TCS Daily

Music Hellevision

By Tim Worstall - April 27, 2005 12:00 AM

One of the superstitions I picked up in my youth is that things come in threes and along comes a TV show to prove me right. First we had Margot Wallstrom introducing a new blog. Now we have two more ditzy blondes with a new media venture. With no more knowledge of the real world than your average labrador, Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz are starring in a new Music Television (MTV) show. The show is called Trippin' and is obviously a victim of the great G shortage of 2005 (well, they must make G strings out of something, eh?).

The basic idea is to take Cameron and selected friends to poor parts of the world and film them interacting with the poor and downtrodden destitutes who inhabit those climes. I do wonder whether this was actually being played straight or whether this was a set up at the star's expense. Are we supposed to be laughing and enjoying the show with Ms. Diaz? Or enjoying laughing at her? It's difficult to know really, given lines like this from Drew Barrymore:

        "I took a poo in the woods hunched over like an animal. It was awesome."

Somehow you just know there was a cameraman out there as well, we'll be seeing a slight variation (for a decidedly more specialist market) of the Paris Hilton tape quite soon no doubt.

They enjoyed the benefit of advice during filming from the World Wildlife Fund and the Natural Resources Defense Council so there's really no excuse for things like this, talking of Bhutan:

        "[The] only country in the world where forest cover is increasing."

Which is I am sure something of a surprise to those in the US, where such cover has been increasing since 1920, also to those of us in the UK where we know very well that there has been an increase since 1940. A lot of very nice Germans took photos of the place for us and handed them over in 1945, that's how we know. This is also a bit of a stunner:

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

I think this means they don't have MTV or maybe it's the more usual shortage of self-obsessed actresses, your call on that, really. This is a slight misnomer:

        "Nothing goes to waste. It is beautiful. It is inspiring...It is incredible 
        to see how in tune these people are with the environment; they are 
        completely self-sufficient"

No dear, when nothing goes to waste you are not seeing self-sufficiency, you are seeing poverty. Nothing is wasted because if it is, someone dies. That's what it means, destitution, that you are one or two meals, a handful of dried cow dung to cook with away from starvation. In criticizing an aluminum smelter, for its negative environmental and social impact, our Ms Diaz said:

        "Each of us can make a difference. If everyone recycled the aluminum 
        cans they used, there would be no need for new smelters..."

Which is not just trite it's embarrassing. Yes, of course there will be a negative environmental impact but social? You mean like people having jobs, getting paid, eating, these are bad things? Recycling cans? Didn't anyone know how big that industry is? You can go to the commodity markets in New York and buy futures and options in cans for recycling fer cryin' out loud, called UBC scrap. We are already recycling cans, because they're worth money. Far more likely that the production of that smelter will go to providing extrusions so that the locals can have windows that don't fall out. Y'know, like stay warm, let the babies live a little longer.

Our blonde excreter felt guilty about her own behavior:

        "Like I leave the light on all the time in my house because I want to feel safe. 
        I am so spoiled, I am -- I am going to start conserving,"

Now I realize that Hollywood is different but in most of the US the usual method of feeling safe at home is to latch onto some lunk, turn him into hubby and get him reading Kim du Toit. I'm not sure what the problem is for her, maybe a lack of people looking for a short term contract as such or perhaps the modern education system has lowered literacy to Third World levels.

I do think that the best line comes from the intro to a recent article on the show (from which I have stolen the above quotes):

        "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."

No, no old boy, you haven't quite got the nuance yet, the real meaning. For of course an environmental lifestyle is one that allows us to walk lightly upon this earth, and how lighter can you be than being six foot under? Death, less people living fewer years, this is good for the environment.

Or are we supposed to be laughing at them, not with them?


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