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What a Great Earth Hour Advertising Gimmick

On 28th March 2009, right before 8.30pm, I heard this screeching voice of a woman shouted at our apartment block: "Hey everyone, turn off your lights for 1 hour to support Earth Hour! Do your part for the environment please!"

3 minutes later, she shouted very rudely again: "Hey turn off your lights you stupid people!" and it sounded like she was going to punch anyone who does not obey.

This, is a very IMPORTANT day for these - I believe - new "earth lovers" who got converted after being brain-washed by the biggest pretence amongst the environmental organisations, who now suddenly became nobles! Ambassadors! Spokesmen and spokeswomen!

Doesn't that just make you (and I), who have probably been trying to live a sustainable life for the past 15 years, want to slap her? I am not against turning lights off when not in use, nor would I keep the lights on just because this woman disgusted me. If she thinks by conforming to the Earth Hour symbolic act makes her a noble person, by all means go ahead and do so (probably just for that 1 hour in her whole life time!). But do not blindly judge other people just because they cannot think for themselves and need to be told what to do by commercialism. As if I don't know that she is one of those who: ask for extra plastic bags when she goes shopping; own an "I'm Not A Plastic Bag" designer's bag; leave their extra TV in the bedroom on standby all night; and drive to the local shop just down the road for a bottle of water. I'm pretty sure she also keeps a fancy note pad for writing phone messages and shopping lists on! And they've got the cheek to talk to me who does not even own a TV, radio, stereo, or washing machine! (Yes I still hand wash my clothes, beat that!)

I remember more than a decade ago, I was called the bitch, the witch, the crazy woman, the rubbish woman, etc., for trying to beg people around me to reduce paper consumption, to avoid buying into too much packaging, to use my own bags when doing my shopping (but got told off by the cashier!). And now these bunch of hillbillies are telling me off for not subordinating to a gimmicky stunt pulled by a so-called environmental organisation who did no real good for the earth.

I can rest assure that they will come questioning you the next morning, just to check if you obeyed. If you did not, they will pull a disgusted face and judge you because, after all, disobeying an advertising message is a serious crime in the 21st century.

So, how would this historical event change these newly converts' lives? Ah yes... after turning the lights off for 1 mere hour, they shall go back to leaving their 2nd and 3rd TVs on standby mode all night, for the rest of their lives. That very hour, technically, might have saved SOME energy (if you exclude the energy used for all those theme concerts and live performances everywhere, using microphones, amplifiers and loud speakers), but has it taught these dumbed down earthlings anything about sustainability? I surely hope so.

I totally agree with what Mr Marcus said about the whole commercialism-in-disguise in Malaysia Star Online: people would just buy in to any publicity stunt. I know for a fact that people need something to believe in, and notions which assure them that their trivial act will be seen as trendy and cool nobility by others. Let's face it, peer pressure is powerful; and humans need to feel good about what they do - even just for that one hour in their entire life.

Oh and don't forget: what is there to boast about, if they were to just hand wash their clothes (so uncool)? It's nothing compared to being a part of such a remarkable day, that marks the history of human unkind!

My hats off to a successful marketing and advertising stunt campaign. Bravo guys!


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