Green with envy


by Lindsay Nelson

I didn’t want to have to say this. I thought maybe we’d be able to work it out, but it’s clear to me now that it’s not going to happen. Here goes: I’m breaking up with the green movement.

It’s not because I don’t love the planet; I really do. Without getting into the endless circular argument about whether or not global warming exists, it seems pretty obvious to me that a way of life that relies on and over-uses nonrenewable resources, in the process producing tremendous amounts of trash, pollution and waste, is just plain stupid. To believe we can go on living this way on our little green Earth is foolhardy at best, evil and malicious at worst.

That said, I hereby declare my personal disgust with what has become the hottest trend since “cause ribbons” (when does the green one come out?) The rise of “eco-cool” stands that do more damage to any honest attempts at reducing pollution, waste and environmental degradation than any lumber-loving Republican could ever dream of doing. As evidenced by every glossy magazine on the newsstand publishing a “green issue” this year, disturbing trends in eco-hedonism (see Radar Online’s exposé on the subject – rainwater toilets? Sustainable nightclubs? Solar-powered vibrators? $1,000 silk grocery bags? Oh yeah.), and most recently by the global concert series “Live Earth,” it’s now totally cool to be eco-conscious, as long as you’re not a drag about it.

Take, for example, the particularly elitist fashion in which the rich and famous have adopted a “green” attitude. Fresh from the Live Earth stage where they pontificate about curbing our consumption, buying recycled products, quitting the gasoline habit and just generally “reducing our carbon footprint,” some of our favorite among the glitterati climbed in their private jets while their crews loaded gear into semi-trucks and caravans of diesel-spewing buses streamed out of town. But, wait, it’s OK! Because the millionaires of the world just buy energy credits, a sort of carbon-

emissions plenary indulgence for their sins of waste and pollution. You should be glad you don’t own a jet, because the payback for the jet fuel can really eat into your Botox budget.

Can’t afford to buy rainforest acreage to atone for your gas-guzzling guilt complex? Here’s a handy checklist of trendy, environmentally correct consumer and lifestyle choices you simply must have in order to look green without really trying:

- Hybrid or ethanol-driven vehicle. Can be large SUV or micro-compact, but must be poorly designed and induce a smugness factor of at least 5.7 in the driver. Diesel engines that run on vegetable oil are not as cool, despite being emissions-free. Must be that French fry smell.

- Organic food, beverages and clothing. Buying expensive organic products is the epitome of cool; don’t stop with apples and juice – think tampons, chocolate syrup, socks and beer. But smelling organic is so not OK; hang on to your SpeedStick, bub.

- Biodegradable plastic water bottles and grocery sacks. Because it’s just too inconvenient to actually bring your own bag, refill your water bottle or carry a travel mug for your latte; now the eco-image-conscious consumer can feel good about saving the environment without sacrificing wasteful convenience products! And don’t worry about whether they’ll actually degrade in 180 days when packed into a landfill with old bicycle tires and baby diapers. You did your part!

- Most important for any greenie on the go is a wry but preachy bumper sticker or two.“My other car is a bicycle” is always a good standby, but some prefer to be a bit more forward with their political messages: “Drive a SUV for Saddam,” or “6 Billion Miracles Are Enough,” and even “Save the Planet – Kill Yourself!” and, for the techie-hippie, “”. The irony of any anti-car bumper sticker displayed on your own car’s bumper should be ignored.

With these simple, everyday guidelines, you too can be eco-cool. Don’t forget to preach to the choir and download that horrifying Melissa Etheridge song!

I don’t know how eco-cool he is, but a lot of people still like Bob Dylan. He’s playing in Telluride this Saturday night with My Morning Jacket at Town Park. Everyone who’s anyone is Durango is totally going. If you’re not, don’t even bother coming to work on Monday; we have nothing to say to you.

Because everyone else is at Dylan, your pickins are slim in Durango on Saturday night. Check out The Tao Jones at the Summit; get yourself some blue-chip funk stocks and a subscription to the WSJ.

Your best bet for a live show here in town this weekend, provided you like music with a little twang and warble, is Town Mountain, live at the Abbey Theatre on Sunday night. This band, from Asheville, N.C., is not really a bluegrass band despite the instruments they hold. Their music is an amalgam of classic country, roots rock and mountain music (including bluegrass) and it’s darn catchy. Local bluegrass act Rock & Rye opens the show at 9 p.m. Tickets are nice and cheap, $6 for members of Durango Acoustic Music, $8 for the rest of you in advance.

A cultural phenomenon that we cannot ignore, even if we want to, is that of Harry Potter. Blessedly (or horrifically, depending upon your bent), the last of this ridiculously popular book series comes out Friday. Maria’s Bookshop is making a big deal of it, with a Midnight Release Party, including a free screening of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” and a street party. Anything that can entice modern Americans to scramble for 600-page tomes and stay up all night reading them is A-OK in my book. Get it?

Top 10 Albums of the Week

1. Smashing Pumpkins, “Zeitgeist”

2. Pharoahe Monch, “Desire”

3. White Stripes, “Icky Thump”

4 Various Artists, “Instant Karma: Amnesty International Campaign”

5. Bad Religion “New Maps of Hell”

6. Interpol, “Our Love to Admire”

7. Against Me, “New Wave”

8. Spoon, “Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga”

9. Ryan Adams, “Easy Tiger”

10. Stephen Stills, “Just Roll Tape: April 26th, 1968”

– Courtesy of Southwest Sound