No impact girl

We watched No Impact Man last night. And, no, in spite of the headline on the post, we will not be giving up toliet paper.

I'd knit it from stash if necessary.

As a writer, though, I must admit to a certain amount of envy. These conceptual blogways to fame--Julia and Julie, Living Oprah, etc.--are the literary equivalent of going over Niagara Falls in a barrel. They are less life-threatening but no less contrived. There's inherent narrative tension: Will the barrel crack into a million pieces? Will Colin Beavens' wife drive a recycled stake through his heart after doing laundry in the bathtub? Stay tuned. And there is the vicarious delight: Wow, I wouldn't get in that barrel, but isn't it interesting that he did?

The jealousy comes from that inner mercenary, the why-didn't-I-think-of-it-first competitor who would love to break out with a product that would free me from the tyranny of deadlines and mundane concerns like quarterly taxes. The snarkiness comes from the same place.

It takes courage and obsessiveness to commit to something like this. And a willingness to risk your relationships. Imagine Mr. Nake-id if I were to announce the "Year of Living Raw", wherein we would only eat raw, vegan cuisine. Or my Year of Fostering 100 Chihuahuas. As interested and supportive as he might be, I could imagine come dog number 75, Mitch finding other lodgings.

Encouraging, tolerating, supporting and enduring a partner's dreams is part of the package. As is honoring one's own. I liked the fact that in No Impact Man his wife acquired a broader taste for happiness that expanded the scope of her urban girl milieu. But it easily could have played differently. The stress he imposed on their lives could have cratered the marriage. Does that mean he shouldn't have done it? Not sure.

But does taking a page from reality TV, even if it's executed with wit and intelligence, the road to good non-fiction.

Not sure about that, either.


Comments (1) -

February 1. 2010 19:03


I'm sure Ken would sign up for "My year of fostering 100 chihuahuas."

Caitlin |

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