J500 Media and the Environment


the green spectrum. where do i fit in? by dmdeshazer

Shades of Green
Photo courtesy of Dean W. Armstrong, University of Chicago

Mark Cuban, owner of maverickblog.com (one of Technorati‘s top 1,000 blogs), said: “Blog about your passions. Don’t blog about what you think your audience wants. Post because you have something you are dying to write about.”

Assignments for class can get redundant, chore-like, and menial compared to our “passions,” as Mark said. Want to know my passion, or “strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept”? Musical theatre. Now, I’m not talking about when you were in middle school and no one could participate in sports yet, so you were made to try out for the school’s production of Oliver! just so you could have a social hour. I’m talking about that breath of fresh air right after you move in perfect rhythm and motion for 2.5 minutes straight while singing the alto part as loud as you can (even if you may be a soprano). I’m talking about that one chance you have to make an impression, to move the audience, to melt someone’s heart. That practice and belief that you really could be someone else, embody their mannerisms that you’ve created in your mind, and let everyone else in on the secret life of this character. That unforgettable sound of laughter, tears and above all – applause.

I just had the strangest experience. When you indulge in something you love, or something you have a passion for, all trivial things diminish away and the action flows freely (in this case) through my fingertips. That last paragraph suddenly appeared, and I had no recollection of what I had written – because, it had just happened, naturally, without thought.

Our passions may not always come easy, but they do and should grow easy through practice. Yet, this ease comes with a scale, such as how familiar you are with the topic or how long you’ve been passionate for it. The longer you’ve been participating in a love of something, the more likely you are to experience the natural outcome of practicing it. You may still have a passion for something, but if it’s new and rusty, it may take awhile to get into the swing of things.

I often compare this idea to my journey with the green movement. Most people can classify their ‘green’ involvement in an array of color shades from lime, light, forest, hunter, dark and just plain old green. This idea of classification becomes muddied because who can really say how ‘green’ someone or something is? An Oil Drum article said, “‘Light greens’ are people who live within the realm of today’s society but try to cut down where they can… Then what is a true environmentalist in this country? Do you have to live in a log cabin with no running water and no electricity?”

By my actions, I’d be considered a very ugly yellow-green, you know the color in the crayon box that you couldn’t quite figure out if it was yellow or green… and if you were coloring something that was supposed to be yellow, it always looked green, and if it was supposed to be green, it always looked to yellow.

300px-yellow_crayon.jpg

Maybe Michael Jackson should do a remake of his song “Black or White” to “Light Green or Dark Green”? If you’re thinking about my baby, it don’t matter if you’re [insert new lyrics here].

Speaking of, apparently Michael Jackson is “going green” because he bought a Toyota Prius. But, does one effort and one decision make you an environmentalist? Does buying local or organic foods make you dark green? What is the secret recipe for my life as a greenie?

DARK GREEN ECO-PERSON (serving size, 1)
2 cups reusuable shopping bag
1 tbsp sustainable water bottle
4 1/4 cups Hybrid car (a bicycle or carpool would work better)
2 tsp local produce
1/3 cup Compost pile and Recycling bin
1 large vegetable and herb garden
1/2 cup CFL
1 handful energy-efficient appliances
2 pinches organic clothing
a dash of fair-trade chocolate

Mix furiously together in a bowl. Let the concoction set for nine months (approximately). Enjoy!

I have a “strong interest,” or a growing passion, in environmentalism, but I’m just not quite sure about the logistics. Maybe we all have our own recipes, depending on what we can do in our lives. The problem with climate change is a collective problem, but what’s the make-up of our involvement?

–Danae DeShazer

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3 Comments so far
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Since it is well established that I love chocolate, I will use it as an example (please do not give this teacher an apple!). Brownies. Some make them with organic butter, milk, sugar and cocoa; some buy Pillsbury and add water and oil. Some are vegan, some are studded with chocolate chips or frosted. There is no one way to make a brownie, and there is no one recipe for green success. That is what makes this iteration of environmentalism so exciting. There is opportunity for everyone to connect with their passions and let the way they live their lives be a reflection of what they care about. i think the key is understand it is a continual and incremental process. So we can laud MJ for his Prius, and encourage him to do more at the same time. Rather than “either/or,” it’s an “and.”
Simran

Comment by j500

Simran,

The opportunity is there, but how much does everyone have to give (i.e. ‘give a little, will ya?’) in order for it to make a difference. Maybe we all like our brownies different, but how do each of our brownies preferences fit into the greater mixing bowl?

Comment by dmdeshazer

I’m from the school of thought that any little bit counts. For example (I’ll use brownies, since we already are using them as our example), I’m making brownies but run out of chocolate cocoa; I only have 1/2 of what the recipe calls for. As such, I cut my brownie recipe in half and only produce half of what a full recipe calls for. I still made some brownies, but just not as much.

Like I said, any little bit helps; if we all make small changes, big effects will occur. So if we can’t make a full pan of brownies, let’s just make half a pan or a fourth a pan.

J.J. De Simone

Comment by jjdesimone




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