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Sierra Daily

Jan 24, 2011

Hey, That's Not Funny!

This blogger considers it a good sign when environmental issues have reached deep  enough into the culture that they can be comedically mocked. There was Kathleen Turner in 1994’s Serial Mom, playing an unhinged housewife who, among other homicidal misdeeds, conspires to have her neighbor offed for refusing to recycle. There was Steve Martin as the eco-precious owner of the Round Earth organic-food chain in 2008’s Baby Mama, described by the New York Times as “a belligerently New Agey entrepreneur with an unkind ponytail” who boasts “I’ve toasted pine nuts on the edge of an active volcano.” On television, the South Park folks handily and infamously skewered eco-smug drivers of the Toyota “Pious.” And now we have Portlandia, a weekly sendup of Portland, Oregon, the perfectly pleasant spiritual center of Ecotopia. (Sorry, Berkeley.) In its opening installment on IFC last Friday, Saturday Night Live veteran Fred Armisen finds himself in a locavore restaurant honing in on the quality of life experienced by the organic chicken he’s about to order. “He looks like a happy little guy who runs around,” Armisen says after the  waitress shows him a photo of the "woodland-raised" chicken, whose name is Colin. “A lot of friends?”

If you didn't "kill your television" back in 1980, what’s your take on Portlandia? What other send-ups of things enviro have you seen in movies and on TV? Feel free to share (or vent) below.

-- Reed McManus

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