Ego-tourism

TV and popular culture.
April 20 2005 3:17 PM

Ego-tourism

Tree-hugging celebrities save the Earth, one roll of toilet paper at a time.

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After the two return from separate guided hikes:

Diaz: Did you learn so much?

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Barrymore: Oh my God yeah. So intense … with the loving and feeling and tree-touching and the learning.

At one point, an unnamed tour guide (all the unfamous people on Trippin' are unnamed, except for the Exotic Brown Person of the week) tells the girls that every second, the Chilean rain forest loses an area equal to two football fields. A similar process seems to be at work in Drew Barrymore's brain, as she visibly decompensates during the course of her journey. Reaching the top of the hill after one ecotourist trek, Drew's only response to the gorgeous vista before her is to burst into uncontrollable laughter—not a "witnessing the simple joy of God's creation" laughter, more like a "peaking on Ecstasy" kind of laughter. Watching her dissolve over and over again, able to repeat only, "I've got the giggles. I've got the giggles," I felt a special new brand of embarrassment I've never experienced before—one obviously shared by her baffled guides, one of whom asked, "I don't see what's so funny out there. Could you show me?"

As Drew bumbled through one Jessica Simpson moment after another—approaching an elegant Chilean gentleman to ask for "Uno foto, per favor?" or complimenting her hosts' cooking with the utterance, "Es comida, es muy delicioso," I found myself wishing that she, and not Diaz, were the show's returning host—she could be the dumb blonde ambassador of our nation. At least it would give a whole new meaning to the title Trippin.'

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