Tag Archive | socially responsible

30 Rock

Take Joe Biden, for example…

I’ve recommended this show to several friends recently. I’m winding up my second time watching the series, neither of which occurred when the show was live from 2006 to 2013. A few years ago before I shot my DISH, I watched the whole series in reruns, and really enjoyed it then. I’m even more grateful for this scathing, hilarious socio-political satire this second time around.

For one thing, most of the societal ills this brilliant show highlights have not changed much in fifteen years. For another, the spotlights that the show trains on issues including racism, sexism, capitalism, climate chaos, corruption, power and influence, and ways these all interrelate, are more necessary now than ever. I’m grateful for Tina Fey’s creative genius, which tackles our assumptions, judgments, and biases about virtually everything at every turn.

Tracy Morgan plays Romney’s running mate, blowhard Governor Bob Dunston, here debating VP candidate Joe Biden, in Season 7 Episode 2.

And, it’s fascinating to compare certain characters in that time–I mean actual people–with their roles in our current political and cultural spheres. Take Joe Biden, for example. In the episode I just watched from October 12, 2012, appearances include Biden, Mitt Romney, and Paul Ryan. Matthew Broderick, Bryan Cranston, Jimmy Fallon, and Catherine O’Hara also play cameo roles. The stellar ensemble cast share comedic and affectionate chemistry so there’s no anxiety sparked by the show; it’s comforting to watch, and makes me laugh out loud, as well as think and stretch my mind. I’m grateful for 30 Rock.

Toilet Paper

A single Christmas cookie and the new Christmas glass, half full

Not that I don’t enjoy my hedonic pleasures… It’s attachment to them that’s dangerous, living a life of grasping for them at all costs. Blessings rain down upon me, and I feel obliged to appreciate them. Heaven forfend the day that I lose them, but I am prepared to live the rest of my days in a solitary jail cell should that ever come to pass, having relished each day until then.

Today, besides waking up alive, and all the other blessings of this life, I’m grateful for toilet paper. Think about it. How much nicer than mullein leaves or a rock! But what a colossal cost in trees. Millions of people across the planet don’t even have toilets, much less toilet paper. I’m grateful for the ability to look up the history of toilet paper with the tap of a few buttons. We are so fortunate that we can relegate our bodily waste to the backseat of our daily awareness, no muss no fuss. It’s an area where I’ve pampered myself, always springing for the cushy kind instead of cheap rough stuff; I figured solar power offsets a few other anti-planetary ‘consumer’ indulgences.

I’m grateful to Julie for introducing me to a socially and environmentally responsible company that makes bamboo (i.e., sustainable) toilet paper. Last spring when the paper-product shelves were bare in the stores, I ordered a case from Who Gives a Crap? It really is soft enough, and perfectly adequate in all other ways. It comes in bamboo-paper packaging so no plastic waste. I use the wrappers for fire starter. And they’re attractive enough to stack storage overflow on top of the toilet! These folks have a sense of humor, and they also donate 50% of their profits to a variety of charities that build toilets in the developing world, providing sanitation among many other benefits. I’m grateful there are companies like this one who put the well-being of people and the planet in the forefront of their business plans.