edge digs a trench

What's most surprising about the coverage of The Edge's alleged despoiling of the environment around his LA home is that people are surprised - after all, it's not like he's not got form for pushing on with redevelopments in the face of local objections. What with the Clarence Hotel being given a "futuristic" look and the hubristic U2 Tower in Dublin, it's not like The Edge has a reputation for being sensitive to the environment when there's a few quid to be made.

And, according to LA Weekly, he's got some grand plans for one of the nicer, wilder bits of the city:

Residents in the Coral and Latigo canyon areas of the Malibu hills are in an uproar over the Edge’s plan to build five homes across a proposed area of nearly 1,000 acres on two key sites, one bordered by the spectacular Latigo Canyon and the other at Serra Retreat.

They're not entirely surprised, though:
Among those most frustrated by the Edge’s plans is Candace Brown, a resident and longtime partner of Malibu mayoral candidate Councilman Jefferson Wagner. She accuses the U2 guitarist of spearheading an overly ostentatious and self-serving development that will upset the ecosystem and create an eyesore of, in her words, oversized “McMansions.”

“They evicted the archery club, which was an institution in Malibu,” says an exasperated Brown of the Edge and his project partners. She says that they also dug a 15-foot trench “the size of three football fields,” and that eyewitnesses have reported seeing wildlife, including deer and fox, trapped in the trench.

It's not believed, though, that The Edge is eating the trapped animals, nor smearing their blood over his face before dancing around under the moon, naked save for the skins of the captured wild creatures.

God alone knows why The Edge needs such a big trench. Perhaps he's burying his money. Or maybe he doesn't trust them modern flushing toilets.

It gets worse, though. Apparently he's going to have a crack at a job usually best reserved for faith - moving mountains:
One disgruntled neighbor, Jim Smith, a building contractor who has looked at the Edge’s plans, estimates that the proposed construction would affect the community for years to come. Smith says that an existing mountain on the property will, in effect, disappear, and that approximately 5,000 truckloads of earth removed from the site would be transported along a road not nearly large enough to handle the load.

The Edge "declined to comment" on the story to LA Weekly, but it's not just his environmental destruction which is upsetting the neighbourhood. He turns out to be a bit of an all-rounder when it comes to knobbish behaviour:
“There was one occasion when his enormous tour bus stopped dead on the road to my house, blocking it. Myself and several other cars had to wait behind it for some time until I became annoyed and approached the window of the bus. I asked the driver to move, though he said I’d have to wait, as he didn’t want to interrupt the Edge and Axl Rose [a fellow Malibu resident], who were in an intense discussion at the back of the bus.”

It's far from clear why The Edge would want to even get involved in building houses. He clearly doesn't need the money. Now, what would be the word for someone who just loves money so much he doesn't care what he has to do to get it?