How many homes did you build last year? Between your friendly Vulture editors, we have a grand total of zero houses that we have built not just in the last year, but in our entire lives. Still, that's part of the price that we pay for not having the same level of dexterity in our fingertips as the Edge, one of the best and most famous guitarists in all the world. And thanks to his continued employment in what many would argue is the biggest band in the world, he has the kind of coin to build not one, not two, but FIVE houses atop a "pristine ridge" in the beachside paradise of Malibu. However, his grand ambitions to build and subsequently move his family into these ecofriendly houses has been met with staunch opposition by environmentalists, and today he finds himself on the receiving end of stinging op-ed critique from Los Angeles Times reporter Steve Lopez (who, you may recall, was recently portrayed by Robert Downey Jr. in The Soloist).
Standing next to Bono for all these years, the Edge has clearly absorbed a lot of the U2 front man's keen ability to network with people who can help him accomplish his goals. As a means to help him achieve the necessary clearances to build his series of five homes in the Santa Monica mountains which, by the way, already have the hilariously pretentious names of Clouds Rest, Panorama, Shell House, Blue Clouds, and Leaves in the Wind he has built a website to help his cause. The site contains the following video, which, sadly, is scored with a George Winston–esque New Age soundtrack instead of the righteous guitar melodies he has built his career on:
Despite the Edge's attempts to sell his project that would sit atop a currently untouched plot of natural real estate as one of the world's greenest development projects, Steve Lopez objects to both the project and what he views as the Edge's "gag-inducing" video. After openly questioning how the Edge was able to get a number of ecofriendly political groups on his side (hint: $$$), he writes that "The truly green thing for the Edge to do would be to stay in the house he's in, and avoid yet another ego-propelled incursion into one of the great wilderness areas of the state."
So who's going to end up prevailing in this case: the people who want to preserve the natural beauty of Malibu, or the rock star with powerful ties to political-action groups and millions of dollars he can use to sway public opinion? Well, our feeling on it goes a little something like this: If you have to ask, you'll never know.