A few weeks ago the boyfriend and I went through a documentary phase where we only wanted to watch true stories of people trying to live their lives. One such documentary that we found was called "No Impact Man"
The movie was entertaining, and the consistent break downs by the wife were more than a little delightful. I'm sure that this project speaks to the bulk of middle to upper middle class white families living in the United States, but I don't think it has the broad spectrum that No Impact Man hoped it would.
I look at the way poor people live in the United States and see the same things happening. The electricity gets shut off and the residents have to do without, but in the case of poor people they can't go out to the farmer's market and get hand dipped candles by the dozen.
Laundromats are expensive, and often less affluent people do their laundry in the bathtub and hang their clothes to dry. No Impact Man reacted as if he had found the holy grail when he discovered that option.
The wife is most concerned with having to give up her reality television, shopping, and Starbucks coffee addictions, but in order to make it through a year without, she goes on a shopping spree the day before and spends nearly $10,000.00. It seems to me that ten thousand dollars worth of designer clothing will get her through twelve months.
I appreciate what No Impact Man and his cohorts are trying to do, I appreciate that somebody is trying to raise awareness about how much Americans consume and throw away. I don't however think that he deserved all of the fame and fortune that giving up meat, toilet paper and electricity for a year graced him with.
There are people who do that every single day as a way of life, and don't get to end it at the close of a year with the promise of a huge paycheck.