the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: environmentalism

Going Green

During my senior year at Columbia, I decided to become a Reform rabbi.  Why?  Well, I had taken a seminar on Jewish Thought and there was this cute brunette in the class.   She was somewhat religious, but more importantly, she had these very long legs… sigh.  Does it really matter what the motivation is when there is a calling to God? 

I went on an interview with a rabbi from the Reform seminary. 

“Why do you want to become a reform rabbi?” he asked.


It was probably an answer that I should have rehearsed earlier. 

Later on, when I had some time to myself, I finally came up with an honest answer. 

“I am interested in Judaism.  I like the traditions, moral outlook, and the rituals.  But I have a lot of doubts and I probably won’t remain religious for very long.  It’s a big commitment to go to temple on Saturday, stay kosher, and not to look down my Aunt Birdie’s blouse when I get drunk on the Manischewitz during Passover.  So, I figure it would be good to become a rabbi because then I would be GETTING PAID to be a super Jew, and it would be a lot easier to do.”

I tell this bizarre story because I just started writing for a group blog, The Brita FilterforGood’s “green” blog.  For the next several months, I will slowly be “going green,” telling you about my experiences on a weekly basis on the FilterforGood blog.

But I’m not going to pontificate.   Take note of this:  I am getting paid to do this. 

Yes, I am writing for a corporate blog, even if it is a socially-minded one.  I will be taking green steps in my life, but I cannot honestly say that I would be taking these steps on my own.  I will be like the rabbi who became a rabbi to get paid to be kosher.  That does not mean that I won’t become a dedicated “green” person or that I wouldn’t have become a wonderful rabbi after college.  It just means that, as of now, I have no right to lecture to you on this subject.  I know it is a pain in the ass to carry your own recyclable bag when you go shopping, especially if it is decorated with daisies, like my mother’s bag.   So feel free to question anything I say about the environment.  I want you to be as skeptical about anything I say, just like I am when I read your “do good” blogs sponsored by General Motors.  Think of me as your paid guinea pig.

Even if you don’t want to read my posts, you should read the other five contributors.  The are extremely caring and knowledgeable about green issues, and can actually explain global warming to you — Blake Makes, Melting Mama, teensygreen, green LA girl and long-time blogging friend and nemesis, Whoorl. 

All I ask from you is to comment every once in a while, so I don’t get fired.   My posts will go up on Monday.

And please — recycle.

Saving the Rainforest


Last night, the witty Rebecca of Writing Blind, wrote this comment on my blog, in response to me saying that there was HBO at Sophia’s home:

What about Cinemax? They have all those softcore porn movies on at 2 AM. Or so I’ve heard.

Suddenly, I started worrying about my reputation. Do other bloggers think that I’m the type to sit and watch Cinemax all night rather than read the latest New Yorker? You must all think I’m a crazed sex maniac! A pervert! Drooling all over myself at just the mere sight of a woman’s cleavage!

I guess I can understand why you would think that. Even my own mother has told me to stop using words like c**k and p***y on my blog (I write it with *** NOT to protect your delicate disposition, but because I got blocked from some offices the last time I used those words. It’s all about the Blog).

The truth is, I’m not much into pornography. This may surprise you that, considering that I recently asked for photos of bare-breasted bloggers, but I never thought of that request as asking for pornography. I saw it more akin to borrowing some sugar from a neighbor (and so far, only Madeleine sent me anything of value — a photo of a dog!).

Sure, I’ve looked at naked women online and I read Melissa’s famous Smut of the Month, but most pornography is pretty dull. Yesterday, Donald Pittenger at 2 Blowhards wrote an interesting post asking why sexy women in magazines always “look so stupid.” I agree. I remember once finding some site named something like “Hot Naked Babes Wearing Glasses,” and finding it really hot They actually looked like someone I meet meet wandering Barnes and Noble. Call me crazy, but in my fantasy world, my imaginary lover and I actually talk about literature after sex. Or at least we go for some pizza.

I have to admit, that with Sophia away (THREE days now!), I’m getting frustrated. And it’s not really about the sex per se. After all, we are separated and most of the time, we’ve decided that it’s not a good idea to, well, you get the point.

Actually the big frustration is the actual IDEA of the sex, the availability of it, even when it’s not in the cards. I’m like one of those New Yorkers who is proud of having the Metropolitan Opera in his city, even if he only goes there once a year. But if he really really wanted to, he could. It’s comforting to know that if the urge suddenly hits him to see Verdi’s La Traviata, he can just hop on the 1 Train and go see it.

Are you getting this metaphor?

All of a sudden, I wanted to see La Traviata!

In need of some advice, I emailed the wise Charming but Single, who knows all about the ups and downs of “single” life. I asked her what she does when there are no available men around. She said that the perfect substitute is — chocolate ice cream. I’ve heard this mentioned before, but it never made much sense. So, I took my cholesterol pill and downed a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. Unfortunately, it didn’t make a dent in how I was feeling. Maybe the ice-cream solution is gender-specific.

I decided it was time to call in the big guns — online pornography. Despite popular belief, if you look carefully enough, you CAN find photos of naked women on the internet.

Who knew?

I found a few “adult sites,” that offered “thumbnail” samples, but to look at the good stuff, you had to pay money.

Lately, I’ve been reading my friend Modigli’s site and she’s been getting all political. She is very concerned about corporate responsibility, energy conservation, and community awareness. It made me think about paying for an adult site.

“If I pay my fifteen dollars to look at some women with big fake boobs, where exactly is my money going?” I asked myself. “What if the site owner is a right-wing Republican? Or worse, an anti-Semite? How do I know that he is paying his models proper wages? Or that his models are even legal residents?”

Here I was torn between two forceful needs: a belief in social justice and a yearning to see photos of a woman spread eagle on a couch.

Luckily, I found a way to combine my two main interests in life —

F**k for (NSFW) (via Lynn and Diesirae)

This bizarre “erotic” site is run by a group of environmentalists who want to save the rainforest. They also love to f**k. So for fifteen dollars (which supposedly goes to the rainforest), you can get a password to see attractive people having sex outdoors in the forest. Or as one of the founders of the site puts it:

Welcome, nature lover. My name is Leona. I am one of the founders of FFF. We feel sexuality is beeing [sic?] treated like nature, with disrespect. We wanted to use love & sexuality to fight against this un-natural way of treating our planet. Inside the members area you will see real environmentalists showing you REAL idealism. All to celebrate life and save nature:) Please support our fight!

Of course, I’m no fool. How do I know that my fifteen dollars are really going to the rainforest? I’ve heard horror stories about some of these so-called “charities.”

On the FFF about page, they make mention that only $3 of the $15 is used for administrative purposes, and the rest goes “to nature.” I found this hard to believe, so I decided to investigate a little further.

Going undercover, I flew to Oslo on the red eye last night and went to the FFF offices. I presented myself as both an environmentalist and someone who enjoys f***ing in the forest (I fudged that I was “experienced” on my resume). As I undressed for the audition, I put my plan in action. I excused myself, saying I needed to use the restroom down the hall. Then using all the skills I’ve learned from years of watching MacGyver, Mission Impossible, and Alias, I broke into their main office vault and took a look at their files and financial records. I knew it! Hardly any money went to the rain forest! Here is the final breakdown:

Membership to F**k for Forest: $15

Administrative $3

Condoms $1

Bug and Mosquito Spray for the Forest $.75

Scented Candles for Romance (and to keep the bugs away while f***ing) $1

Organic Chocolate and Non-Pesticide-Used Flowers (because even women environmentalists like when a guy does that) $1.50

Trader Joe’s wine $2.50

Amy’s Vegan Frozen Lunches $2

Barry White and Anya CDs for “mood music” $1.25

Videotape for Filming $.50

Videotape For Taping “Do You Think You Can Dance?” back at the office while filming the F***ing $.50

Post Sex Cigarettes $.75

“Thanks A Lot for the Sex in the Forest” Greeting Card $.25

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: Never Let them See You Sweat

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