Murder children = Save the World: Step up for the planet or else!
Remember the good old days of eco-love? Greenies wore smiles, danced barefoot and seemed blissfully happy doing little more than hiking through a forest. Well, those days are officially dead and gone as the modern tree-hugger wanting success looks more towards the mechanics of a totalitarian police state than being an understanding friend to all.
A UK outfit, 10:10 Global, claims a mandate to cut carbon emissions 10% per year, every year. They have personal and corporate supporters across more than 152 countries, including companies like Microsoft, Adidas, Aviva, Sony, Kyocera along with the requisite celeb contingent as well. One in particular, British comedy writer Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Blackadder) wanted to use his talents to help the cause so he put together a commercial encouraging participation in 10:10’s global initiative. It’s supposed to be “funny.’ The word I would choose is “disturbed.”
The spot, entitled “No Pressure,” opens on a typical UK classroom where a female teacher is lecturing a group of pre-teen students. "Right, kids, just before you go, there's a brilliant idea in the air that I'd like to run by you. Now, it's called 10:10 and the idea is, everyone starts cutting their carbon emissions by 10%, thus keeping the planet safe for everyone, eventually.” She is patient, and smiling, the whole time. “Now, this hasn't got to be a huge thing, but I would love it if you and your families would think about doing something."
One young man questions her. "What sort of thing, miss?" She responds. "Well, like getting your dad to insulate the loft, or taking your next holiday by train instead of flying, or buying energy-saving light bulbs." A class keener speaks up. "We're thinking of using our car less, I'm going to cycle to school." Our friendly teach is pleased. "That's fantastic, Jemima, Now, no pressure at all, but it would be great to get a sense of how many of you might do this--just a rough percentage." The response is immediate, as nearly every child in the room raises their hand. "That's fantastic!" says the teacher. "And those not?" Cut to a rather annoyed looking young girl who sits with her arms folded across her chest. She shrugs her shoulders, implying clearly she’s not all that into it. A young boy does similar. "Phillip and Tracy," observes the teacher. "That's fine, that's absolutely fine. Your own choice." Uh oh. Something’s up.
Then, the bell rings. "OK, class," says teach. "Thank you so much for today, and I will see you all tomorrow." Go to a close-up on Phillip, as the teacher continues: "Oh, just before you all go, I just need to press"- she starts rummaging around on her desk to find something - "this little button here." She presses it and without a word of exaggeration young Phillip and Tracy blow up in the most grotesque way imaginable. Seriously, blood and gore and guts fly everywhere. The other children scream as they are literally painted in the exploded humanity of their non-participating classmates. The most chilling part? Like nothing of note has happened, the teacher addresses the class. "Now everybody, please remember to read chapters 5 and 6 on volcanoes and glaciation. Except Phillip and Tracy, of course." Wow. Cold as ice.
The spot isn’t done hammering its point home as it goes on to re-create identical scenes in a workplace, on a soccer field and even in a recording studio used for the cause itself. Each time the non-participant is obliterated in the most hideous and evil manner possible. It’s a shocking display of the most malevolently raw hatred I’ve ever seen. This is the kind of anger that supposedly drives terrorists. Greens? Again, wow.
Apparently the time to save our collective skins has run so short that the hardest of hardcore enviro-freaks have decided to step up the rhetoric for our own good. No more “Please help the earth.” It’s “Help now or we’ll kill you.” What the hell is this? The Taliban School of climate activism? This spot is sick.
I’ve always suspected there was far more anger beneath the surface when it came to how the green movement really felt about those not fully on side. And don’t tell me it’s just a joke. Jokes are funny. Butchering those who disagree with you isn’t. Substitute any other cause and tell me this ad wouldn’t cause an immediate scandal. I doubt most have even heard of it. As it happens, the thumbsuckers at 10:10 pulled the ad from their website, noting that most liked it but a “few didn’t.” They go on to close their “apology” on the smuggest of statements “At 10:10 we're all about trying new and creative ways of getting people to take action on climate change. Unfortunately in this instance we missed the mark. Oh well, we live and learn. Onwards and upwards.” What an incredibly poncey bunch of self-reverential, fascistic bastards. Really? Violence enforced groupthink “missed the mark?” These people are insane.
I assume they don’t appreciate that their supposedly “settled science” is proving more dubious all the time so the new tack is to stand in the public face and yell even louder. Look, we can smile and pretend this kind of crap doesn’t really matter but pay attention. The sort of mind that can laugh at murder for failing to recycle a bottle cap will have no trouble deeming your current acceptance of green dictates somewhat lacking in the near future. Think you’re green enough today? Maybe not – and God help you when they determine the penalties. This would be a Monty Python skit if it wasn’t so frighteningly real. No one would have believed an ad like this could ever exist five years ago.
I just don’t get it. The people making these ads more than likely sat open-mouthed in awe as their youthful selves had their minds blown by Pink Floyd’s warnings about stark conformity and unquestioning devotion to messages of dubious importance. Yet somehow they came away thinking that it wasn’t the mindless subservience that was wrong, it was the cause. Their take away? Get the cause right and any kind of violent retribution for lack of compliance is not only justified, it’s necessary. Clearly, one man’s message of climate responsibility needs to be another man's restraining order. Whatever the case 10:10 (or any other similarly psychopathic movement) better stay the hell away from me - or else. Don’t worry though. No pressure.