Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Captain Planet ruined my life

So I was driving home today and saw something that I can only describe as a truck Uncle Buck would be proud to own shooting huge plumes of sulfur enriched smoke out of its clearly necessary smoke stacks which came up through the bed of the truck. It pissed me off a little, but I live in Utah, so it's not something I'm not used to. As I was passing it I saw a bumper sticker that read, "I'm stopping global warming, I produce soot to block out the sun." and another on the other side on a green background that read, "I hate the environment." I realized this wasn't just a regular douchebag behind the wheel of this truck, it was one of those special kind of douchebags you only run across on rare occasions like Toby Keith or OJ Simpson. Out of curiosity I looked in the truck and saw a guy who was skinnier than me, hadn't shaved in probably two weeks and was wearing a backwards Dallas Cowboys (more on that later) hat and those ugly sunglasses that you're picturing right now in your head. All he was missing was a cigarette and a few tattoos of naked women.

No surprises here.

This messed up side of me wanted to honk and flip him off. Fortunately I'm not 17 anymore so I didn't. Besides, he would have had no idea what I was flipping him off for and probably followed me, shooting at me with his shotgun, for about 10 seconds until he couldn't keep up with my Hyundai because his truck with giant tires, requiring so much more torque to create motion that far from the axle than a normal truck, would have maxed out at 68 miles per hour.

Anyway, I just drove on past him and cursed at him in my head for being an idiot. This got me thinking, why do I care? No one in my family is an environmentalist hippie that reuses their shopping bags, buys low-wattage light bulbs and hates his car because it "only" gets 28 miles per gallon. I grew up in Utah which is full of people who think global warming is a myth and scientists only say it exists because they make money from "environmental companies" to say this. I don't really have any friends that I would describe as green or liberal.

In an aside note, what exactly is an environmental company anyway? Do people really think these "environmental companies" have more money than oil companies and that environmental scientists stake their reputation to get paid less by these companies that no one can name off the top of their head to make up global warming?

So what gives? Why do I love the Earth and hate Carbon footprints?

I blame Captain Planet.

When I was 11 years old and all my friends were raving about the Power Rangers and fighting over who was going to be the red ranger so they could fight that moon lady. I wanted to be Wheeler (the fire ring guy) and fight pollution. What kind of a messed up childhood is this? Another show I watched when I was really little, that I've never heard someone talk about, was David the Gnome. It was about this little creepy gnome that rode a fox, named Swift, around the forest and tried to save his home, the trees, from deforestation. So instead of wanting to be Mikey (the turtle) I wanted to be a gnome? Okay I don't recall that, but it's a fun thought.

See this is what happens when you have an overprotective parent that doesn't let you watch the Power Rangers because they're too violent. You become a tree hugger because the only other option is a blue guy with green hair who kills "eco-villains" like Hogglish Greedly and Looten Plunder to save Gaia, which is loosely supposed to be the essence of the planet I think. Then at the end of every episode it throws in a plug for the environment telling you in some way or another that wildlife is good and pollution is bad. Now, 13 years later, I honestly believe these things myself and want to help when I can.

Even when I lived in Heber and adopted some redneck traits, such as being a Dallas Cowboys fan and thinking cowboy hats are awesome, my favorite shows to watch were Carmen San Diego and the Chipmunk Rescue Rangers. Really it's amazing that I didn't turn out to be gay considering my favorite shows growing up were David the Gnome, Carmen San Diego and Captain Planet. Though if you were to ask the guy in the truck, he'd probably say that I'm gay because all environmentalists are gay, or something really educated like that. You know, the type of statement you'd expect from a dude with an IQ of 75 and smoke stacks in his truck.

So next time I turn off your light because you're not in the room, tell you that you should recycle what you're throwing away or make you get out of the car to go inside the fast food place rather than going through the drive through, don't blame me. Blame Captain Planet. It's his fault. He convinced me that it was my responsibility to do these things.

"The power is YOURS!"


  1. Brandon, I understand that you're a liberal. That doesn't bother me. What bothers me is the fact that you wait until you find the most extreme event and then you write about it as if all of Utah falls into that category. I don't think I would be too far of in my thinking if I were to say that you would be saying the samething about any state that you lived in no matter how liberal or conservative that state is. The problem with you is that you believe yourself to be the exception to what is going on around you. You will never classify yourself as part of any group. As far as your blog goes, you make yourself out to be the good guy even though you are probably less than average at being green. Now I know that you're going to make a comment about that prior sentence because you didn't really proclaim yourself to be green but yet that is the feeling that becomes apparent to anybody who reads it. Basically what I am trying to say is the next time you decide to write a blog about something try not to generalize it to a whole population. Now if you think that I am offended by what you wrote, I must tell you that I am not. I am actually born and raised in California and that just means that I have had to live my entire life around people who believe they are the exception to everything. It's driving me nuts.

  2. Way to be awesome and post your name there "anonymous." It's not hard to tell me what the "problem with (me) is" when you hide behind anonymity, is it?

    My blog was about Captain Planet ruining my life - not about the redneck ruining the air. That was just a fun aside note that made me think about how it was Captain Planet who did this to me, giving me this false belief that the "power" is mine. Psh.

    Since you brought it up though, Utah is traditionally the most "red" state in the union (go look up stats from elections if you don't believe me.) Most red people think global warming is a bunch of crap. Compared to the average resident of the state of Utah I would classify myself as being rather green. If I lived in say Portland or Hartford - yeah I'd probably be considered somewhat wasteful.

    Thanks for your comment though!

  3. haha brandon... i'm conservative and i use reusable shopping bags. and i recycle and use those energy saving light bulbs. however i acknowledge i do like having the lights on but sometimes, i turn off my bedroom lights and study with the light from the window. i spent the majority of my life growing up in utah. :)

    just because utah is a state dominated by conservatives, doesnt mean every little conservative stereotype occurs here. you cant just say with absolute certainty that everyone in utah thinks global warming is fake just based on the fact that utah is very conservative. now, if you were to go out and randomly survey a large enough proportion of the population in utah that would be representative of the state, and they all said global warming is crap, then i'd be more inclined to believe your claim.

    back to the original topic of this blog... you brought up captain planet last night so yes... he did ruin your life.

    and good thing that hick driving the truck wasnt fat, or else you'd have one more thing to hate on him for ;)

    and to "anonymous," if you're going to debate with brandon on his blog, you might as well take some accountability for what you're saying. if you really stand by what you believe, you wouldnt hide behind an anonymous title.

    the end.

  4. LOL!!!
    What a pathetic attempt to try and support your agrument. "Compared to the average resident of the state of Utah I would classify myself as being rather green." (Here is the agrument being addressed...Brandon Vs. Utah)
    Okay let's get nuts. First of, I don't post my name because I don't want to get off the subject that has been started. My name has nothing to do with what we are agruing about here (Brandon Vs. Utah).
    Second of all, way to show how smart you are by stating that Utah is the most consistent red state in the country. Anybody knows that Utah is consistently a red state. However does that really prove your point that utah is not as green as you. No. So why bring it up then?
    Next point, you siad, " If I lived in say Portland or Hartford - yeah I'd probably be considered somewhat wasteful." Again you have shown your wittiness to us all. Except for the fact that Salt Lake City ranks higher on the green scale than Hartford does. So saying that you'd probably not be considered green in Hartford would also go to imply that you're not green in Salt Lake City as well.
    Next point if your conclusion about red states is, "Most red people think global warming is a bunch of crap." Then Utah, being the most red state in the union, must mean that it should also be the worst green state in the union as well. However, Utah is number 28 overall on greenness. Far from the bottom. So the entire explanation that you gave wasn't worth the time that you put into writing it. It was a typical agrument that started out with a truth " Utah is traditionally the most "red" state in the union," and finished with a bunch of made up stuff in hopes that the reader would conclude the last part to be as truthful as the first part.
    Frankly, I don't know if your recycling and shutting lights off makes you as green as you think you really are. In fact I would wager that you are pretty typical for a resident of Utah as far as green goes. Maybe you should go back to watching Captain Planet.

  5. Dear anonymous,

    Uhm... I wasn't making an argument.. I was writing a blog. By the way, thanks for reading it - win! It was completely optional for you to ignore it if you thought it was going get you this fired up. Though I'm glad changing my opinion seems to be that important to you. I agree, I'm awesome. Anyway, I'm not going to even bother responding to the rest of your rambling on about how butt-hurt you got because I made fun of some guy in a truck who fit nearly every stereotype I expected him to. Honestly I don't care if you disagree and think I'm a douchebag. The magic of life is that you're allowed to! Sadly you kind of look pathetic when you anonymously disagree with someone writing in his personal blog. Even if I do leave it public, it's still personal.

    Meh, thanks for stopping by.
    Dear Katie,
    You're right, it's a stereotype - but you have to admit there are a lot of pepole that fit it. I don't know why this happened to come across as so politically charged. I was only making fun of a guy with insensitive bumper stickers which made me realize that me actually being annoyed at a guy who was spewing off pollution and was proud of it stems from a childhood of watching cartoons that told me that was bad.

    Thanks for stopping by to see me tonight! :)

  6. If you saw David the Gnome and Captain Planet, chances are you fell victim to Ferngully too. Was that the case? It was for me. lol

    It's Gaia worship. I was off to a great pagan start, at least prepped to accept the new age movement (which is exactly where I headed to and didn't stop until I decided to pick up the bible). There is no such thing as innocent entertainment. They're going to try to instill values into us: blockbuster movie or kiddy show. It's all propaganda anti- or pro- something on some level (more so the more money is invested; more so if it's public television).