Saturday, March 21, 2009

Last night, Eddie Vedder offered me a green job

Last night, I was at the campground, in my travel trailer, when I heard a familiar sound. Someone was playing a Pearl Jam CD. Or so I thought. 

I looked out the window and saw a sign at a bar across the street. "Eddie Vader," it said. Must be a tribute artist, or something, I thought. Pearl Jam meets Star Wars? But he sure sounded a lot like the real thing.

A little later, I was sitting outside my trailer when I heard someone playing an acoustic guitar and singing at the campsite next door. I walked over..

Lo and behold, the real Eddie Vedder was playing a song for the guys camping next door. 

They were sitting on a picnic table. Eddie was walking around, crooning. It was a familiar song. Can't remember which one, but probably something from the rich-boy-goes-green movie, "Into the Wild."

I'll say right now that I loved that movie, despite its problems. I loved the songs. I don't love Eddie Vedder. I blame him for the fall of 1980s hair metal. He "created" grunge, and grunge killed the music of my youth. But I digress ...

I walked over and sat down, and me and Eddie got to talking. The guys at the campsite asked him how he was making this weird, fluttering sound with the guitar. 

He showed them, taking another guitar sitting nearby and using a hammer to dent the strings. Sure enough, the second guitar began to flutter as he strummed it and pressed the fret board. 

I may be going on and on here, but bear me out. I, for some reason, picked up a third guitar and tried the same thing with the hammer. I proceeded to break most of the middle strings. They curled up like spaghetti. 

That's pretty much all I remember about the dream (if you haven't figured that out by now). I slept through the whole thing. 

I've been thinking about what it all means. Here's my analysis: Lately, I've been dreaming a lot about losing my job. More like nightmares. I'm really interested in this new green economy and the jobs that are supposed to be just over the horizon.

Eddie is the old school. He is the my current job. He's still good, but he's getting kind of old. Camping is a metaphor for moving beyond my current circumstances, "Into the Wild" so to speak. The broken strings represent the splintering of the media business. My short conversation (and friendship?) with Eddie represents my flight into the future. I'm excited.

- Green Mullet. 

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Green Hotspots in Michigan ...

according to someone far, far away. 

Plenty magazine, formerly made with paper, is now an online-only product. And it's been taken over by MNN, the Mother Nature Network, aka the green CNN. But MNN is not in Michigan, so allow me to help. 

An MNN/Plenty list of Green Hotspots throughout the United States includes four Michigan places (I've barely heard of): 

Wickwood Inn in Saugatuck, the Ford Rouge Factory Tour in Dearborn, Harbor Springs Antiques and Crosby Mint Farms in St. Johns.

I guess these are OK choices, but how about a list that features Michigan's unique and natural wonders:

1. Lighthouses: Michigan has more than 115, including some you can get to without a boat. You can spend the night in some of these. 

2. The Great Lakes. Recreation, fishing, serenity. Choose from Michigan, Superior, Huron and Erie (Ontario is actually outside the state).

3. Islands, like Mackinac and Beaver. Mackinac, no cars. Beaver, once ruled by a king. 

4. Iargo Springs, Iosco County. Just a personal favorite (pictured above). Take a long walk down a wooden staircase, and be transported to a wonderland. 

5. Add your personal favorites here, and in the comment section. 

- Green Mullet. 

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Go Go Girls, Tommy, Slash, why should we care?

So my taxes are done, and my refund has come in. And I spent some of it on a trip to Mexico. Wife, sun, beach, relax, far away from the depressing Michigan economy.

I have three books to read: Go Go Girls of the Apocalypse, Tommy Land and Slash. Two rock books, one Tarantino-esque thriller.

While I'm in Mexico, I'll probably be thinking about the environment. That's just how I am. How will the beaches there compare to Michigan, and how come I can't drink the tap water?

Which brings me to a recent write-up by Michael Nelson in The Ecologist magazine. (Oh yes, I rarely miss an issue).

Nelson, an enviro ethics prof from Michigan State University, argues that the green mindset needs to shift.

Don't reduce your carbon footprint to avert disaster, he writes, do it because you care about the Earth, period. Learn to live sustainably. Even if you're the only one who recycles, do it because it's the right thing to do.

This may all be pretty deep for a Sunday afternoon, but it's a good reminder that the green movement needs to work harder at being more practical and empowering and less trendy. Change and hope Obama-ites take notice.

There's even a chart (pdf, page 3) that totally belongs on your refrigerator.

- Green Mullet