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Green Satire? November 8, 2007

Posted by emsgeiss in Green & Frunchy, Humor & Satire, Nablopomo, politics.
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I can see the staff meeting for 30 Rock now.  The writers are all seated around the room, iBooks and convertible PCs on laps and the conference table, all vying to come up with the funniest way to make a social commentary on environmental zealots and industry’s role in climate change, and the media portrayal of climate change and what to do about it.

So, how does NBC save the planet?

a.  A week of green programming equipped with a green peacock?
b. The super hero weirdo, Greenzo?
c. Off-handed quips about the energy industry?
d. A cameo by none other than Oscar-winning, Nobel Peace prize recipient, former Vice President Al Gore?
e. All of the above.

Well, it looks like they picked “e.” But somehow, while the episode was funny, they fell a little short of the mark. A few important messages were imparted–little energy-saving snippets about keeping the ‘fridge shut while you think about what you want from it; how appliances (the T.V. specifically), still draws power even when it’s off; and to buy Energy Star products, which of course, parent company G.E. sells among their product lines.  Hmm. Talk about product placement.  

So for all the green talk and suggestions, stabbing humor about some of the green extremism that’s out there (yeah, “out there” as on the skinny branches) and a chance for Mr. Gore to poke a little fun at himself with his, um, bionic hearing, much wasn’t really said.  

Or was it?

In 30 Rock, if you were really paying attention, they were getting at the issue of balance, not just the issue of being green and saving the planet. They court the dangerous territory of calling groups like Greenpeace quacks and simultaneously show that the often demonized energy industry and  corporate America are in fact making strides towards environmentally friendly products, services and overall measures to combat the effects of climate change. 

Tongue-in-cheek and perhaps a little too subtle, the message probably soared right over the heads of most viewers.