Friday, March 27, 2009

Blinding light ... hopefully not!

The scene: The newsroom of a daily paper in Jozi.
Context: Earth Hour - that global campaign aimed at reaching over a billion people in 1000 cities around the world in a show of solidarity and a symbolic vote for the planet. A "no" to global warming. The idea is for everyone to switch off their lights at 8.30pm on Saturday and remain in darkness for an hour. It's supposed to be the greatest voluntary action ever.
The conversationalists: Intelligent, well-informed journalists. Obviously!!
The dilemma: My colleague Diva has been assigned to write a light-hearted peace about Earth Hour, and give at least 10 good, practical ideas as to what kind of activities people can do to mark the occasion.

Diva: So what's this Earth Hour thing all about? You guys, does anyone have any information?
Normal activity continues unabated, no responses.
Diva: I've got some kind of press release here. So like is Pick 'n Pay sponsoring it or what?
Jozi Journo: It's all over the place man. Even Tutu is involved.
Diva: Are you serious? Boy Wonder, do you know about Earth Hour?
Boy Wonder: What? No. I don't know about that.
Jozi Journo quickly checks out facebook where Earth Hour is a very hot and happening event, with thousands of people signed up as participants and fans. Facebook is one of many internet sites banned in the newsroom, but JJ is one of the privileged few granted access. For work purposes of course. To write stories like when somebody created a Winnie Mandela profile and facebookers all over the show went nuts and befriended "her" in droves. It was fun while it lasted, and then we found a "Jackie Selebi", a "Mangosuthu Buthelezi" and a "Riaan Cruywagen" complete with comb-over. Then I found a very large group called "Steve Hofmeyr is my papa" and it all became a bit mundane. But I digress....
JJ: Here you go Diva, a whole detailed explanation of the whole thing off the facebook group site.
Diva: Cool. But I actually have to write about stuff people plan to do. Hey. Boy Wonder, can you think of something you can do in the dark for an hour?
BW: Hehehe! Easy one, my friend. A bit of time for......
Diva: No man! I knew you were going to start with that obvious stuff. But don't even go there!

Happy Earth Hour everyone. Here's hoping that Jozi will not shine too brightly.

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