Headline, May 30 2024/ HONOURS : ''' THE SHITTHROPOCENE TAP '''



 TAP '''

'' MANY SCIENTISTS AND HISTORIANS THINK we're entering into a new epoch - one where things are simply..... well, crappier,'' declares the opening voice-over in a thick northern English accent [ regularly used in Britain to indicate no-nonsense, tongue -in-cheek pragmatism].

YOUTUBE commenters on the trailer point to similarities - perhaps intentional, perhaps unintentional - to the fictional British television correspondent Philomena Cunk as she attempts to cover all of human history with sardonic humour and deadpan naivete.

Vanilla corporate lingo this is not, though it is on brand for Patagonia. After all, the California-based company was behind the audacious '' Don't Buy This Jacket ''  advertising campaign released in 2011, which encouraged people to purchase only what they needed and to reconsider their effect on the environment.

IN 2022, it's billionaire-founder, Yvon Chouinard, placed the company finances into a special trust that ensures that its profits would be used to combat climate change.

Patagonia Films has previously produced  straight-talking films aimed at the salmon fishing industry and rising oceans, hydropower dams and America's public lands.

Other labels, including Puma and Diesel, have invested in documentaries about their supply chains that are generally intended to be promoted on social media platforms. But Patagonia likes to define itself by doing things differently. Is it a gamble that pays off?

A NEW APPROACH TO THE CLIMATE CRISIS : Patagonia makes a quirky documentary -hoping to grab shoppers' attention.

Here is an inconvenient truth : For all the noise made by activists, journalists, politicians and even celebrities about the clothing industry's destroying the planet, shoppers aren't listening.

The information is out there if they want it. Google can produce more than 88 million search results on why fashion is bad for the environment, but the world remains in a state of cognitive dissonance, fueled by its voracious apparel consumption, now at 62 million tons per year, is by some estimates projected to reach 102 million tons annually by 2030.

One problem, say many industry observers, is that much of the messaging about fashion and sustainability can be too boring, too preachy and too easy to ignore. So it is possible to change the way we talk about the situation?

In the past week, the outdoor apparel brand Patagonia released a quirky new film that reflects the company's efforts to reset the conversation.

'' THE SHITTROPOCENE, '' a 45-minute documentary directed by David Garrett Byars, is a trippy mock anthropological view of humanity's consumption habits, from our cave-dwelling ancestors through the trensetting aristocratic court of Louis XIV creepy fairgrounds :

Fishing waders with leaky crotches, mindless digital advertising and pretty much everything in between. It is to be shown in Patagonia stores across the United States in coming months.

The cheeky romp includes a marketing yarn for Patagonia and the way it makes its products, information about the climate crisis, consumer psychology and relentless attempts at humor that range from outlandish satire to the knowingly juvenile.

The title is a scatological wink at the word  anthropocene, a form that describes  the time humans have had a substantial impact on the planet, a clue to what lies there for viewers.

That dissonance is referred to frequently by the narrator, including a sendup of corporate greenwashing in a fake ad praising Patagonia for '' making fleeces from upcycled Subarus and contrary to the laws of physics, creating more water for planet.''

But the movie jumps around at a breakneck pace from one eye-popping scene and concept to the next. It may be imitating society's dwindling ability to pay attention or linger on pressing matters, but it's also a literal enhancement of the behavior.

Genuine progress is hard to come by. Attempts at something to engage new audiences should also be applauded, especially when most current conversations about materialism in a time of climate breakdown appear limited in impact.

Maybe I'm not down with the kids, but a lot of the gags about cave man ''bits,'' corporate muttonheads being philosophical and scientists from New Zealand who don't wear pants felt rather half baked. 

And though the movie ends on the positive note that humans are clever creatures who can and should reassess what makes us feel happy and fulfilled - spoiler alert, look at full hearts and lives of purpose, rather than a heaving closet - I felt overloaded and overstimulated and needed to take a nap.

The Honour and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Times & Tides continues. The World Students Society thanks Elizabeth Patton.

With most loving and respectful dedication to the Global Founder Framers of The World Students Society - the exclusive and eternal ownership of every student in the entire world - and then Parents,  Students, Professors and Teachers.

See You all prepare for Great Global Elections : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter X !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

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