Earth Gets Its Groove Back…I wish

A reader asked for the link to this piece originally written for Delta Sky Magazine in honor of Earth Day.  I’m just posting it instead.

Full disclosure:  I am not a professional magazine writer.  Magazine writers have to do fact-checks and protect their sources and say things like “full disclosure”.  I’m an oracle, as per the famous Oracle at Delphi who answered questions no one knew the answer to, like “Why is there a setting on the iron for Permanent Press?”  Of course, the Delphic Oracle was inhaling the fumes from a natural gas deposit in her cave whereas all I – the Delta oracle – have got in the trance-inducing department is the Shopping Channel.  Still, give me a question like  “What’s the deal with Earth Day?” and before you know it, I’m having an oracular vision of the relationship between Earth and Mankind

My vision takes the form of a romantic comedy:  Girl Meets Boy; Girl Loses Boy; Girl Gets Back at Boy.  (Full disclosure: Before I was an oracle, I was a film and television writer.)

GIRL MEETS BOY

FADE IN on Earth orbiting the sun, spewing volcanic ash, oozing primordial slime.  At this point, she’s around 13.5 billion years old (for evolutionists), three thousand years old (for creationists) or 21 years old (for dogs).  The point is, she’s a woman in her prime.  I know there’s some word play to be had here with “prime” and “primordial,” but I’m an Oracle, not Larry Gelbart.

Now we come the “cute meet” that every romantic comedy requires.  Man falls out of a tree right on top of her.

Of course, Earth doesn’t recognize Man as Prince Charming; she thinks he’s a complete Neanderthal.  But over time, he evolves into Homo Sapiens, smart man.  Smart enough to worship Earth.  Literally.  He showers her with gifts, like in “Pretty Woman”, where Richard Gere buys Julia Roberts a diamond necklace, except Man’s idea of a present is a sheep with a freshly slit throat.  Still, it’s the thought that counts.

CUT TO the second thing every romantic comedy needs, the montage:  Earth and Man riding a carousel; gazing into a fire; taking long walks on the beach – oh, wait, the earth is the beach.   The point is, Earth  returns Man’s love.  She showers him with gifts: her mineral deposits, oil deposits, rich topsoil …all without a pre-nup.  That’s how green Earth is.  She’s like Vivien Leigh in “The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone.

(Full disclosure: I’ve never seen “The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone” but according to my manicurist, Kay, Warren Beatty takes Vivien Leigh for everything she’s got and abandons her.  Talk about depressing. I’d have stuck my fingers in my ears except the polish was still wet.

On the other hand – the one Kay’s putting lotion on – that scenario sounds disturbingly familiar, like the Girl Loses Boy part of the movie.)

GIRL LOSES BOY

Flash forward 50,000 years.  Man has evolved from Homo Sapiens (Man Who Know Things) to Homo Fabricans (Man Who Makes Things) to Homo Economicus (Michael Douglas in “Wall Street”).   As CEO of Planet Earth, Man now demands ever higher levels of productivity, ever higher yields.  Maybe this part of the movie should be called “Girl Does All the Work in the Relationship”.  Plus, he’s become very controlling.  He monitors her behavior, points out every (San Andreas) fault, makes mountains out of molehills.  Well, actually, he makes mole-hills out of mountains what with pit-mining and everything, but  basically, Earth’s in an abusive relationship.

Worse for her, she’s menopausal.  That’s what global warming really is: hot flashes.  But does Man care?  No.  In fact, since his first clumsy telescope, Man has been looking to see what else is out there.  Maybe another planet, a younger one.  It’s the old story: Man wants his space.  So where do we go from here?

(Full disclosure: The reason I stopped being a movie and television writer to become an Oracle is I could never think of a third act – at least not one that made anybody happy.)

ACT THREE

Man does leave  Earth.  At first she is desolate.  You can tell because she’s eating Rocky Road ice cream straight from the container.  But out from under Man’s thumb, Earth begins to flourish.  Once arid regions become green.  Rain forests re-emerge.  All the animals Man had wiped off her face come back.  Earth’s like Brad Pitt in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”:  she regains her youth.  But even more, she regains her self.

So the third act of this movie isn’t “Girl Gets Boy” or even “Girl Gets Back at Boy” but “Earth Gets Her Mojo Back.”

 

It’s not an ending that would make everyone happy.  Executives wouldn’t like it.  (“You call this a romantic comedy??”)  And it sure doesn’t look good for Man.

But it would make Earth happy.

 

And isn’t that what we should be thinking about on Earth Day?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Full disclosure:  I am not a professional magazine writer.  Magazine writers have to do fact-checks and protect their sources and say things like “full disclosure”.  I’m an oracle, as per the famous Oracle at Delphi who answered questions no one knew the answer to, like “Why is there a setting on the iron for Permanent Press?”  Of course, the Delphic Oracle was inhaling the fumes from a natural gas deposit in her cave whereas all I – the Delta oracle – have got in the trance-inducing department is the Shopping Channel.  Still, give me a question like  “What’s the deal with Earth Day?” and before you know it, I’m having an oracular vision of the relationship between Earth and Mankind

 

My vision takes the form of a romantic comedy:  Girl Meets Boy; Girl Loses Boy; Girl Gets Back at Boy.  (Full disclosure: Before I was an oracle, I was a film and television writer.)

 

GIRL MEETS BOY

 

FADE IN on Earth orbiting the sun, spewing volcanic ash, oozing primordial slime.  At this point, she’s around 13.5 billion years old (for evolutionists), three thousand years old (for creationists) or 21 years old (for dogs).  The point is, she’s a woman in her prime.  I know there’s some word play to be had here with “prime” and “primordial,” but I’m an Oracle, not Larry Gelbart.

 

Now we come the “cute meet” that every romantic comedy requires.  Man falls out of a tree right on top of her.

 

Of course, Earth doesn’t recognize Man as Prince Charming; she thinks he’s a complete Neanderthal.  But over time, he evolves into Homo Sapiens, smart man.  Smart enough to worship Earth.  Literally.  He showers her with gifts, like in “Pretty Woman”, where Richard Gere buys Julia Roberts a diamond necklace, except Man’s idea of a present is a sheep with a freshly slit throat.  Still, it’s the thought that counts.

 

CUT TO the second thing every romantic comedy needs, the montage:  Earth and Man riding a carousel; gazing into a fire; taking long walks on the beach – oh, wait, the earth is the beach.   The point is, Earth  returns Man’s love.  She showers him with gifts: her mineral deposits, oil deposits, rich topsoil …all without a pre-nup.  That’s how green Earth is.  She’s like Vivien Leigh in “The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone.”

 

 

 

(Full disclosure: I’ve never seen “The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone” but according to my manicurist, Kay, Warren Beatty takes Vivien Leigh for everything she’s got and abandons her.  Talk about depressing. I’d have stuck my fingers in my ears except the polish was still wet.

 

On the other hand – the one Kay’s putting lotion on – that scenario sounds disturbingly familiar, like the Girl Loses Boy part of the movie.)

 

 

GIRL LOSES BOY

 

Flash forward 50,000 years.  Man has evolved from Homo Sapiens (Man Who Know Things) to Homo Fabricans (Man Who Makes Things) to Homo Economicus (Michael Douglas in “Wall Street”).   As CEO of Planet Earth, Man now demands ever higher levels of productivity, ever higher yields.  Maybe this part of the movie should be called “Girl Does All the Work in the Relationship”.  Plus, he’s become very controlling.  He monitors her behavior, points out every (San Andreas) fault, makes mountains out of molehills.  Well, actually, he makes mole-hills out of mountains what with pit-mining and everything, but  basically, Earth’s in an abusive relationship.

 

Worse for her, she’s menopausal.  That’s what global warming really is: hot flashes.  But does Man care?  No.  In fact, since his first clumsy telescope, Man has been looking to see what else is out there.  Maybe another planet, a younger one.  It’s the old story: Man wants his space.  So where do we go from here?

 

(Full disclosure: The reason I stopped being a movie and television writer to become an Oracle is I could never think of a third act – at least not one that made anybody happy.)

 

 

ACT THREE

 

Man does leave  Earth.  At first she is desolate.  You can tell because she’s eating Rocky Road ice cream straight from the container.  But out from under Man’s thumb, Earth begins to flourish.  Once arid regions become green.  Rain forests re-emerge.  All the animals Man had wiped off her face come back.  Earth’s like Brad Pitt in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”:  she regains her youth.  But even more, she regains her self.

 

So the third act of this movie isn’t “Girl Gets Boy” or even “Girl Gets Back at Boy” but “Earth Gets Her Mojo Back.”

 

It’s not an ending that would make everyone happy.  Executives wouldn’t like it.  (“You call this a romantic comedy??”)  And it sure doesn’t look good for Man.

 

But it would make Earth happy.

 

And isn’t that what we should be thinking about on Earth Day?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “Earth Gets Its Groove Back…I wish

  1. Pingback: Honoring Earth Day with fieldtrips for kids, grownups | Dow Corning Corporate Citizenship

  2. Hello, you’ve written so much & I intend to read it , it might take me awhile, but I really like your take on life and Im glad came across you Miss Oracle 🙂
    from NC

  3. Emily, you are my heroine. Thank you so much for putting yourself to the public. It was a life-saving event finding you on TEDtalk quite by accident one evening when I was so tired that I almost conceded to watching insipid television programs to distract myself from myself, to escape the tedium of explaining the Newtonian theory imbedded in English to non-
    English-writing-native-speakers whose essays, replete with incongruities of tense and improper use, absolutely logistically, reversed representations of subjects, objects, actors, victims, and, so to speak, were fluently unreadable for an educated aristotelean. I sought to be a receptacle of ideas and as I flicked through netflix, your title of “comedian-philosopher” intrigued me. I am so glad I did not concede to involuntary message receipt from general programming!

    You are quite unique. I embrace your perspective!
    I am now a fan, and I will send share your message wherever the wind blows me.

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