Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Green" is Sooooo the New "Christian"!

Mother Earth is a Vicious Crowd - Live (mp3)
Green Means Go - The Color Wheels (mp3)

I was driving back from my near-daily coffee run Monday when I saw a billboard that read: "Fairway. Thinking Green." (Fairway is the name of the ad company that owns the billboard.) Then that night I read about Dominos Pizza using "GreenGraffiti" to advertise. They're using pressure washers to etch their ads into nasty grimy sidewalks.

Here's what I worry about.

When "Green" becomes a marketing ploy, when "Green" describes a friggin' billboard, when "Green" becomes an easy adjective that people like me can use to describe themselves simply 'cuz we recycle or ride long distances without our A/C running... then "Green" becomes this whole pathetic color spectrum that includes shit like "teal" and "pear" and "myrtle," all these colors that are desperately trying to be green but aren't quite, like when my younger daughter has to stand on her tip-toes a little in order to cross that You Must Be Taller Than 48" To Ride This Ride line. Yeah, she's taller than that line, but she's fudging, and she knows it, and I know it, and the goober letting her on the ride knows it.

The same thing kinda happened with "Christian" over the last 40 years. Maybe it's been longer, but I've seen it since I've been alive. I mostly blame it on Falwell and his Moral Majority movement, wielding a word intended to embrace and welcome a wide swath of humanity and using it to slice and separate and pare down until by the 21st Century, the word has become divisive and unappealing. "Christian," to most people, now stands for the very things the word should never ever stand for: ignorance, prejudice, selfishness, greed.

Heck, in Chattanooga, you now see businesses that use the little "Christian Fish" or cross on their signs. As if to say, "Jesus shops here!" Far too few people were terribly surprised when a local business that plastered the Jesus Fish all over everything got busted for a variety of shady practices.

For all you Christians out there, if it's news to you that a key descriptor of who you are has been hijacked and now has a meaning that's out of your control and more negative than positive, you'd best sit back and stop being defensive about it. Stop listening to "Onward Christian Soldiers" and stop allowing people who say we're engaged in "a war for Jesus" and who love that country song about how we avenged 9/11 to totally annihilate a word that should stand for better things.

But back to being Green.

You environmentalist types, you'd best take note. Y'all are probably getting the warm fuzzies because everyone's talking "Green" and promoting "Green" and acting like we're just Greening the hell out of our lovely planet, but guess what? Barring a level of change that I am cynically resigned to accept will never happen, our planet is on an irreversibly dire change of climate. Or at least that's what one of the biggest and most knowledgeable expert on the subject seems to think. But what does he know, other than having predicted the future more accurately than Nostra-fucking-damus?

Recycle. Replace your old GE bulbs with compact flourescents. Drive a Prius. None of this matters if China and India are firing up more coal plants than we can count. I'm sorry, but the concept of "Do Your Part" ain't gonna cut it with our environment. The Butterfly Effect ain't gonna fix our atmosphere. But, as poor schlep Jake says to that mesmerizing minx Rhett in The Sun Also Rises, "Wouldn't it be pretty to think so?"

And maybe your response is similar to mine: "If pitching in and doing the little things don't help, then what exactly am I supposed to do about it?"

How about you start with taking just a few minutes to READ THIS... yeah, it's long. Yeah, it's in GQ. Just go read it already.

Maybe G.I. Joe was right, and maybe knowing is half the battle. So maybe we just need to do more to KNOW. And friggin' fast, before we hand over a hot coal of a planet to our grandchildren.


Bob said...

Green still needs to take the extra steps of becoming punitive and judgemental of non-Greens, of seeing the world in strict Green and non-Green terms, of condemning all of the other colors to Hell or the nearest toxic waste facility, of talking non-stop about being Green (while secretly engaging in non-Green behaviors), then it will truly be the new "Christian."

Daisy said...

I just returned from the Barnes and Noble where I saw the "Green Bible"
Apparently the height of piety is to be a "green christian."

BeckEye said...

Remember when Kermit sang, "It ain't easy being green?" How wrong he was. It's the easiest thing in the world now. And not only is it easy, but it's hip. So everyone wants to be green, even if they don't really want to know what it fully means.

And is it any surprise that Christians have forgotten what Christianity is about? They forgot what Christmas was about long ago. I still somewhat identify as a Christian, but usually I go with that "spiritual but not religious" description. All organized religions do is muddle the message.