J500 Media and the Environment


Sex Me Planet Earth by travisjbrown
February 12, 2008, 3:54 pm
Filed under: Society + Media

When anyone else thinks of Arnold’s environmental efforts, do you imagine him standing in front of a chopper screaming “Aaaaghh. This is a message fram your guberenvironmentalnator. We’ve got to save tha planet!”?

I do.

And speaking of sexing up the green movement….

Captain Environator

In Gov. Schwarzenegger’s speech at the Council on Foreign Relations Board Meeting on April 12, 2007 he compared the green movement to body building and how he helped to change the “sketchy” image behind it:

So we knew that we had to change the image, and we did. We consciously changed the image. The book came out, Pumping Iron, and then the movie, the documentary of Pumping Iron came out. And then I started writing books on bodybuilding for men and for women, for children and all this, and started promoting and promoting. And eventually the image of bodybuilding changed so that now you literally could go anywhere in the world and you will find a gymnasium. As a matter of fact, you can go to any gymnasium and you will find ordinary people talking about their lats and their biceps and their abs and their body fat and all those kinds of things.

And, you know, it seems like people have listened. Green feels sexier than eve… and Arnold didn’t even have to write a children’s book this time. I mean look at some of the fine young ladies featured in green themed television shows during NBC’s green week last November. Let’s see… NBC shows… that gives us….

And my personal favorite ….

Something about those nerdy girls.

So the green movement might be getting sexier. And that’s great. It needs to be trendy. Arnold was right. That crying Native American commercial I saw when I was a kid…. I will remember it until the day I die, but it didn’t have an ounce of impact on me. Guilt doesn’t work. Well it does, but not for long. In order to really keep with something, it has to be cool. The quest for coolness is why most people start smoking. And the recent coolness of being a nonsmoker has urged every member of the once-ignorant, black lunged generation to quit…. or at least go into hiding.

But coolness isn’t enough.

“Look at me. I drive a hybrid.”

Cool.

“Look at me. I recycle.”

Sexy

“Look at me. I balance my green karma with carbon offset.”

Hot?

” Look at me. I use biodiesil”

Sweet?

Ok, so we’ve achieved the sex factor. Now, we need to work on awareness and understanding. Now that green is sexy, people think they can just follow the new green trend and their doing their part. Well some of these concepts may not actually be that good for the environment.

Much of this could be changed by tweaking the jargon a little. It took me about 17 readings of the word “greenwashing” before I found out it wasn’t an eco-friendsly way of cleaning your car. Greywater? Blackwater? Isn’t that a security contractor. We are going to be introduced to more and more of these words as the environmental movement grows even sexier. It is of the utmost importance that people understand what these words mean.

-Travis Brown

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7 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Travis,
I love what you say about sexy spawning more jargon – but not just jargon for jargon’s sake but in order to help people be more discriminating. The illusion is great, but ultimately sexy is as sexy does.

Simran Sethi

Comment by j500

[…] Original post by travisjbrown […]

Pingback by Bodybuilding Info » Blog Archive » Sex Me Planet Earth

That’s funny that you mention the crying Indian commercial. I think that guilt is a great way of making people change the way they live their lives. I really did feel sad for the Indian because he is an example of someone who really cares about the environment. Seeing him tear up I thought was really heart breaking…but I cry at any kind of chick flick so that may just be me.

Lindsay

Comment by Lindsay

Again, perception is reality. I don’t want us to use Wikipedia as our primary source of info, but this was the most concise description I could find. The Crying Indian was an Italian.

Simran Sethi

Comment by j500

I think using “sexy” in terms of selling sex is tricky. Sex itself is less about understanding, and more about self gratification.

I think when Arnold says sexy, he means attractive. Sex does sell, but it can’t sell everything.

Imagine if Martin Luther King Jr. gave the “I have a sexy dream.” It would lose a lot of the weight.

Same with the women’s movement. And in fact I think you could argue that using sex to sell something, is really exploiting women to sell something.

Sexy doesn’t have to mean sex…. but rather en vogue.

Adam B

Comment by acbowman

You say it is to help people be more discriminating.You mean discriminating against the “them?” Why would they want to be more discriminating? Because that’s horrible. Jargon should strive to be more inclusive. When we change global warming to climate control to whatever incarnations came after that, we’re we creating a conservative term for it or were we trying to bridge the gap between liberals and conservatives? Jargon should work to connect two sides, not discriminate between them.

-Travis Brown

Comment by travisjbrown

I take discriminating to mean discerning, as in making better choices as consumers. And yes — sexy in this case does mean in vogue. It’s whatever makes something appealing, without exploitation, I hope.

Jen H

Comment by jenh




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