Tuesday, July 08, 2008


...for the next 30 days

We all know Morgan Spurlock. He showed the world what McDonald's food would do if you ate nothing but McFood for 30 days. A little movie called Super Size Me.

Morgan also has a show on FX called 30 Days. It takes people out of their comfort zone to see how someone else lives for 30 days. I believe this is the 2nd season but it might be the 3rd.

So far we're on the 4th episode. Episode #1 involved Morgan moving from NYC back home to West Virginia to become a coal miner for 30 days. Getting up at 5:30 am, shoveling coal onto the belt that carries it out of the depths of the mine and up to the surface. It was very interesting and where a majority of our nation's energy comes from. At this point it's a necessary evil. We need to come up with a way to get the coal easier and safer or completely replace it. This solution also needs to keep in mind the West Virginians and the other coal miners so they'll have new jobs. I'm a Morgan fan and enjoyed him stepping up for the first test.

In episode #2 we met Ray Crockett, two time Super Bowl winner and all around great guy. He is an active athlete and in great health. He for Baylor from 198-1988, if you were wondering. He agreed to spend 30 days in a wheelchair. Ray witnessed teammate Mike Utley take a vicious hit and become paralyzed and realized that it just as easily could've been him. He understandably has a tough time adjusting and his whole family and friends also had a hard time adjusting. In rehab we meet a girl who is paralyzed from a car accident and follow her struggle as she copes with the realization that she is paralyzed for the rest of her life. Fortunately for Ray he has the ability to retrofit his Escalade with hand controls and his house with ramps. He befriends a counselor who has lost the use of his legs but has a super pimped out truck and is an all around cool guy. Ray also gets the chance to meet Mark "Nobody Fucks Wid Da" Zupan, of Murderball fame and captain of the US quadriplegic wheelchair rugby team, but who would call a sport "wheelchair rugby" when you could call it murderball? Also check out Zupan's Wiki page. Basically Ray learns that being in a wheelchair is incredibly difficult but if that you give up and stop fighting for a normal life, you'll never have one. And a big house and lots of money helps the transition. Crap. I found a really cool place that advertised in Road & Track and had some wicked retrofitted vehicles and not just stupid minivans but they had a Scion xB and other cool SUVs that were wheelchair accessible. Ha! Found it! They're Freedom Motors Inc. and have some of the most bad ass wheelchair accessible whips around. Scion xB? PT Cruiser? Honda Element? All check. The xB even has rear entry so if you can't find a van friendly handicap spot, you can pretty much use any spot you want and zoom out the back. Freedom Motor's Scion xB, and another article from Aaron's car blog, and Freedom Motor's main website.

In episode #3 we meet an avid hunter who agrees to move from NC to SoCal for 30 days and become an animal rights activist with PETA. He comes in thinking they're all crazy and looney tunes. He dresses up as a chicken to demonstrate against Colonel Sanders and KFC and gets "attacked" and abused and presumably deep fried, extra crispy style. He also gets to work at a farm for animals that have been saved from the corporate meat farms and even goes out to save a baby cow who is diseased and was thrown onto the road by the farm. He also watches some video of chickens getting abused by the workers and the horrid conditions that most farms keep their animals in. He nurses the calf back to health and in doing so, has his eyes opened to what qualifies as meat for the majority of this country. He still plans to eat meat but now has the knowledge about what he can do to improve farm conditions and what types of meat he should never eat (KFC and most fast food) and what meat he should eat (grass fed, free range!). I assume he'll still hunt but I think he'll appreciate the life he takes and how much better wild deer meat is than mass produced force fed grain sedentary cow meat.

Same sex parenting is the focus for episode #4 and it was a good one. A little country role reversal though. Morgan finds a SoCal Mormon who agrees to live with a gay couple and their 4 adopted boys in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Our Mormon mother clearly hadn't given much thought to her "homos are bad" stance beyond "the Church said so" and gets pretty flustered when having discussions with her hosts and one 80 yr. old lesbian in particular. It's pretty funny when she keeps saying "it's nothing personal but I don't think gays should adopt" when she's sitting in front of gays who have adopted. That's a bit like hanging out with Nelson Mandela and saying, nothing personal but I hate black people. We're left with her questioning her beliefs but I'm sure it's nothing the Church can't handle; they've dealt with questions and doubt for hundreds of years.

We haven't finished episode #5 yet but it's a Boston hip hop aerobics instructor Pia going to leave in Ohio with a former Marine and his son who love and enjoy guns. Pia hates guns. She says she's actually afraid with all the guns in the house. Whether she's scared of the father or son shooting her, someone breaking in and stealing a gun then shooting her, or a gun spontaneously going off and shooting her is unclear. Personally I would feel pretty safe in the middle of nowhere with a Marine but maybe that's just me and some of my best friends are Marines. I'll let you know how it ends up.

Edit: Post originally started on 6/26/08 at 9:22 pm

Gatlinburg happenings on the next post!

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