Consumed, and Consuming
Trent Gilliss, Online Editor

Irony is not a sentiment lost on us at Speaking of Faith. As we were driving from Birmingham to Greensboro, we (Mitch Hanley, the senior producer, and I) had to swallow hard and chuckle that we are symbolic of the U.S. culture, at large. As part of APM’s upcoming Consumed collaboration in November, we are producing a program on Auburn University’s Rural Studio.

To collect sound and interviews and visuals, we had to travel to the design-build program’s work sites in Hale County, Alabama, from our home base in St. Paul, Minnesota. Yes, we ended up taking two jets and renting a massive SUV — a Dodge Durango — to carry our equipment and sundry people. We are reporting on sustainability and consumption issues. Oy vey.

But, this scenario isn’t a one-off. The confessional part is that I drive an 8-cylinder, 4x4 Toyota Tundra that gets probably 14 mpg in town. And, I do a lot of trekking for childcare and other stuff. The fact is, I love that darned truck. I’ve even named it Black Thunder. My wife cringes and my co-workers laugh, and yes it’s playful and all. But the truth is I like ridin’ high and haulin’ brush and scrap. I’m guilty, and I’m riddled with guilt but I’m not willing to give it up.

(photo: Trent Gilliss)

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