Thursday, June 19, 2008

Earth: Let's just buy a new one.

80 years ago, I’d be arrested for expressing the following views. Today, no one cares enough for them to matter. I don’t know what’s worse.

The social architects, by their political, economic and historical means, have successfully created a group of individuals who are drugged, distracted, ultra-competitive and dangerously impulsive. We are so removed from one another as a society, that we lose focus of the world outside of our immediate bubble. It’s worrisome to think a collective spirit of a nation has been broken from luxuries and advertisement. We are provided just enough cell phone service, cable television, air conditioning, clean (although poisoned) drinking water, big cars, and many other nice things most of the world lives without, that we keep our heads down and do what we’re told. How are we told? Through the bombardment of advertisements we encounter every second of our day. I dare you to look around your area and not immediately identify a corporate logo or label. The symbols of companies and businesses are literally everywhere. The moon will soon be, Moon: brought to you by Zantac ®, and copyright infringements will be actionable to any who fail to refer to it as that.

We Americans buy so much crap due to our willingness to dispose of our existing crap. If we put a even a minute effort into improving what already exists, we wouldn’t have to pillage natural resources like it’s an eating contest. I think it’s great that we recycle, but many use that sentiment to rationalize their extreme consumerism and waste.

On that note, does the world still need Styrofoam? I watched ten people enter the break room at the library today carrying a Styrofoam food container or a Styrofoam cup or both. I’ve gone to the measure of avoiding places where they’ll force Styrofoam on me, like Silverglades. While I love their food and their place, to give me a Styrofoam plate when I dine in is more than my conscious can handle. I’ve began asking if I can have food wrapped up in a wax paper and no bag if I can manage it. My everyday coffee cup, my everyday water bottle. No paper towels to dry my hands. No one has to be an environmental hero. By doing the little things, you’re doing your part.

This rant wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t draw attention to the cigarette smokers of the world who find it acceptable to discard their smoldering trash anywhere outdoors. We know you’re better than that.

-B. Clifton Burke


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