The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

MEMORIES OF STICKIN' IT TO THE MAN, EARTH DAY-STYLE
one world
As long as there's an Earth Day to celebrate, I'll never get tired of telling my tale of how I, once upon a time, nobly made a difference for the planet. From last year's Gaia Day commemoration:
My favorite Earth Day memory is a prank I played 13 years ago. I was sitting in my dorm lounge with a dormmate. We were flipping through the channels (no cable TV in the dorms back then--the dark ages!!), and catching a couple of news reports telling us it was Earth Day. Then we land on Home Shopping Network, just as they start rolling out their fur collection for display and sale.

It hit me: Furs? They're hawking freakin' furs on Earth Day? Come on!

Now, I wasn't then, nor am I now, a hard-core environmentalist or animal-rights advocate. I'm sympathetic with those philosophies, to a point, but I eat meat, wear leather, etc. like your average dude. Nevertheless, some part of my sensibilities was offended by seeing such a bizarre juxtaposition. I think I was offended by the stupidity, or more likely ignorance, on display by HSN.

So, I decided to do something. I got my phone, dialed up the HSN order line, and as soon as the customer service drone answered, I yelled, "EARTH DAY! FUR IS MURDER! BOYCOTT! BOYCOTT!!". I did it a couple more times after that. Then I got my dormmate to call too, on his phone; he did a very low-key version of same spiel (sans yelling--that was my schtick).

We had our fun, and decided to keep watching the channel to see if our childish actions had any on-air effect. Lo and behold, about 10 minutes after the last of our calls, the show host mentioned, "By the way, folks, today is Earth Day", and then abruptly switched from the fur display to something else. We laughed our asses off! It looked like we had stuck it to the man!

Don't mention it, Mama Earth.