Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Environment Gets Funny

Back in November, NBC promoted Green Week, the second annual, week long effort on every show the network airs (from daytime soaps to late night comedy) to promote the concept “Green Your Routine” by including bits and pieces of environmental jargon, product placement, conversation or practice. Would this concept fly? Would the nation believe that two people could walk down the hall of wherever they work (even if it is a secret Government agency or police precinct) discussing things like global warming or recycling?

Considering the average person may actually discuss these issues off the cuff in their day to day lives, there were plenty of ways to fit it into scripts without sounding preachy. There are characters that have always had an eco edge, prompting all of us to subconsciously absorb smart practices. For example, the character of “Munch” on Law & Order: SVU was talking about the benefits of recycling years ago. This is all well and good for the shows that can casually drop in a line or pan out from a wind farm as the characters run to save the world or something, but when it comes to the live shows there is an inherent challenge to make eco-speak flow as if it was a completely normal part of daily speech; it is one thing to show a five second frame of Chuck recycling a water bottle but it is quite another to get eco in stand up comedy.

Comedians sometimes use the reverse psychology method to bring awareness. They mention all the things they “do” which the public can infer as a joke, laugh at, but subsequently become more aware of in the process. Laughter can be an amazing tool for learning. Done completely tongue in cheek, Conan O’Brien from Late Night told all of us how to be more environmentally aware in our daily routines, even though he simply can not follow suit.


equivoque said...

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--equivoque at etsy

High Desert Diva said...