THE AUDI motor company’s idea of an environmentally-correct America, to judge from the TV commercial it spent several million dollars to air during the Super Bowl, is one in which homeowners could be arrested for using incandescent light bulbs, customers choosing plastic bags at the supermarket would be manhandled by the Green Police, and anyone tossing an orange peel into the wastebasket could find himself in the beam of a searchlight, hearing a voice bark through a loudspeaker: “Put the rind down, sir! That’s a compost infraction!’’
It’s also a place where highway traffic would back up at an “eco-roadblock,’’ but anyone driving a “green’’ car like Audi’s A3 TDI would be waved through the checkpoint.
Of course, the notion of an environmental police state terrorizing citizens for not being sufficiently “green’’ is just parody meant to be laughed at. Or is it? On its website, Audi USA earnestly describes its Green Police as “caricatures’’ created to “help’’ consumers “faced with a myriad of decisions in their quest to become more environmentally responsible citizens.’’ And what better way to “help’’ them than with scenes of ruthless Greenshirts handcuffing hot-tubbers whose water is too warm, or raiding the home of residents who threw a used battery into the wrong trash bin?
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