Know thine audience

It was my turn to drive carpool to piano lessons today. I dropped Porter and Addy off and took the rest of the Things to Target. It was a typical visit - returns, popcorn and Icee, unnecessary purchases (facilitating the next visit's returns, of course.)

The exit to the car was less than ordinary, however. I saw them before I even made it through the glass doors. Two young adults, clipboards in hand, were scouting potential targets (pun intended.) I only had 8 minutes before piano lessons were over, and a 5 minute drive to get there (assuming all green lights - but you know what assuming makes for.)

But I'm a nice enough person. I figured 3 minutes of my time was a generous contribution to whatever cause they were promoting.

When I got closer I saw the name on their t-shirts - Greenpeace.


Greenpeace in south Orange County, CA?

Don't they know that this is perhaps the most conservative of all California counties? That people here have lots of money to spend on frivolous, over-priced things (like Republican candidates) and usually couldn't care less about grungy tree-hugging and whale-saving?

This isn't the place where all those pseudo-celebs in excessively expensive designer clothing are driven in Priora (that's plural for Prius) to awards shows where they spout soapbox ideals about carbon credits and green energy to a television audience who cares more about baby bumps and rehab stints.

We're the county south of Hollywood. People here wear excessively expensive designer clothing and drive Bugatti(s)and Maybach(s) and spout capitalistic ideals about deregulation, free-market economies, and oil-drilling in ANWR. But not me. I just wear Levi's and drive a minivan.

Poor kid. He approached me and opened with ,"You're a mother, so of course you care about mother earth." Yeah. And I'm stupid too. If Greenpeace had their way, the entire human race would be obliterated to spare any further destruction of "mother earth".

He followed with, "Kimberly-Clark is a manufacturer of Kleenex and other throw-away products made by clear-cutting the last ancient forests in North American." Uh-huh.

"And where would these forests be located?"

"Oh, they're in British Columbia, and the Canadian government hasn't been responsive to our concerns about the clear-cutting. They weren't responsive to our concerns about clubbing baby seals, either."

Really? Seal pups now?

Feel free to prove me wrong, but I suspect most mothers in this world are more concerned about the plight of abused children, smacked around for no reason other than the violent, bully nature of adults, than a baby seal clubbed over the head, instantly put out of its misery prior to being skinned and eaten so as to prevent the starvation of an indigenous society. At least this mother is.

I'm really not so presumptuous to assume (again with the assuming) that my opinion should have any influence over long-suffering cultural (and/or culinary) practices. Yeah, baby seals are cute and soft and cuddly (if their momma seals aren't close enough to witness said cuddling), but so are calves. And piglets. And chicks. And fishies (according to Thing 1.)

And I too would be unresponsive if some holier-than-thou feel-good organization tried to tell me that I can't club them over the head in order to feed my family.

In a best-case scenario, anyway.

More likely I'd club the big-mouth over the head, skin and eat them for dinner, and then cuddle with my saved animals.

But I digress . . .

"So who owns these forests?"

"What?" the poor boy asked in a strange, surprised tone.

"Who owns the ancient forests that are currently being clear-cut?"

"Well, I'm not really sure. Probably the British (flustered kid, he meant Canadian) government. I've never actually been asked that before."

And that would be the problem. Or maybe the indicator.

Can a uninformed, self-righteous mouthpiece really expect to sway public opinion if they don't know who they're talking to, or even what they're talking about?

My 3 minutes were up, so I walked away after leaving him with my parting, capitalistic opinion - I believe if you want to save something, you better own it.

Poor kid. His only response, "I should probably find out who owns that forest."

Yes, my boy, you should.

If my experience is any evidence, by tomorrow Greenpeace will be back in LA County.


Shelley~Maren said...

I like this post. :) I'm all for saving mother earth etc... and recycling when possible, but even I have my limits. :)

nan said...

Cecily, Cecily...I love this post and others like it. I quite enjoy reading your rants. I am entertained. When are we going to see you now that we are within driving distance? Glad to hear that all is well.