Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Oprah: the "freegans" lifestyle; a single mom takes a "controversial" occupation

Oprah today (Feb. 27, 2008) had two provocative episodes, as she named her show “Living on the Edge: How far would you go?” The link is here.

The first half-hour presented the new movement of “freegans.” These are individuals, economically capable, who voluntarily give up a conventional lifestyle of “competitive consumerism” and live on as little as possible. In a city, they may actually scavenge garbage for food.

One character was a former business executive who had earned six figures. She showed, on a “trash tour” (no pun on Andy Warhol) “techniques” for finding edible throw-away food. Restaurants and groceries will not give it to the homeless out of liability concerns.

The show went on to present the “moral” problem: America has 5% of the world’s population, and consumers 30% of the resources. (In bigger terms related to global warming, the West no longer not live off of current solar energy, as Di Caprio’s film “The 11th Hour” had pointed out (review link.

The second half of the show presented a single mother, Miriam, who, after her checking account reached a minimum of 19 cents while working in conventional fields, supplemented her income by becoming an exotic dancer. She did her performances in a “no touch” club, does not feel that her own “reputation” is injured by the job.

However, back in December 2006 (this blog) Dr. Phil had presented a case where a female middle school teacher lost her job when it was revealed she had been a porn star ten years before. That revelation had occurred by print and word of mouth, but obviously the Internet poses this risk today.

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