Today is Earth Day. The National Security Agency is celebrating by trying to help kids in Maryland schools up their recycling game.
How do they plan to get kids to care about recycling? The agency has decided to go with filling the kids with terror, by enlisting the help of a new environmental mascot.
Meet Dunk, the anthropomorphized recycling bin. And since he works at the NSA, you know he’s been watching you.
What is it about this recycling bin that is so universally horrifying? (The Huffington Post, USA Today, Gizmodo, and other news outlets have all noted that Dunk’s chief weapons appear to be surprise and fear, ruthless efficiency, and an almost fanatical devotion to trash.) Is it his nearly invisible eyebrows? Do his sad, world-weary eyes remind you of how green the Earth used to be? Is it the fact that he looks like a Clip Art Frankenstein assembled from Clippy, Bill Clinton’s old running shorts, and the soul of the demon radiator from Home Alone?
Or is it something humans have not yet invented words to convey? It is hard to see how any child could avoid becoming a devoted steward of the Earth after watching this video of Dunk explaining trash auditing, an activity that has never inspired such emotion until this week.
This is not the first time the NSA has tried to reach out to kids with cartoons, although language analyst Rosetta Stone is not quite as memorable as her environmentally oriented replacement.
Hopefully this program is expanded nationwide, creating an entire generation of people worried about what will happen if they don’t recycle. And if you see a child sprinting toward a blue plastic bin while screaming, you know who to thank.