joy magnetism: Walking in our shoes




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Monday, February 23, 2009

Walking in our shoes

Magnet #367 – Tate Modern

So, no offense to the Tate Modern, but I got caught asleep there. Twice. In an hour. Once sitting on the bench. And the other standing up in front of a room full of propaganda poster art.

But, I picked this for today, because on yesterday's plane ride down to Tampa, I watched a Brit docu called The Human Footprint. I’m not going to lie, the only reason I downloaded it was because there’s nothing more pleasant than listening to David Tennant talking in my ear. He has the best narrative voice, it’s just lovely.

But what I got was the best documentary I’ve seen – in all my life.

My youngest sister is fondly dubbed, SaveTheWorldSister, for her Project Vote Smart and Peace Corps stints, her frequent boycotts of Shell and other evildoing global corps, her graduate degree course studies in Sustainable Development, and her bemoaning about the wastefulness of the First World. She’s not a granola nazi, thank God, but she definitely makes me want to be a better environmentally-conscious human.

I’ll tell ya. If her chiding over the years hadn’t already started me down that road, this Human Footprint docu certainly does the trick. For sure, I've been quoting every fact and figure running through my brain.

But the production itself is just made of awesome. It sets out to show you what the footprint of the average Brit has on the Earth over the course of his/her lifetime. The operative word there being SHOW. When you watch this, you'll see why the Tate Modern magnet totally works for this. It's totally bizarre.

They take a little boy and a girl, and who set off on a wonderland of facts and figures, brought to life. From the amount of food that we consume (dudes, Brits eat a freakin’ bathtub of Heinz baked beans in their lives and that we eat 1,200 chickens and four head of cattle, more, I’m sure, if you’re an American) to the amount of waste we humans produce (literally, a hail of crap in a field – gross, gross, gross!) to the amount of gas we humans produce (dudes, you thought the little girl swimming in the beans was gross? They took all the human-produced gas and LIT IT UP in a field). And that’s just what goes on with our bodies.

They then went into human interaction with others. The words we say (something like 120,420,705 words in a lifetime) to the people we “know” (something like 1,700 people, with 300 people we talk to within our social network at any given time), from the sex we have (no, I can’t even go there, because the condom tree [David says the word condom really funny. It’s cute] was just beyond words and the alcohol we drink (presumably to get into or over the sex we have?) and the places we go (59 places), to how we get there (did you know you can drive around for a year in a car and still not equal the amount of carbon I’m putting into the air with JUST THIS ONE FLIGHT???), and how much we drive (the amount of driving Brits do, gets them to the moon and back – though Lord, they’re just on a tiny little island – I bet Americans drive to Mars and back. Sheesh.)

Of course, these were all averages. For Brits. Which means you know ours are even worse. Here’s one set of facts that scares me the most. The AVERAGE Brit watches this much television:
  • 148 minutes a day
  • 900 hours a year
  • 2,944 days of our lives
  • Full 8 years in front of the box
You see my TV Dance Card at the bottom of this blog. I can only IMAGINE how much my own tv watching amounts to.

*dies*

Definitely check out this documentary, (here's a couple of screenshots), it will make you think twice about your actions here on Earth. Lord. Just call me Al again.
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