All right, I now officially (in my bemused world) take up the role of No Impact Man’s nemesis, at least for today, or this morning, because everyone needs a lazy nemesis for balance, a lazy nemesis who doesn’t even bother to post comments on your blog because the last thing they want to do is do a non-debate with a Show Man who has himself professed to being a Not So Much Common Sense Man, but most of all because No Impact Man needs petty recalcitrants like me who won’t prostrate themselves at his bicycle-toned toes when he assumes the position of Nam Cheon’s cat.
No Impact Man, thinking to take down a notch certain critics of his who were apparently querying him on his housekeeper, says the cat is the blue planet and we are not to argue any more about it but all work together for solutions. What No Impact Man, the Show Man, was really doing was saying, “Quit querying me about my housekeeper, you cat killers!” He did this because he knows that few lovers of the blue planet will not be knee-jerk horrified with being called cat killers.
I don’t care about No Impact Man’s cleaner or housekeeper. I don’t care whether he has a nanny or not. He and his wife can spend their respective monies however they desire. But some had questioned him on this, bringing up the idea of class and his position in the class wars and a touch of elitism enabling his current life style while those of the lower tiers were necessarily left out of the privileges of No Impact which some are now calling the fashionable New Black. In response, No Impact Man knee-jerked like he had an army of detractors after him (when, in fact, the comments on his blog are overwhelmingly supportive) and pulled out Nam Cheon’s cat. The housekeeper (he says she is a “cleaner”, that he doesn’t have a “housekeeper”) has nothing to do with Nam Cheon’s cat except by design of No Impact Man’s showmanship, but the ploy worked. There were apologies and No Impact Man said well he gets sensitive some times and accepted the apologies.
According to No Impact Man’s many supporters, I, as a critic, am one of the unexamined masses on the internet who are in shock, defensive and scared of No Impact Man. Fact is, I wouldn’t be a critic of No Impact Man if he came right out and said, “OK! The reason I’m doing all these not-so-common-sense things in my 5th Avenue digs is because I’m a show man, I have a book to sell, and this makes great publicity! I don’t use toilet paper because I knew this, if anything, would capture America’s attention! I climb all these stairs and don’t take the subway because I’m your Marathon Man! But just you wait, when The Experiment is over and it’s time for me to sell my book, I’ll be flying all over to make sure you’re buying. Because, after all, I’m a writer, and it’s real dandy that my passion for the environment dovetails just nicely enough with my ambition to sell that I will give up my computer (while depending on a freebie intern to do my freebie DSL networking) for your amazement, but doesn’t get in the way of my plans, when the show is over, to climb on my plane and fly to your town to sign my book! Hurrah!”
No Impact Man can’t admit to the above for the same reason a magician isn’t likely to drag out the mechanics of his tricks on a stage and run through them with you step by step.
“Look!” says No Impact Man, “No toilet paper!”
People gasp in amazement that anyone could go without toilet paper.
“Look!” says No Impact Man, “No computer!”
People gasp in amazement that he is going no electric and will still be able to blog. How does he do it?! It’s a Big “M” Mystery! And certainly it will be! I couldn’t go uncompromisingly no electric and continue to blog, no way! But then I’m not the magician that No Impact Man is!
“Look!” says No Impact Man, “Not only am I No Impact Man, I’m No Gender Issues Man because I am the House Husband who loves doing what has been classically called the drudgery work of cleaning house and cooking meals!”
A few people grumble that he doesn’t include his Cleaner in that equation, noting that taking care of the household without appliances really did used to be a full-timed job and that making this no appliance move, without housekeeping help, is something many families and women can ill afford. Whereas I call it Showmanship, they call his pulling this off a luxury.
And No Impact Man pulls out of his magic hat Nam Cheon’s cat.
“Look!” cries No Impact Man, playing Nam Cheon, holding the knife to Nam Cheon’s cat, which he also is!
How does he do it?! How can he be both the cat and Nam Cheon (or however you spell it) at the same time?! Squawk! Even more amazing is that the audience intuits No Impact Man is both cat and the blue planet and the venerable channeler of Nam Cheon when he makes them believe he isn’t even holding the knife, instead he makes it appear to be held solely in the hands of The Petty. People stumble over themselves to apologize for those who have driven him to this mind-boggling display of superior restraint! The Petty dance with shock and surprise away from the blade! Forgive us, please!
Look! The house cleaner lives! Within the month she will be complaining about no longer having a vacuum (horrors!) but she lives! The blue planet is saved! No one may again contend with No Impact Man without becoming Cat Killers!
As a bonus, we learn from No Impact Man that the Koan of Diced Cat is quite literally all about the art of debate and compromise and the ability to find the reflexive AGH! button first and slam it, bringing friendly fire queriers to their shivering knees.
From here it’s got to be all downhill, entertainment wise. I don’t know how No Impact Man could possibly beat this.
Personally, I hope No Impact Man succeeds where others have failed and captures the public’s imagination and makes super-consumerism a big no-no. And that’s just great if he makes a good living off it as well. Then he’ll at least be able to help with his volunteer intern’s DSL and electric bill.