If you know someone who's pondering moving here to New Mexico and "off the grid," here's their chance to become a reality TV show star. Producers for Richochet Films, an independent British television production company, are making a new TV show for the Discovery Channel and are looking for families "who are planning to trade their current city life for an alternative one of self-sufficiency and survival in the wilderness." New Mexico is one of the states they're targeting as a "more remote region."
Here's the catch, though: The producers would rather you not already live here. Ricochet's Annika Benn explains, "Ideally, we are looking for families who are moving from a completely different state, giving up their regular city jobs and suburban dwellings in pursuit of an outdoor dream which will see them building a new home in an ambitiously remote region, raising or hunting their food, relying on renewable energy and living, as much as possible, off the land."
If you know someone who fits the bill (or you're reading this on the Web or by subscription someplace else) and would like to become a TV star before vanishing into "an ambitiously remote region," perhaps never to be seen again except in reruns, contact associate producer Katie Sole at her US voicemail, (323) 692-3038, or email email@example.com. For more information, see the company's Web site at www.ricochet.co.uk.
Time magazine just loves our governor. Can't get enough of him. First he's picked as one of the nation's most influential Hispanics, and now, just a few weeks later, here he is again in Time's Dec. 12 issue with a full-page interview, "10 Questions for Bill Richardson."
The article is peppered with references to Richardson's possible 2008 presidential bid, such as this softball question: "What's it going to take for a Democrat to win the White House again?" When Richardson replied in part, "We have to have a candidate who appeals to the South and the West and pockets in the Midwest. . . . We need a candidate with strong national-security credentials. . .," interviewer Karen Tumulty cannily shot back, "You sound like you might be describing Bill Richardson." The governor quickly demurred ("I think there's a lot of good candidates out there"), but went on to talk about how governors "have a better shot. I think the American people see governors as budget balancers, as setting agendas, as managing." (Read my lips! Governors like ME!)
The interviewer also asked about Richardson's encounters with world leaders (Iraqi ex-Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz is a Chaldean Catholic, Fidel Castro has terrible dandruff).
And of course Time had to bring up the dustup about whether Richardson had once been drafted by the Kansas City Athletics baseball team: "How could you misremember that detail for four decades?" The governor quickly mea culpaed ("The mistake was mine") but then went for cute: "Obviously, it's become a little bit of an instance where I dropped the ball. Get it, Karen?"
Our favorite newsweekly (hey, Newsweek, we're part of the country too, ya know!) also took notice of New Mexico in a little roundup of "small-town America cashing in on corporate branding," titled "Welcome to Sellout!" The lead photo, of course, was a road sign to our own Truth or Consequences: "The grandfather of municipal pandering, Hot Springs renamed itself in 1950 on a promise the quiz show would broadcast there." (Awkwardly, the story failed to note the death of "Truth or Consequences" host Ralph Edwards—right about the time it was taking a shot at T or C's "municipal pandering.")
Will "I came to the conclusion that I was not drafted by the A's" come to be Gov. Bill Richardson's version of Bill Clinton's "I didn't inhale"? Besides being quizzed by Time magazine (above), the governor's imaginary pro baseball career also merited a column-length sendup on The New York Times' op-ed page by Tom Ruprecht, a writer for the "Late Show with David Letterman."
Among the other resume-padding that Ruprecht imagines unearthing: Howard Dean did not actually play with the Beatles, Dick Cheney did not win the Boston Marathon eight times, and "Senator John Kerry admits that he may not be president of the United States as he had told friends, foreign leaders and Red Lobster hostesses." (However, "Mr. Kerry had been able to work in the Oval Office uninterrupted for nearly eight weeks this past summer before President Bush finally showed up and noticed him.") Sen. Robert Byrd, age 88, may not in fact have been named People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive ("But look at these abs and tell me you've ever seen a finer hunk of man!''). And Sen. Harry Reid "announces he's no longer sure he was actually the first man to walk on the moon," saying, "I do have very vivid memories of seeing the earth from high above, but I now realize I may have been on a Ferris wheel.''
However, "with others in Washington rewriting their biographies, former House majority leader Tom DeLay asserts his claim that he is the pope," the column concludes.