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Friday, June 10, 2016

Lorrie Goldstein: Think Monty Python, not Tobe Hooper

I'm not a fan of Lorrie Goldstein. His opinions do not mesh with my opinions. And it's no wonder as his take on the world doesn't mesh with mine. For instance, where he sees a "scare" tactic, I see a famous example of a failed attempt at extreme humour. The failure of the little promo, which turned out to be an anti-promo, is something we can all learn from.

In a recent opinion piece, Goldstein mentions an ad created by an environmental group in the U.K. that he claims used the tactic of fear to promote the group's stand on climate change. He claims the film showed school children having their heads blown off for refusing to take part in a climate change initiative suggested by their teacher.

The resisting student explodes, completely annihilated.
Not true. It's worse. The students are completely annihilated in the explosions. They are obliterated.  It is all very messy.

The short, No Pressure, was written by one of Britain's most respected comedy writers, Richard Curtis. The writer of Blackadder, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill and more. The short was suppose to be funny. Some thought it was. Many didn't.

The film was removed from the 10:10 group's website just hours after its release and the 10:10 group found itself forced to issue a statement saying:

We wanted to find a way to bring this critical issue (climate change) back into the headlines whilst making people laugh. . . .
At 10:10 we're all about trying new and creative ways of getting people to take action on climate change. Unfortunately in this instance we missed the mark.

When I worked in the newspaper industry, there were editors who were amazing. The amount of stuff with which they were familiar was a source of constant amazement. I can think of a couple of editors who would probably have known immediately the film to which Goldstein was alluding and would have known Goldstein's take on the film was open to question. They'd have removed the reference to the film from opinion piece.

If Goldstein had made an issue of being edited, these editors might have told Goldstein that his attack left hardly a scratch on them and if he wanted to continue his attack they would bite his legs off. Why might they say such things? Because making reference to Monty Python and the Holy Grail might be the perfect response in such a situation.

I do have to thank Goldstein for one thing: He made me think about the 10:10 group. The film cratered but it did not take the group with it. If you care about the world, if you consider yourself green, you might find their Website interesting. When I posted this link, the 10:10 site was proclaiming there were "real signs of a brighter future. . . . We're collecting signs of the shift to a low carbon world."

In the group's own words, the stories the group is posting are about "things going right." Whatever one believes about the tactics the group used in the past, scare tactics are certainly not the tactics the group is using today on their Website.

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