Posts Tagged 'entertainment'

Sex And The City, Portland style

Sex and the City

Here is my Portland, Oregon response to Sex And The City: The Movie. It is Green Girls Take On CRAG. Read it to see what I mean. My Green Girls social circle has more fun and is more joyful, I suggest, than the characters in the hit HBO series.

Why do I think that? We green women of the West are bonding with the land as well as each other, and a sensible lifestyle that flows from love of the land. The women in SATC have no connection to the earth, and are consuming at a rate that 50 planets could not support. Research, including that of Juliet Schor (a brilliant woman of the East Coast, Harvard to be exact) is clear that more consumption does not lead to more happiness.

Even given the fantasy nature of entertainment, I think the women in SATC are irresponsible. I don’t know anyone who wants to be like them. But Portland is, after all, a green enclave, a city-state of its own. Please post a comment to broaden my earthy-wonky perspective.

photo courtesy of hagit_.


Update On Cooking For Climate Change

My post cooking for climate change needs freshening here as sustainability’s body of knowledge keeps growing. As per Michael Specter’s well-researched piece in The New Yorker, it turns out that being a locavore — eating just things grown close to home — does not necessarily reduce our carbon footprint.

Come again? How could two Oregonians (my husband Thor and I) possibly drink wine from Australia and create a smaller carbon footprint than if we drank pear brandy from Hood River, just one hour up the Columbia Gorge?

The Australian wine may have been shipped by sea, which shipping would use one-sixtieth the fuel that flying it in would use. Its grapes may have been grown without petroleum-based fertilizer, and harvested and processed with low-energy methods. If the pear trees in Hood River had been grown out of season in a heated greenhouse, sprayed and fertilized to the nth degree and watered with water pumped uphill– then the pear brandy’s carbon footprint to us sixty miles away in Portland might be holistically bigger than the wine from Australia.

Holistic is the key word. Our culture trains us to think in compartments, not in a unified whole. But sustainability is always about the interdependent whole: everything is related to everything else.

A last note about food in general — while I enjoy good meals as much as the next person, I don’t think we should lean on it as heavily as we do in our culture for entertainment. If we invested less of our time and money on food and spent more time using our bodies for honest physical work and transportation, we’d be much stronger both financially and physically.

Spitzer, Sex and Sustainability

A weblink I’ll assume you DON’T need this morning is one taking you to more stories about New York’s now former Governor Spitzer resigning due to the discovery of his use of prostitutes.

What I imagine some of us could use instead is a broader perspective. These scandals are such a bummer, laying waste to public trust and creating more cynicism about all things governmental. We need a way out of these scandals. We need elected officials who can sustain themselves, and not crash and burn like Mr. Spitzer.

How about the idea of us electing our officials more carefully in the first place? While people’s sex lives will never be transparent to us (nor should they be), how they handle power and privilege is something we definitely can observe. Observe as in actions, not listen to as in speeches.

Do they show discipline and self-control in their behavior? Or do they act as if more is always better? Do they admit being wrong, even in small things, or always place blame outside themselves? Where do we see conscience operating in their lives? Most crucial in my view: Do their actions work more for the greater good or for their personal gain? It seems to me that ambition and aggression end up being the de facto requirements for elected office — when some humility and a strong record of (un-self-serving) public service might be some better criteria. Mr. Spitzer had plenty of ambition and aggression, but less humility and self-control.

For our own parts, i.e. the public, we need to stop looking to other people’s sex lives to supply our headlines and our entertainment. Back when I was an alcohol and drug counselor, we called this kind of obsession ‘defocusing’. Who goes to prostitutes is, pardon me, bullshit, compared to who is doing what to reduce the emissions that drive global warming.

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