The Outside Prognosticator: Wooood-y! Wooood-y!

May 2, 2004
Outside Magazine
Outside magazine, January 1996

The Outside Prognosticator: Wooood-y! Wooood-y!

We're drinking bottled water,
We'll soon be drinking bottled air...

In 1991 he caught our ear by warbling these earnest lyrics. In 1996, as Outside names Woody Harrelson the Embarrassing Enviro Celeb of His Generation--farewell, Ed Begley Jr.!--he's done many things to deserve the title, even though we tend to agree with him on issues like wilderness preservation. But that's what EEC champs are all about: By strident example, they make you question--often flee--your core beliefs.

Woody has brilliantly woven the genetic strands of his enviro-celebrity elders on Cheers, Ted Danson (mainstream activism) and Kirstie Alley (New Age nutsoism), into a unique new form: the Woody Man. Shaken from his old weed-smoking womanizing ways by an earth-nineties pilgrimage to Machu Picchu, Woody had recently gotten an itch to live in Costa Rica, where he plans to build a sustainable hut on his 800 acres of rainforest. He's transcended mere vegetarianism, embracing an "80 percent living diet" (mostly uncooked vegetables and periodically abstaining from sex because "to release seed is to lose vitality." In 1996, when not starring in consciousness-affirming movies like his fantabulous shoot-'em-up Money Train, Woody will lobby California legislators to legalize hemp for its industrial uses.

Ultimately, of course, Woody may not succeed in saving the world. But this we know: He has saved his mom. Diane Harrelson's answering machine now greets callers with a deeply Woody thought: "Man did not weave the web of life. He is but a strand in it."

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