Smile Away

Shortly after the break-up of the Beatles, Paul McCartney (and wife Linda) released Ram, his first studio album (not to be confused with his first solo album, which he recorded at home).

Anyway, Ram features a wealth of great music from a still young musical artist in search of a new identity.  One of those tunes is a sweet number called “Smile Away.”  Pretty much it is a song singularly devoted to some guy who had really smelly feet… so smelly you could smell them a mile away.  Smile Away.
Which leads me to a recent Ad Age article (of sorts) in which Jacquelyn Ottman offered her thoughts on how the “green” landscape will shift in the coming year.  In fact, she says that she expects to see “some tectonic shifts this year in the world of green marketing.”
And this got me to thinking about the whole “stinking” environmental issue. Suddenly the whole world is concerned about ruining the planet and ruining our health.  And that’s a good thing I think.  So, naturally, companies are jumping on the bandwagon to feed the beast.  Which is also a good thing I think.
But I can’t help but wonder about the state of the economy, which I view as being terribly big, smelly feet.  So big and smelly, in fact, that the odor could easily distract the country (if not the planet) from the environment.  Does that sound extreme?
Maybe it is a bit dramatic, but I am aware that a lot of people are really hurting right now.  A lot of people are unemployed and even more are uninsured.  More and more are losing their homes every day.  Meanwhile, the price of gas and all things related  (which is pretty much everything in this petroleum-based world of our) keeps rising.
And here’s the connection:  green costs more than non-green.  In other words, it ain’t cheap to be environmentally responsible.  So it makes sense to me – in a strange sideways logic – that if so many Americans (and others) can barely afford a “traditional” lifestyle, how will they afford a “green” lifestyle.
And I can hear Al Gore tell me that they can not afford not to have a green lifestyle (polar ice caps are melting, the Atlantic Ocean is being desalinated, the ozone is disappearing, the climate is changing…).  And he is right.  But Al Gore has likely never been so poor and hungry and unemployed that he would risk going to jail just to steal food to feed his family [editorial note:  I like Al Gore].  
All this is to say that I think we better stay focused on the real issues.  While the well-intended want a “greener” planet, there are millions (if not tens of millions) of  underprivileged who just want some green (as in cash to survive this fractured economy) so they can continue to live on this planet.
Ram on.

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