a true pioneer

In the US, we don’t have cable. We know we’re an oddity and we’ve managed to accept it, despite the shock and disbelief of our friends.  Although in France, when Tim went to set up our phone and get our cell phones, we thought that cable could prove to be a lifeline for us – both emotionally and for our language skills.  Here is what we have found out about French television:

Most French tv shows are dubbed American shows.

I have to admit, I was a little bit shocked at first. But over time, I’ve come to find it quite funny.  Each time I see a dubbed American show, I have this moment what I imagine I’m back home in Vermont.  That is, until Dr. House starts going crazy in French.  And his lips are moving in a different way than the sound of his words.

The worst part of the dubbed American tv show situation, is what shows are being chosen to air on French tv.  Can you say “Monster Garage” in French?  Even the Kardashian family has made prime time tv here.  My heart breaks for the red, white and blue when I see this stuff – IN FRENCH, no less.  It almost seems disrespectful to the French language to have Jesse James, trying in vain (in French), to get the monster car started. And don’t get me started on the French obsession with Vin Diesel…….

So leave it to the American PBS geeks to try to find the one interesting thing in the sea of channels. It took a while, but we finally found the one guy who is really interesting and authentically French:

Arian Lemal

He is a French environmentalist who has a show on the French version of PBS in which he is climbing major mountains and picking up trash.  That’s pretty much all he does. He just climbs mountains with his video camera and picks up the mounds of trash left by the many expeditions which have been there, all while filming it himself. There are times when he cries after summiting a really big mountain, out of sheer exhaustion.  Then I cry.  And then she sets down his camera to pick up all the trash.  And I watch.  Completely riveted.

I can’t exactly pinpoint why it is so fascinating to watch this, but it’s probably because picking up trash is something that is important and this guy is living his dream of summiting mountains while picking up trash.  Oh, and he’s saving our beautiful places for future generations.

I am completely enthralled with this show.  So much so, that I googled him to find out more about his expeditions.  As it turns out, he stopped his expeditions in March 2011 due to lack of funding.  Of all the things being funded in the world, I really think this is one is particularly worthy.  I would also like to give a shout out to his sponsors for this:   Mountain Hardwear , Millet , Julbo , and Petzl.  Happy to see that there are companies that think that this guy is as interesting as I do.

Although I’m sad to know that Arian has ended his expeditions, I’m happy I got to see it.  Not sure when his run on tv will end, but since he’s not picking up mountain trash for a living anymore, I’m not sure what will happen to the mountains and also French tv.

Anyone got some corporate connections to sponsor this guy?

The next generation?:



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