Greensburg - Like Flies to Wanton Boys - Planet Green

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You wish shows like Greensburg (set in the town of Greensburg) - really American society and social discourse in general - would have a greater sense of irony and self-reflexivity. It goes back to what Mr. Purvis used to say, that American narratives tend to be heroic, whereas UK narratives tend towards the anti-heroic.

It starts to get more fun when they walk around the wreckage and point to show - this is how bad *we* had it. "That was our store." Comcast in Chicago only gets the channel Planet Green in SDTV, rather than HDTV. I'm just used to seeing Greenovate in HD on TLC.

Personal tragedy is one thing, but two things spring to mind. If you live in a region that tends to have natural disasters, how smart is that? If it is exactly prone to such disasters, how smart is it to rebuild there? Because "like flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods - they kill us for their sport." I'm not saying people tempt fate or deserve what they get - in many ways exactly the opposite.

Why thumb your nose at nature when nature doesn't know you exist?

It's an odd thing to realise that local economies don't necessarily do as badly as you think, though that is mostly a product of how much money rebuilding brings to places that are being rebuilt. I also wonder if building with materials other than wood would work out better, or is it that much cheaper than any kind of brickwork, and would brick building not necessarily stand up that much better. It seemed to work out okay for the little piggies.

Also wonder if there are better and less lazy ways to plan infrastructure than grids, which makes driving so silly - stop signs everywhere and so much stop and go driving.

I hope the show gets better when they show the actual rebuilding. I like Greenovate better, but again only when they're doing really ambitious things. They started to sag when they just did the same old stuff to the same old single family homes. Stripping a house down to its studs and doing real innovative things is just much better television than simple renovation - "oh let's have our house be prettier."

I suspect the only reason Greenovate is as compelling as it is is because it's done by the good people who did "The War Room." In contrast, shows like Wasted are just annoying. I just wish people could focus on the cost savings and tone down the whole smug holier than thou bullshit. But I suppose you never give a sucker an even break. I wonder if many of the links aren't working because there's so much traffic to the respective sites.

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This page contains a single entry by subtitles published on June 15, 2008 9:15 PM.

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