Blog /So Tired Of Giving A Shit

May 03, 2006 04:40 +0200  |  Why I'm Here

Warning: naughty language follows.

I have this image in my head, of a horde of people all standing around an apparently fresh foundation. Most of them are armed with great big shovels and are, from time to time, knocking piles of dirt into the hole, while a much smaller, but devoted subset of the group are actively digging it out... with tea spoons.

The hole is the foundation for the future. Choose whichever front you like, environment, peace, economic sustainability, personal solace -- whatever it is, the bastards with the shovels are fucking everything up.

This image hit me today as I attended the Green Toronto Awards, a benefit to acknowledge (and hopefully encourage) environmentally-friendly policies and movements within the city. The event included guest appearaces from various prominent business and media types as well as a musical performance of Sarah Harmer (WTF?) all resulting in a great big pat-on-the-back for those involved. But while I can't deny that all of the accomplishments recognised were absolutely commendable and important to our future, I had but one thought in my mind as I left: "teaspoons".

We are out-classed at every turn. Big companies continue to fuck up the planet and the vast majority of the populous doesn't care enough to stop them. Worse than that though, the part that REALLY gets me is the fact that somehow the onus of cleaning up the world has fallen to the consumer:

If you don't think Company X should be

  • Using toxic chemical [ insert inhuman-sounding name here]
  • Exploiting [ never-heard-before culture ]
  • Eroding the topsoil of [ foriegn-sounding country name ]
  • ...then just don't buy from them.

    Considering that 99% of the planet can't figure out how to configure their mail client, how the hell are they expected to know that VOC's, Dichlorides and Phosphates are bad for the water supply? It's all a smoke-screen, served up so people can continue to profit from kicking dirt into our foundation.

    We're all so busy digging away with our teaspoons that no one is bothering to point out that we're getting buried by the bastards with the shovels. Where we push for the ability to recycle type 6 plastics, where are the calls for a garbage-free downtown? It can be done, it's far from impossible. The problem is that there is an abundance of corporate interest and little or no political will to make any real changes.

    And so we dig. Some of us dig so tirelessly that it kills us, while the majority of this already slim fraction eventually give up and count themselves among the shovel-assholes... And who can blame them? After a while, you get tired of being mocked for your devotion to someone else's good fortune, and worse yet, opposed by a sea of apathy.

    We need to start taking some of those shovels away.

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