So the farcical aspect of the eco-style business is a bit undermined because eco-style is so mainstream now. But there is still the conflict between the old-time, hardcore environmentalists like Walt and Nora and the eco-chic followers of style like Todd Mylnarski. Have I mentioned that conflict can be funny?
"The informing-and-changing-opinion mission is so 1960s. It's so old. Nowadays readers are more interested in lifestyles, how they're going to live their lives," Todd said.
"But that's exactly what The Earth's Wife does," Nora objected. "It's all about how to live an environmentally sound life."
"He means people want to read about biodegradable fashion and decorating instead of those god-awful stories about farmers contaminating groundwater because they've been using too much fertilizer," Maureen explained enthusiastically.
"Eco-style. It's the next generation of the environmental movement," Todd announced. "The editorial staff has been talking, and we think we should be doing articles on things like how to furnish your living room environmentally and how to buy environmental back-to-school clothes and—"
"Environmental music!" Michael exclaimed.
"That stuff that's supposed to sound like the wind in the rain forest or something?" Walt sneered.
"Actually, I was thinking the Dave Matthews Band," Michael said. "Those guys are supposed to be into saving the planet."
"And what about that guy from U2—Bono?" Todd suggested.
Michael shook his head. "He's only interested in saving poor countries. You know, debt relief?"
"Oh, that's right," Todd said. "Too bad. He would have been worth a cover story. He looks very good on magazine covers."
"Stop everything for a moment. Did anyone read last month's issue of The Earth's Wife?" Nora asked.
Michael silently shook his head no.
"You realize it was about just what you're talking about—not Dave Matthews and Bono, but buying things? And how this need for things and owning things is destroying our world?" Nora said.
"Well, that's one man's opinion," Todd told her.
I don't know if the eco-style people are big on humor. Todd certainly isn't.
Within the context of the Saving the Planet & Stuff world, the battle between the anti-material save- our-groundwater crowd and the shoppers looking for the latest organic cotton and hemp clothing is a generational conflict.