Thursday, April 28, 2005

Dangerously Stupid, Part 3

And now, sit back, relax, and take in this mind-boggling article. It's worth reading the whole thing.

I could hardly believe it was real at first.

But it is.

I'll basically let it speak for itself. A few excerpts:
( - A new MTV series features Hollywood celebrities praising the developing world's primitive lifestyles as earth-friendly -- despite those poor nations' high infant mortality rates and short life expectancies.

The eco-tourism show, called "Trippin'," premiered on March 28 and was heavily promoted in the runup to Earth Day. The show encourages environmental awareness and lauds traditional tribal lifestyles, which lack running water, electricity and other basic infrastructure.

The MTV series features actress Cameron Diaz and a rotating crew of "her close, personal friends [who] think globally and act globally." They tour developing nations, including Nepal, Bhutan, Tanzania, Honduras and visit remote villages in Chile.

Actress Drew Barrymore, who reportedly earns $15 million a film, told MTV viewers in one episode that after spending time in a primitive, electricity-free Chilean village, "I aspire to be like them more."

Barrymore, apparently enthralled by the lack of a modern sanitary facilities, gleefully bragged, "I took a poo in the woods hunched over like an animal. It was awesome."

The 32-year-old Diaz, who earns a reported $20-million a movie, boasted that the cow-dung slathered walls of a Nepalese village hut were "beautiful" and "inspiring," and she called the primitive practice of "pounding mud" with sticks to construct a building foundation "the coolest thing."
Despite the celebrities' praise for the primitive life, "Trippin'" shows them flying on multiple airplanes and chartering at least two helicopters and one boat to reach remote locations over the course of the first four episodes.

The series also showed the celebrities being chauffeured to the airport in a full-size Chevy SUV -- despite several on-screen, anti-SUV factoids noting how environmentally unfriendly SUVs are.
The first four episodes of the MTV series made scant mention of the difficult economic and social conditions of the countries visited. Bhutan, a country that received particular praise from Diaz for its environmental policies, has one of the highest infant mortality rates (103 infant deaths per 1,000 live births) and lowest life expectancies (54 years) in the world.

By comparison, the United States, which Diaz described as having too much "convenience," has an infant mortality rate of only 6.6 per 1000 and an average life expectancy of more than 77 years.

Located between China and India in the Himalayan Mountains, Bhutan was profiled on the second episode of "Trippin'." Diaz described it as the "only country in the world where forest cover is increasing."

According to CIA estimates, Bhutan has one of the world's smallest and least developed economies, with the country's 2-million people surviving mostly on the crops they grow themselves.

"My favorite thing about Bhutan is they measure their country's wealth, not based on dollar amount but on gross national happiness," Diaz said.

Diaz was happy to learn that 72 percent of the country is still covered in forest. "That is so awesome. I like Bhutan," Diaz said, noting that the country has "maintained a careful balance of Old World tradition and modern convenience."

"Life moves at a different pace here in Bhutan," she said. "The fusion of religion, tradition and a genuine respect for the environment give the whole country a peaceful balance."
Diaz lauded the Nepalese villagers' practice of slathering cow dung as a form of wall plaster used to coat the walls: "Nothing goes to waste. It is beautiful. It is inspiring," she said. "It is incredible to see how in tune these people are with the environment; they are completely self-sufficient, Diaz added.
Hey, Cameron, guess what, if they waste anything, they DIE! And even then, they DIE! Our civilization has struggled for thousands of years in order to get to the point where you don't HAVE TO scrimp for every little crumb to avoid starvation.
"I am going to go pound some mud, baby! Mmm," Diaz said to the cameras. "It was the coolest thing to be a part of," she added.

As video of mud-pounding filled the TV screen, Diaz explained, "They (Nepalese villagers) continue to live in harmony with the world around them. It's a way of living very different than what we are used to. It seems to work."

But MTV viewers were not informed that Nepal has an infant mortality rate of nearly 69 deaths per 1,000 live births, about ten times the infant death rate in the U.S. Nor did they hear that life expectancy in Nepal is 59 years.
Bhutan was praised by Diaz because she claimed the residents voluntarily rejected electricity in order to save the "endangered black neck crane."

"These people have decided that keeping the cranes in their valley is more important than having the convenience of electricity," Diaz noted.

"It is admirable that they would give up that convenience, because if they were to build power lines here, the birds would lose their habitat here and disappear from the landscape of Bhutan, ending centuries of tradition," she added.
Riiiiight. Yes, a bird is more important than human life. And you'll do everything in your power to preserve the bird for your own self-gratification.

Never mind who suffers.
Diaz was less enthusiastic about the modern American lifestyle: "It's kinda gotten out of hand how much convenience we think we need," Diaz said after visiting an indigenous Chilean village in the fourth episode.

Barrymore praised the Chileans living in a remote, electricity-free village as "people who are walking the walk and doing it [environmentalism]; they teach me so much."

The Hollywood celebrities also took time out from sight-seeing to express concern about proposed development projects in the countries they were visiting. Projects ranging from a proposed highway in the Chilean forest to a proposed aluminum smelter were criticized because of their perceived negative environmental and societal impact.
Diaz also explained her opposition to the proposed highway: "They are going to replace something that is truly unique with something that is everywhere."

'Perverse and immoral'

A critic of the environmental movement condemned the new MTV series.

"There's something perverse and immoral when multi-millionaire Hollywood celebrities head off on junkets in the jungle - and then preach to us lesser mortals about the joys of the simple life, and how we should protect the Earth, conserve energy, prevent global warming, and help the poorest people on our planet continue 'enjoying' their poverty, malnutrition and premature death," Paul Dreissen, author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power/Black Death told Cybercast News Service.

"Life in these developing countries is still nasty, brutish and short. And that there is a reason our parents and grandparents worked so hard to create modern homes and hospitals and technologies, so they could leave behind the unsafe water, dung fires, pollution, rotted teeth, infant mortality and life expectancies half or ours," said Driessen.

"This entire MTV series totally glosses over the hardships and premature death that is right before their eyes. Even mentioning these facts would obviously get in the way of their ideological message, and their determination to turn [MTV viewers] into little ventriloquist's dummies for the sustainable development movement," Driessen explained.
Actually, I'd wager wooden-headed ventriloquist dummies have more innate sense than the sycophant-addled "minds" of Cameron and Drew!


Blogger Spiney Widgmo said...


/ramble on/
I love Hollywood people. They preach that we should conserve fuel by driving less and driving subcompact cars, then think nothing of flying a private jet to New York for an evening party! For a real interesting show, they should drop Cameron and Drew off with for a year with only the clothes on their back and a videocam. After a year I'd like to hear what they think! Let Cameron or Drew break a femur out there. Let Cameron or Drew get pregnant!
I think PBS had a series on people living the fontier life style and people living the colonial colonist life style for a year. Cameron and Drew should volunteer for those shows.

I work as an engineer. On occasion, we are encouraged to work in one of the factories for the day. It is fun for about the first 4 hours, but by the end of an 8 hour shift, I gladly go back to the hassles of cubeville!
Its fun to go camping for a weekend. I have no interest in spending the rest of my life in a tent! A short visit to a primitive lifestyle is fun. Long term immersion is not.

/ramble off/

2:04 PM, April 29, 2005  
Blogger RDS said...

Yes, exactly! That's what's so fantastic about our civilization, which is not much appreciated: we have the ability to choose to live at whatever level we wish, and then when we tire of it, can go back to moderniy. That is a tremendous capability, and why, fundamentally, modern capitalism is better than all other systems devised, as it gives to a large group of people the CHOICE of how they wish to live.

While there may be admirable elements in other native lifestyles, those people mostly lack the ability to choose where and how they live, and we can, as individuals, take whatever we wish from their examples.

Which again points out the collectivist nature of the "progressives"; they criticize our society as a whole, if it as a group hasn't adopted whatever pet lifestyle they personally think is admirable -- they put no value on individuals being able to live as each wishes! They must impose, for our own "good", their own tyrannical vision.

11:49 PM, April 29, 2005  

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