Friday, June 19, 2009

Good Guys vs. Bad Guys: Prequel

Tonight Husband and I spend our first night in the tent in Ellijay, official members of the Paddle Georgia brigade. I wish I had bought a pirate flag to sail on our canoe.

Anyone want to meet me at Heritage Park with a pirate flag?

Something about this trip makes me want to be a pirate. Paddle Georgia raises money to save the rivers in this state; Georgia River Network works to raise awareness and educate and lots of other things that good guys generally do. I assume most of the people going on this trip, my co-canoers, will also be the good guys. Good guys recycle and participate in volunteer clean-ups and shop local organic food stores and appreciate hemp. We should all be such good guys.

Why does this make me want to fly a Jolly Roger and be a bad guy?

The environmental movement suffers from a distinct holier-than-thou snobbery. Intellectually, one can sit through Al Gore’s little film and appreciate the wisdom and research, but goodness sakes—wouldn’t we all rather sneak into Transformers in the theater next door? They sound like they are having a ton more fun. Sometimes the refrain of environmentalists’ ballads chime in my head like a mother’s nagging: Styrofoam? What are you thinking? I don’t care if it costs $5 for one cup of coffee, it’s shade-grown! Don’t you flush that toilet, little lady—do you think this world is made of water? Think about the dehydrating giraffes in Africa!

This week I join the good guy navy. I already know I love with the gentle gliding of the canoe, the sound of water over rock, the brief glimpse of a heron leading around the next curve. Perhaps all this, experienced en masse, will also translate into a greater appreciation of the Green Dream. Perhaps I’ll figure out some way to appreciate the good guys without all my personal, non-Green guilt getting in the way.

If not, someone send a jet ski out to a little island on Carter’s Lake. I’ll be the sunburned one with a bandana around my head, yelling “Why is all the rum gone?!”

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