Content warning for those squeamish about gore (Heads-up from Hot Air):
The video is intended to be a hip and snarky piece of a campaign called 10:10 intending for cities to cut back on their carbon emissions. But it results in disturbing propaganda eerily fascistic and mildly offensive.
The shtick here is that people who are apathetic about cutting back on carbon get blown up by teachers, bosses, and coaches wielding a red button control. Someone thought this would be a funny way to get people to save the planet – but the ad is bloody to the extreme as two schoolchildren are exploded with their entrails splattering their terrified classmates as their teacher calmly continues the lesson.
I’m by no means some moral purist when it comes to the media and art, but popping kids like they’re cheap firecrackers isn’t proving a point – it’s demonstrating the depths to which you’ll sink to advance a cause. It’s an attempt at clever humor that falls flat in a ghastly and ghoulish way, and ultimately will harm the global warming movement in some substantial fashion, much as the ill-advised WWF 9/11 ad did.
What’s disturbing about the ad is the idea that anyone in the environmental movement thought that depicting killing those that don’t agree with you to be a good idea – hence the fascistic part of the ad. While it is certainly unintended, that’s the underlying message that the viewer ends up receiving – go along with us or you’ll meet a bad end.
The clip is getting huge play across the blogosphere, and the 10:10 campaign along with the ad’s writer Richard Curtis seems to be trying to distance itself from the shocking ad. But the damage has now been done, and you can’t unring this particular bell. For those trying to dispel notions of a rising eco-fascism, ads like this, however tongue-in-cheek the intent was, will do nothing but reinforce the fears that many have of a global warming enforcement regime that cares little for the people who live on planet Earth.