Look out America; we have a "smug alert." No, not smog, "smug." According to the notorious cartoon, South Park, people who buy hybrid cars feel so good about saving the Earth, they become increasingly smug, which leads to all-out disaster.' Fortunately, for the town of South Park, one of its native children, Stan, convinces everyone it's alright to own a hybrid without being smug. Should we pass this episode off as another entertaining late night Comedy Central special, or have Matt Stone and Trey Parker stumbled onto a form of satire that's true in form and educational in its moral? For purposes of this article, South Park's hybrid episode rings true of a rising fad: sustainable living. However, it emphasizes the possible driving force behind this change in lifestyle as wealthy smugness rather than environmental concern. Birkenstock-wearing treehuggers of the past have given way to the environmentalists of the future - affluent communities and businessmen looking to expand their property developments. This is an interesting change - but how long will it last? Is the switch from SUVs to hybrids only temporary, or is it just the first step of the permanent change Americans must make if they're to outsmart rising gas prices and a projected unsustainable future?
Sustainable Living: Theme of the Future or a One-Hit Wonder,
Rich. J.L. & Pub. Int.
Available at: https://scholarship.richmond.edu/jolpi/vol10/iss2/3