When you are not dealing with a truly venal huckster – say, a dishonest car salesman or sub-prime mortgage lender— it can sometimes be incredibly fun to watch a transparent phony at work. In fact, if you know that the huckster is a phony, and – even better – if he or she sort of knows that you know they are a phony, watching them sell a ginzu knife or a pocket fisherman can be pretty darn entertaining.
Sometimes this nonsense even rises to high art: Did you ever see Ron Popeil try to convince a roomful of bald men to cover their head with spray-on hair? You haven’t lived until you’ve seen 25 heads covered with dark Christmas-tree flocking.
This morning I saw a performance that has to rank with the best of them. File it under “Shameless Pathetic Attempts to Rip-Off Environmental Concerns to Sell Tchotchkes” Even Bernie Madoff, if he was watching from his couch, leg bracelet tightly fastened, probably thought: “Now there’s a guy with nerve!”
This morning on the Martha Stewart show, which was playing on a TV at my gym, I saw Chef Emeril Lagasse selling what he described as a set of “green knives.” I perked up to listen: What would an environmentally-sound knife look like, assuming he wasn’t simply suggesting it was sharp enough to injure a polluter?
The answer? Emeril claimed the knives are “green” because no trees had to die to make them.
Translation: The handles are plastic.
Am I missing something here? Does a plastic (poly) handle, classified by recyclers as a #7 plastic (the hardest to recycle and sometimes not recyclable at all), make it a “green” knife?
The green revolution is one of the most exciting developments of our age. But please: Is there any chance that the “green” concept might also incorporate a reduction in hot-air, pseudo-environmentalist green-spinners, green-hucksters, green-phonies, and green-knife salesmen? It might actually reduce global warming. Seriously, I can see now that environmental and green activism will have to fight tenaciously to reduce the cheapening and downright fraudulent use of the concept.
And now, if you’ll excuse me. I am going to turn on the Home Shopping Network. I have been looking for a cheap, “green,” and environmentally sound cubic zirconium nose ring.
Everybody now tries to capitalize on the green hype. Just like all the whole “organic” label on a lot of our food items. it’s quite ridiculous really if you think about it. People overpaying on so many items these days, just because of the green, environmentally safe/friendly label.
Same thing is happening with the whole High Definition craze. Now out of the sudden, lenses for DSLRs are branded as super duper HD quality and so on.
Gotta love the marketing.