Can Music Save the World On this swampy Saturday morning in Washington, DC, Yauch is submitting to press grilling under hot TV lights not for his music but for his activism: He co founded the Milarepa Fund, which mobilizes young Americans in the cause of nonviolent social change and organizes the annual Tibetan Freedom Concert. After an unruly youth, Milarepa devoted his life to using music to teach compassion. Comparisons between the fund's namesake and the world weary Yauch who has a gray hair quotient similar to fellow Tibetan activist Richard Gere's are easy to make. This year's star studded RFK Stadium concert seems destined to make double that figure. Look around you at all these people broadcasting worldwide if all of this doesn't nike h bounce influence our culture, I don't know what will."A short history of China's actions against Tibet since its 1949 invasion: In search of more land and domination of the strategically located Tibetan plateau, the Chinese government has destroyed 6,000 monasteries and sold off the country's natural resources, meanwhile punishing Tibetans for any attempts to assert their cultural or religious identity. More than a million Tibetans have died due to famine, torture, and forced labor. Two enormous TV screens flank two stages. The crowd is a bit thin for the five minute opening set by monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery and nuns from the Tibetan Nuns Project, who stand and chant before a huge Budweiser banner. Next up is Mutabaruka, whose dark, bass heavy, roots reggae is the most overtly political music all weekend. You couldn't ask for a more adorable symbol: He's a tiny man with a round face and big ears, who wears an expression of calm even when he's describing being hung from handcuffs and splashed with boiling water. Other gruesome tortures involve serrated handcuffs and electric cattle prods. The audience is uniformly white, college age, and scantily clad; there are lots of "Co ed Naked Lacrosse" T shirts on view. Most of the sartorial accessories are borrowed from a previous generation tie dye, long hair, macram chokers. KRS 1 quotes the Dalai Lama before he heads off stage: "Be patient. Don't hate. Bad weather is coming from New York City, where all scheduled flights have been canceled (which is why Patti Smith never materialized). The sky now a menacing shade of gray, KRS 1 takes a seat in front of the cameras. He's lapsed into stream of consciousness when a tremendous thunderbolt sounds. "The Goddess represents!" he shouts gleefully. "The Goddess represents!"The Goddess was representing in a decidedly nasty way: four songs into Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters' first live show in 25 years, several people were struck by lightning including 25 year old Lysa Selfon, whose heart stopped beating for nearly 20 minutes. The music stopped at about 4:15, when the rain began to pour. The corporation moves and takes his job, and he can't get his beer fix, then see what'll happen."Just the day before, there'd been another school shooting, and you didn't see any nike shoes basketball famous musicians organizing concerts about that. Why focus on Tibet when there are so many overwhelming problems in America's backyard: domestic violence, AIDS, homelessness, violence?On the other hand, you've got to start somewhere. The Tibetans' path of nonviolence makes them both incredibly vulnerable and incredibly symbolic of the lessons humans particularly young American humans most need to learn. Start with violence, you get kids walking into their homerooms with loaded fire arms. (with Michael Stipe wearing a midriff baring shirt and skirt ensemble that had several women around me cooing with envy) and Tribe Called Quest. But the day's real highlight is, understandably, the Beastie Boys, whose set includes a couple of songs from their upcoming record, Hello Nasty. For empirical proof of America's dependence on trade with China, visit your local department store and try to find a pair of running shoes that were not made in China. Nike, of course, uses factories m j fox nike shoes in Indonesia, where they pay their mostly female workers 30 cents an hour but that's another story. has two Seattleites with them: drummer Barrett Martin and Scott McCaughey on keyboards. Then there's Pearl Jam. One, Joe Scarborough from Florida, in baggy khakis and a plaid shirt, could have easily blended in with the concert crowd; he quotes a long passage by Bobby Kennedy on youth activism. Democratic Congressman Chris Cox of California lobbies for House Resolution 283, which calls for the Chinese government to discuss Tibetan autonomy with the Dalai Lama (the resolution was passed in the House by a vote of 416 to 5, but Clinton has yet to endorse it). California Rep. Dana Rohrbacher proclaims dramatically, "Our country stands for more than short term blood money in the hands of profiteers! Yes, I'm for free trade, but that's free trade between free people, buster!"Never have so many pierced college students cheered so wildly for a Republican. Czechoslovakia's Velvet Revolution, the Sandinistas' fight in Nicaragua, the protests against the Vietnam War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of the Cold War each one had a rock 'n' roll soundtrack. For the Tibetans' struggle, the score happens to be by the Beastie Boys.