Friday, June 7, 2013

Modeling the norm

An open letter to some of my favorite celebrities:

I might make this into a series, but for now, I'm going to pick on two of my favorite shows, Mythbusters and Castle.

What is modeling norms? Simply put, it's the concept that you model the behavior you want to see from others. For too long, people who care about the environment (including me) have tried to use facts, figures and, frankly, guilt to get people to change their consumptive habits. You know what works better though? Living your life in a way you're comfortable with and letting the others around you see that. To that end, I'd really like to include celebrities and entertainment in this. Sure it's great that I carry my own utensils with me so that I don't have to use disposable ones, but how much larger of an impact would it have if millions of people tuned in and saw Castle hand Beckett a reusable coffee mug instead of the disposable ones that are a part of seemingly every episode?

Now, with Mythbusters, this is the moment that really got me: In Episode 183-Battle of the Sexes, they had men and women grill various food items to see if one gender is better behind a BBQ. The unfortunate thing, though, is that they used paper plates and plastic utensils to try to eat steak! If you go to a fancy restaurant for steak, you'd probably leave if they tried to serve it to you on a paper plate with a plastic knife. Why not use REAL plates, knives and forks, Mythbusters? If it's a question of budget, I'll come shop for you guys. I'll buy you some durable knives and plates from the thrift store. Problem solved!

While trying to find some pics/gifs of Castle and Beckett with their coffee cups, I came across this discussion. It's...interesting. I'd like to think that they use real mugs now because I tweeted Nathan Fillion awhile ago to ask him to do that. (see below) However, even though I think those folks have way too much time on their hands, I can't argue with this logic from the top comment:

Recall what Raglan said about ceramic mugs and how they warm your hands. Ceramic is more solid and comforting than paper cups. More real, not disposable. Castle and Beckett's relationship is real. They are 'in it to win it', not a disposable relationship.
In other words, symbolism of the relationship or no, ceramic mugs and real steak knives (durables) are always more elegant than their disposable counterparts. I know we have an addiction to convenience, but if I can make changes in my life (like carrying my own utensils) so can these characters, right? And think of how much good it might do!







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