Z

Dear Jonathan Zaidman,

You knew this letter was coming at some point.

This is my 163rd letter. If you do the math (which I hope you don’t), that’s not exactly a letter-a-day. So as my letter guru, I ask for your confidence I will follow through with this project somehow. But letters aside…

Environment is a very broad term.  According to Merriam Webster, Environment is a noun meaning:

The conditions that surround someone or something : the conditions and influences that affect the growth, health, progress, etc., of someone or something.

Go up to 10 people in the street and ask them what “environment “means to them. My guess is that most people would conjure images akin to the densely wooded areas of a Bob Ross painting or a polar bear floating away on a melting ice block. I think as a society we’ve too narrowly branded “environment” to mean nature instead of any area we inhabit. When a person’s image of environment is strictly nature scenes , it becomes easy to not care about “saving the environment” because it feels distant. The environment becomes some romanticized far off place, not in the suburb they live in. Those who say they don’t care about the environment (some say it loud and proud) don’t interpret it this way, as any place that affects their growth, health, and progress.

You perfectly framed the films shown at the 1 to 1 Film Fest by interpreting environment as San Diego because it makes everyone relate to the concept of environment. I think my personal favorite was the Trolley Show. From there I discovered their YouTube Channel with tons of great live Trolley performances. I’m already a sucker for live music and light rail so it was an easy one for me. It’s almost an urban DayTrotter.

I thought the Film Fest was a smash and your love for San Diego shined through the entire event. Keep up the good work and looking forward to next year’s collection of films.

PS: Did you have a personal favorite film?

RESPONSE:

Good Afternoon Hayden Bernstein,
Be it daily or not, 163 is damn impressive. Truth be told , I only made it 69 days total, so the grasshopper has already bested the master, or whatever allegorical symbolism suits your cultural fancy.
You’re right, the common perception of environment general ranges from mountains to oceans to jungles to the whole country of Australia. And given that we don’t spend too much time in these places, it becomes easy to disregard their wellbeing as distant.
Conservation has long been a difficult issue to frame, as it truly just means “everything”, like the definition you provided. Most people can’t pick a flavor of Doritos, much less be bothered by the health of everything.
In short, fuck Diesel rollers.
My favorite film was probably For the Love of Craft (https://vimeo.com/101489468). Not just because of my personal love of craft beer (namely San Diego craft beer) but because the narration so beautifully frames the lifestyle which is “craft”, which essentially means “shit that you care about”. I genuinely believe that things would be better if we all just had a little more craft in our life.
Sustainably, Jonathan “Z” Zaidman
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