Hi everyone! This is Alline writing this week for Dancing Rabbit.
As always, it feels next to impossible to encapsulate a week in the life at DR in a few short columns. However, I am your dedicated reporter and, like the Girl Scout I once was, vow to do my best.
The big news, which really isn’t news at all, is the weather. The old axiom “everyone talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it” doesn’t hold true here. I’ve never been in a more weather-aware environment than Dancing Rabbit, where everything from our electricity and our food sources to our entertainment is weather-dependent. When the sun peeks out we all get excited, run outside and dig in our gardens. When the temperature hits the near 90’s, as it did yesterday, well, we all head out to the pond for a swim. April schmapril – it feels like summer!
In other news, the annual immigration of Work Exchangers has begun. More details next week on the individuals who are joining us for awhile to learn about and participate in organic gardening and construction, embracing many aspects of traditional, conventional and alternative techniques. We’re excited to meet the new cast of characters who will undoubtedly enliven our work scenes and entertain us for the next few months!
As Tereza alluded to last week, a television production company’s development director and his casting guru spent a very busy day interviewing and hanging out with many members and residents of Dancing Rabbit, and generally getting a feel for what life is like here in our little community. They were here to see if they could perhaps craft a 13- (or even 26-) episode season of our lives.
I think it is fair to say that Rabbits are, in general, excited about the concept of some sort of television coverage of life here at the ecovillage. The 30-Days episode, made back in 2005, continues to air periodically and still generates lots of interest. (Information on that show can be found here and answers to questions about it can be found here ). While parts of the episode were extremely contrived, on a whole the Spurlock team did a good job of presenting our Ecological Covenants and being respectful about our lives here in our little village.
However, we are not believers that “any publicity is good publicity.” After our 30-Days experience we came to understand that the reality portion of “Reality TV” is to be taken with a very large grain of salt. And quite frankly, our means of communication, which strives to be thoughtful and non-violent (in the form of Marshall Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication), might not make for good entertainment. There is very little screaming, yelling or dish-throwing here. In fact, the only dish-throwing I’ve seen in my 12 years here is when builders deliberately smash ceramic plates and cups and bowls, in order to use the pieces in mosaics…but I digress.
On the other hand, Dave-the-Development-Director told us that he would like to make “a TV series where we would make people think “hmmmmm…what would my life be like as a Rabbit?” He also acknowledged that “…unlike to the two stereotypical city people in the 30 Days episode, (viewers) would be people who are generally interested and exploring this new way of life.” Education is a big part of Dancing Rabbit’s mission – done well this would be a great way of reaching a huge audience.
The question then becomes “do I really want to expose my life on TV?” Even as an extrovert I admit to having more than a few qualms about that. Not only do I generally view people appearing in reality series as attention-seeking and narcissistic, but also wonder about their judgment (or lack thereof). There is also the lack of control in the editing process – the editors are going for “good TV” which is not always the same thing as “real,” nor do they care about any fallout their drama might produce in our individual lives.
I am grateful to the Outreach Team, which is doing a fantastic job of weighing the pros and cons. We’ll see where this path leads us; we don’t yet know if it will be to a dead end or to a more-aware-of-the-ecovillage-movement public. Stay tuned!
Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is an intentional community and educational nonprofit in Rutledge, northeast Missouri, focused on sustainable living. We offer free tours to the public twice monthly from April-October. Our first tour of the year will be April 14 at 1pm. Meanwhile, for more information you can visit our website www.dancingrabbit.org, or give us a call at (660) 883-5511.