& OTHER GEAR
An Erotic Novel
How we lost the right to feel.
Go to the beach.
Literary Love Affair
some kind of joke?
Environmentalists do make
jokes -- and so do their enemies. There's at least one complete
book of environmental humor. No theme is sacred. When all those
celebrities were fatally colliding with trees a while back, the
trees supposedly sent out this press release:
fRom THe TREES
"StoP tHE LogGINg oR wE WiLl coNtInUE
To KiLl oNe CeleBrITY EacH WeEK. TheRe ARe nO SkIinG aCciDenTS."
On the practical side,
fresh air is one of the menu items at O2, actor Woody Harrelson's
new restaurant on Sunset Strip -- 20 minutes through a hospital-quality
plastic nose tube, $13. Flavored, aromatized or herbalized air (Joy
and Clarity, cherry apple cider with echinecea, astragalas, pau
d'arco and lapacho) is $15.
At the Greening of Industry
Conference, a group of environmental practitioners and academics
attended a workshop on Sex, Humor and the Environment, organized
by Sarah Clarke Schulich, York University, Toronto, and Sandra Rothenberg,
Rochester Institute of Technology.
"There were mixed
feelings at the conference about how some might get upset if people
made jokes," Rothenberg reports. As it turned out, she says,
"Most were very positive and were able to laugh about it."
Instead of discussing sustainable
development, she and Schulich discussed topics such as sustainable
sex, which is renewable, lasting, fulfilling, consensus-based and,
most important "best based on love," they observed in
a charming set of verses that now appear on Rothenberg's Humor and
Environment Web page: http://web.mit.edu/slrothen/www/Humor.html.
Although the page now has
quite a few items that aren't directly environment-based, it's an
excellent source of material for lightening up an often deadly subject.
Contributors come from all over the Internet, with especially rich
offerings from News of the Weird, http://www.spd.louisville.edu/~rjmill01/fm/NewsoftheWierd.html,
and other pages devote to humor and the absurd.
Among the highlights are
these real news headlines from Bob's Joke Archive, http://www.sccs.swarthmore.edu/~yang/jokes/joke.html.
great for use in garden," "Miners refuse to work after
death," "British left waffles on Falkland Islands,"
"Cold wave linked to temperatures" and "Survey finds
subway dirtier after cleaners are laid off."
Many of the funniest items
come from news reports. Some are obviously the work of witty editors.
When a truck spilled 6,000 pounds of margarine on Interstate 35
in Oklahoma City, The Daily Oklahoman headline read: "Margarine
Clogs Major Artery"
Other stories report foot-in-the
mouth environmental observations. Relocating deaf people to high
noise areas such as the Toledo airport would solve noise pollution
complaints, Mayor Carty Finkbeiner told reporters, adding helpfully
that they could buy the houses of unhappy owners.
Among the most appealing
examples are those from enlightened environmental educators, as
in a dead-pan story on the Mosquito Cook-Off at Crawley's Ridge
State Park in Walcott, Ark.
Larry Clifford, assistant
superintendent, won First Prize with his Mosquito Chunk Cookies
recipe: boil 1/4 cup mosquitoes, 1/4 cup molasses, 1/4 cup dark
brown sugar for 1-1/2 minutes; cool on greased cookie sheet; when
hard, fold into cookie dough and bake.
The mosquitoes must be
fresh, as they are meat and can spoil, Clifford cautioned. Second
Prize went to his Mosquito Supreme Pizza, especially appropriate
because "mosquitoes have a mild anchovy taste," he said.
Actually, Clifford was the only contestant. The cook-off was a stunt
to bring in people to teach them about natural mosquito control
methods such as bats.
Rothenberg and Schulich
tend toward material that favors environmental activism, but the
entire spectrum of activists, polluters, bureaucrats, lawyers, politicians
and miscellaneous characters appear in Environmental Humor, a book
by environmental consultant Gerald Rich, who provides a broad sample
of his text at http://www.wcnet.org/~envsoft, where he also sells
the book by mail for $10.
Rich has been collecting
environmental humor for 25 years, during which he's "noted
the increasing tendency towards sarcasm." He writes, "It
is almost as if people need to vent."
Some of his favorites:
"First law of environmental protection: Species are protected
only after they are hopelessly depleted. Second law of environmental
protection: The most efficient way to dispose of toxic waste is
to reclassify the waste as non-toxic. Law of unequal proportions:
If you put a drop of wine in a gallon of hazardous waste, you get
a gallon of hazardous waste; if you put a drop of hazardous waste
into a gallon of wine you get a gallon of hazardous waste."
The law of unequal proportions
highly favors environmental humor: a single laugh can disarm lots
of toxic hostility and open the way to greater acceptance all around.
American Interfaith Non-Violent (I hope) Taliban Movement considers Gordon
Inkeles' work too shocking for your sensitive eyes.
Busted Book in Santa Barbara
surrender at last to performance art.
ME ABOUT THIS
the Nuclear Option is Really
Satire will flourish in the one-party state.
for the Humor Impaired?
You, too, can make jokes!
not a joke.
but it's a