Have you ever noticed how, if you want to get people excited about something, you have to be sure to choose the right words? For instance, guys are rarely interested in real small things. I have no idea why. But, say, some guys are out deer-hunting. The guy who shoots the biggest buck with the biggest rack of antlers gets more points than the guy who shoots the littlest baby fawn. Even though both guys were a hundred yards away firing through high-powered telescopic sights.
Guys are so weird I can even imagine some standing around a garage bragging about how much money they spend on gas for their giant SUV every month. But I can’t imagine any guy standing around bragging about how he’s saving energy by taking the bus.
“Hey everybody, have some more chicken!” – that works. “Hey everybody, cut back on that chicken!” never works unless guys see the sense of it at their gut level. “Hey fellas, look at this cute-as-a-bug little hybrid! Buy it and you’ll have the littlest gas bill in your crowd!” is not going to appeal.
I saw on BBC News that the Live Earth rock show was “the least-watched show on mainstream US television on Saturday night.” It was beaten by a re-run of Monsters Inc., a nonpreachy animated film about the dangers of xenophobia.
Of course I’m only a talking pig and I don’t understand real red-blooded guys any more than you do (red blooded guys don’t read The Pondering Pig for goodness sake) , but my guess is that you’ll never get real men to fight global warming until you show them it involves chopping things down, shooting things and skinning them and roasting them for dinner and then getting on their dirt bikes to ride off for beers somewhere. And forget about convincing them it’s really cool to unplug their battery chargers when they’re finished charging up their electrolaser attack weapons. At least until they’ve bought into the quest.
This is not putting guys down, by the way. That’s how God wired us. And it’s made humans the world’s most successful competitor. But male wiring has caused problems along the line – like road rage and war. It’s like the world’s first feminist, Mary Wollstonecraft, wrote way back in the 1700s: “No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.” And unfortunately, that often translates as “I’ll be happy when I have the biggest, meanest, most gas-guzzling pick-up truck on the street.”
Al Gore made a big ripple with his movie An Inconvenient Truth. But it was all logical, irrefutable augments and really intended for thinking people – for the tribal leaders, you might say. Maybe Al could get together with Pixar Studios and come up with a completely different way to inspire normal guys to warm up to global warming. You know, propaganda – like the great Hollywood director Frank Capra did during WWII, making films that mobilized an entire nation because they could suddenly see the threat real clear.
Apparently, watching Madonna pole dance on the Live Earth show just couldn’t compete.
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