From Common Dreams:
It's a cold day when I turn up at Tommy Hol Ellingsen's and Leona Johansson's flat, so it's not much fun to find that they aren't here. After half an hour shivering on the front doorstep, I get impatient. "Don't worry," laughs a friend, when I phone them to kill time. "They'll turn up. They're probably busy having sex."
Tommy and Leona are acquiring a reputation for having sex, usually in public, and involving as many trees as possible. They are the brains and brawn behind Fuck For Forest, the world's first environmental porn movement. In little over a year, Tommy, a 29-year-old Norwegian activist and ex-theater student, and Leona, 22 and a former nursery teacher from Sweden, have shocked the world, and their parents, making not-for-profit porn to save the rainforests.
Oh good Lord:
"I was just so tired of crying about the state of nature in the world, you know?" says Tommy when he finally pitches up. "Human tragedy, you know, I can deal with. September the 11th, terrorism, war, all those kind of things. But when I see destruction of the forests, the state of rivers, I just feel like killing myself." He plonks himself down cross-legged on the floor and rolls himself a smoke. Taking a long drag, his eyes glaze over momentarily before he gets serious again. "I had to do something."
Something was, of course, having sex outside, filming it, and allowing lonely and frustrated environmentalists to watch it for a fee.
Sex outside? With bugs and twigs and stuff?
"Have you ever had sex outside?" Tommy asks, harshly. "Really outside with the trees?"
OK, I am going to assume that, since English is a second langauge to this Norwegian, he really meant to say sex "outside among the trees" and not sex "outside with the trees".
I really hope I'm right on that.
So how did they get started? Government funding, of course. Refreshingly, this money is not mine!
He proudly explains how he got €7,200 (£5,000) of government funding by telling the [Norwegian] authorities he was starting an "alternative environmental project which would include movies". He smiles naughtily. "I, er, somehow forget to tell them about the erotic part."
Well, they caught on:
The Norwegian government has stopped the funding and the World Wide Fund for Nature refuses to accept their money - it is apparently not overly happy about the way the cash was raised. "But I think porn is a misused word, you know?" Tommy sighs. "Large organization get scared so easily." The pair say they will use the money to work independently, on smaller environmental projects in Costa Rica and Brazil.
Despite the setback on the support side, they claim to be busy:
Meanwhile there is more eco-porn to be made. "The demand for new stuff gets greater every day," says Tommy. The past year, they say, has been a blur and they are exhausted. Leona has documented everything in a video diary.
Diary day 1: Had sex; total number of whales saved: 0
Diary day 2: Had sex; total acreage of rainforest saved: 0
Diary day 3: Had sex; total reduction in tonnage of green house gases ejected into atmosphere: 0
"We work 24 hours a day, always looking for new models," adds Tommy.
OK, now I know he's lying. 24 hours a day?! No way!
OK, maybe I misunderstood what he meant by "working".
Is there a point to this piece? Like the work of Tommy Hol Ellingsen and Leona Johansson, not really. Unless maybe it's this: in a more mature world, people like Tommy and Leona would be told in no uncertain terms that what they are doing is self-indulgence wrapped in politics in an attempt to hide their uselessness as human beings. Recall what Tommy said: "Human tragedy, you know, I can deal with. September the 11th, terrorism, war, all those kind of things. But when I see destruction of the forests, the state of rivers, I just feel like killing myself."
I have not read anything that indicates that Tommy did anything when it came to terrorism or war, sexually or otherwise. He seemed to be able to "deal with" those issues by doing nothing (and presumably living off of the government dole; he listed his job as "activist"). But when his guilt for his inability to effect change came to a head over environmental issues (because this time squirrels were in danger, not evil people of whom there are too many anyway), he discovered he could do...nothing.
Just like before. He was useless then. He was useless now.
He could protest, send letters, make placards, and accomplish...nothing. He has no skills to bring to the struggle, no charisma to be a leader. I can only assume he wasted his opportunity for an effective formal education, probably because he favoured activism over studies.
The only thing he could do was what any animal can do, and that is have sex. There is nothing innately human about sex. If anything, lifetime sexual monogamy for married couples in traditional relationships is something that sets humans apart from the vast majority of animals, but Tommy and Leana can't even muster that much humanity ("They have been together for three years and lead a completely open relationship.") They rut like animals in the dirt, and yet try to convince us that they are somehow transcendent.
I'm not convinced. I doubt few people would be. Most people would be dismissive. You dismiss something that is useless, which puts Tommy and Leona back at square one.