sometime in the 1920's, ernest hemingway bet some of his contemporaries that he could write a short story in just six words. he did so, and collected his proceeds from them. he considered it his best work. having read it, was truly impressed at just how much he was able to convey in so few words. that he did in fact tell an entire story, evoked emotion, words ebbed and flowed and took the reader on journey in the most mcluhanist way. here it is, unabridged:
"For sale: baby shoes, never worn."how i found out about this was through a recent article on wired where they approached 30 writers and 5 designers with the same task. the results mixed in my opinion. none really achieving the same essence as hemingway. while all good efforts and did capture each writer's own persona, they fell short in comparison.
here's my equally as feeble attempts at this exercise. i encourage anyone reading this to add their own in the comments for all to read.
"all computers gone. how to communicate?"
"brought a knife to gun fight"
"should've had sex before getting married"
"screeched to a halt. too late."
today at 8pm-9pm, the world is to shut off the power. a noble pursuit, no doubt, and one that i support for whatever small difference it makes. it's more about the world banding together than it is about the small effect of turning off your lights will have. please don't get me wrong in the words below, i'm not belittling this effort, I just think it could have been executed better or sent a stronger message.
the first issue is that this is being done on the weekend. granted, at least it IS being done, but for a greater impact, it should have been done on a weekday when more electricity is being consumed. i understand it's about getting the everyday citizen involved, but isn't it the corporations that are really driving global warming? also from the perspective of corporate involvement, it says a lot more to shut down operations and offices during the weekday than on the weekend.
secondly, don't limit it just to the lights. turn everything off. hell, i may just turn all the breakers off at the source, but at the very least, i won't limit myself to a few lights. i know a lot of people will go above and beyond, but in our minimal involvement society, people will do just that and still feel good about themselves.
third, government support needs to be escalated. citizens can do all they want but climate change is a largely political issue. it's about the government stepping in and enforcing regulations that will put a halt to these negative environmental shifts. the ontario government, who is supporting earth hour, and all other levels of government need to do more than this symbolic gesture of preserving our planet. i'll give credit to them for taking the step, but it needs to go further to actual legislation.
i'd also like to see more corporate involvement and more vocal support for earth hour. my friends at molson have gone the extra mile and declared that they will be shutting down all operations for the hour in a number of their facilities. very commendable and an example of taking this effort to heart and going above and beyond. i hope that more corporations are doing the same, but i'm skeptical that they will be. and if they are, that it is genuine and not just a pr play.
i guess baby steps is the m.o. on this one. we haven't been able to radically change people's perceptions or habits in this matter, so i guess we need to start small and build from there. here's to a happy earth hour, and to it being bigger in the future.