the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: rainforest

Not Saving the Rainforests


I might as well end the week with another tale of assertiveness gone wild. 

Sophia has a cold, so I went to Whole Foods to buy some chicken soup.  It must be “Green” month at Whole Foods because at the check-out stand, there were numerous displays and posters about energy-saving and the environment.  Instead of the organic chocolate bars lined up as impulse buys as you wait, they had  energy-saving lightbulbs in green packages.   Gift cards were displayed that bought you “wind-powered” energy.   I’ll have to go back a second time to read how these cards work.  Do you fan yourself with them in the summer?

After serving myself the soup from their self-help soup vats in the deli department, I stood on line to pay.  There was a bearded man in front of me buying organic garbanzo beans.  The very pretty check-out girl rang him up, and then asked him, “Would you like to donate a dollar to the Whole Foods Rainforest Campaign?” (or something like that)

“Of course,” he answered.

His answer bugged me.  Why did he answer so quickly?  Does he even know what this campaign is about?  Is he assuming that just because Whole Foods is doing it, that it is worthy?  Shouldn’t he ask to see the literature first?  How much of the dollar actually goes to the rainforest?  Would he be so eager to give money if the girl wasn’t so pretty? 

“Thank you for you donation,” said the girl.  “Your dollar will save 230 acres of the Amazonian rainforest.” (or something like that)

S**t!  Why did she have to say that?  How can anyone — after hearing that — say no?  If I dare no, it is like I am personally destroying 230 acres of the essential rainforest. 

It was now my turn.  She rang up my chicken soup, then looked at me with her large green eyes.

“Would you like to… blah blah…” 

I didn’t need to hear the rest because I knew what she was saying.  I knew what she was thinking.

She was thinking, “Oh, here is a smart-looking man with glasses who surely knows about the problems with the rainforests of the world and must be pretty well-off if he is shopping at Whole Foods, so he would look like a real loser if he didn’t give a measly dollar as a donation.”

I was about to say, “Of course,” when my new assertiveness training took hold.  Why am I giving a dollar to this charity right now?  Do I really WANT to or am I being a pushover?  You know what?… I can be my own man.   Screw the rainforest.   Why not be a little selfish today?  I’m going to take that dollar and… buy myself a lottery ticket!

“I’m sorry.  Not today,” I told the check-out girl, referring to the donation.

“That’s fine,” she replied, her green eyes squinting at me with disappointment and seething hate.

Now, I realize that many of my readers are environmentally-conscious and believe that the rainforests are very important.  The world’s rainforests are currently disappearing at a rate of 6000 acres every hour (this is about 4000 football fields per hour).

Well, screw you too!  I’m gonna be a mega-millionaire on Saturday!

(editor’s note:  the author does love the rainforests and will donate 10% 8% of his mega-millions to charity)

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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