Thanks to Whet for pointing me toward Penelope Green’s NY Times piece on “eco decorating.” Among other extreme weirdness, she describes conceptual event planner David Stark, who was commissioned to do the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum’s awards gala in October. He “directed the museum to shred its office paper for six months, producing a harvest that he augmented with 12 years of his personal tax returns and his own office’s papers. He then turned the resulting 6,000 pounds of paper strips into giant topiaries and chandeliers, floridly archaic shapes fashioned from trash. It was the language of excess — those topiaries recalled the gardens of Versailles — expressed in the material of frugality.”

And that’s as good as it gets in our “Prius culture” — James B. Twitchell’s word for the situation in which “We know things are wrong. We don’t know what we can do. We can’t know. And so we do what marketers encourage us to do to get those feelings we want to have.”