i don’t feel

i don’t feel much like blogging lately. i think it’s because i was blogging a lot for the last few weeks and burned myself out on it. for the last several days whenever i have checked in here, i’ve felt bored and annoyed, like i was just here out of some sense of obligation.

of course, that’s no fun so i’m making a point to blog less until such time as it starts feeling less forced.

however, there are a few things i want to get off my chest before receding into the abyss once again.

#1. i saw in the news that comedian kathy griffin posted a photo of herself holding donald trump’s bloody head. i don’t really care about this either way, but then i saw that old rocker ted nugent called her picture “downright vulgar, obscene and a genuine variation of a death threat.”

this is coming from the same guy who said barack obama could “suck his machine gun” and hilary clinton was a “worthless bitch” who could “ride one of his guns into the sunset.”

what a fucking hypocrite. it seems like lots of politically active people want to say incendiary things, mock people who take offense and call them “snowflakes,” and wave a flag for freedom of speech — only to cry foul when someone with a different opinion says something similarly inflammatory. it’s a bunch of bullshit. everyone should get some thicker skin, go ahead and talk shit, and not take offense when anyone else talks shit. then i’d never have to hear crowds of hypocrites calling each other snowflakes.

#2. last night i saw a well-dressed middle-aged guy, gassing up his very nice all-wheel drive volvo. his car had an “i [heart] vancouver island” sticker on it, and one of those annoying thule roof rack-mounted cargo boxes. he clearly thought he was a hardcore islander.

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you know you’re a wannabe outdoor enthusiast when…

then he tossed an empty plastic jug of windshield cleaner in the trash can and drove off. i wanted to say, “i see by your car, sticker, and cargo box you’re a real outdoorsy type, so perhaps you’d be interested to know that plastic like the jug you just tossed out is being found by the ton in teeny, tiny pieces throughout the guts of fish and birds in even the most remote regions of earth. since you’re so rugged and adventurous, i thought maybe you’d like to help preserve what’s left of our rotting world by recycling that fucking jug instead of tossing it carelessly in the trash.” but instead, like a coward, i said nothing, and now i hate myself as much as i hate him.

#3. i have been thinking lately that when i’m at my most depressed, i wish i would just die and get the shit over with. conversely, when i’m at my happiest, i wish i would die so as to go out on a high note. i basically think there is never a bad time to hop off of this ride. i mentioned this to riley and he responded that this philosophy should be written in a breezy large print bestseller and promoted by oprah. i thought that was funny.

#4. i went into a lee’s famous chicken and then a tim horton’s yesterday to get junk food for a wedding party. both establishments were filled with the most wretched human vermin: hunchbacked, confused white trash; toothless drunks; mute yet incredibly rude and dismissive ESL students. it occurred to me that perhaps bill and i should go for dinner at lee’s chicken and then wash it down with a double double and some tim bits sometime, and soak in this rich cultural experience that the cowichan valley has to offer.

over and out.

i don’t believe in disposable

i feel guilty about every god damned thing i put in the garbage so it’s not surprising that i loathe stuff like disposable cups.

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the sign of both a good party and a whole fucking lot of waste

red solo cups particularly raise my ire because of the association between them and good times, and that fucking toby keith song. it bothers me a great deal that we enjoy and even take pride in doing something that ultimately ends in throwing tons more plastic waste into landfills, oceans, sidewalks, etc. we should be ashamed of such waste, not writing pop-country songs about it. besides, why can’t people use normal fucking cups at parties? at burning man, everyone who wants a drink at any bar has to bring their own drink container. i find a lot of burning man incredibly annoying but that’s a practice i can get behind 100%.

coffee cups are similar. there is less plastic involved with them, which is good, but they’re way worse in the aspect that far more of them are consumed every day by habitual morning coffee drinkers who are too lazy to bring a god damn mug from home. as if they’re too busy to wash a mug each evening.

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you’ve got a lot going on, too much to bother worrying about deforestation and the great pacific garbage patch.

i’ve also been getting pissed about all the fucking non-recyclable bags that most of our food comes in, too. it’s all that crinkly silver shit that goes straight in the trash. i wish more companies would start using reusable, recyclable, or at least compostable bags. i won’t hold my breath for that though, not until more people start making a stink about it.

this stuff actually bugs me so much that when jenn and i saw the cure at an outdoor show in vancouver late last spring, i had a hard time relaxing and enjoying being there because i kept noticing ridiculous, redundant waste. for instance, i bought a 7up from a vendor and rather than give me the can, they poured it into — guess what — a red solo cup. so in addition to the aluminum can, there was now also this fucking cup that had to be dealt with. furthermore, there were virtually no recycling facilities at the venue, so all the cans and cups just went in the trash. god, i’m getting depressed even writing this. what sort of a promoter in this day and age wouldn’t have adequate drink container recycling at an event where you know people are going to be guzzling beers? so every time i looked and saw a weak-chinned or bloated goth (or ‘dark rocker’ as i started calling them)…

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this is what i found most cure fans looked like, hence the ‘dark rocker’ term rather than ‘goth’

…i was distracted from the fun, good elements of the experience. i realized i will probably never be able to enjoy a typical festival atmosphere again. what a bummer.

we are colossally wasteful.

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devour planet and move on.

out of mind

i hate how satisfying it feels to chuck junk in the garbage, dust your hands off, and think, “well, that’s dealt with.” because it’s not dealt with. it’s just out of sight. the next step is for that junk to sit in a landfill for thousands of years, waiting to break down. much of it will be eaten by wildlife, making them sick or killing them. no one has any right to feel good or satisfied about that. all you did was get the mess out of your vision and dump it somewhere else. congratulations.

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“my house is clean so i don’t care.”

sometimes this line of thought bothers me when i notice people leaving trash and littering in otherwise beautiful places. because i think, “ok, now this place is uglier but if the person put the trash in a garbage can it would just end up at the dump and make THAT place uglier” — the root of the problem remains: we create mountains of garbage. so while i hate seeing trash in this otherwise pristine place, i have to think that whether it’s here or at the designated landfill, it doesn’t really matter. the garbage is going to have a negative effect on whichever place it ends up at.

i do what i can to mitigate this problem. i try to use as little stuff as i can, to buy as much used stuff as i can, to repair the stuff i have and use it until it can’t be fixed anymore, to use the remains for parts, and lastly, to recycle what can’t be reused. but i still produce what i consider to be a lot of garbage, and i feel guilty as all hell about it. and then i think about the average family with two kids, busy as fuck trying to juggle jobs and child care and whatnot, and i know they don’t have the time or energy i have to devote to shrinking their footprint on this planet. and that makes me wonder why i even bother trying since it seems so hopeless.

and i don’t really have an answer for that. i guess it’s the guilt that compels me to just keep doing the best i can, to feel the least guilty i possibly can for sucking up resources and spitting out nothing but shit and waste in return.

guilt is an unpleasant thing but i find it to be an extremely effective motivator.

can’t do nothing no more without feeling terrible

i just learned how to make my own rice milk. turns out it’s fucking easy: cook a cup of rice, blend it up really good with 4 cups of water. ta da! i’m really happy to learn that it’s so easy. why? because i’ve been feeling guilty as all hell for drinking almond milk for the last month or so.

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almonds are great — for fueling self-loathing

milk had been hurting my guts recently so i’d started drinking almond milk instead, and it’s been groovy — tasty, and no pain. but i had a vague memory of reading that it takes tons of water to grow almonds, and that was giving me sweaty palms every time i bought almond milk. was my consumer taste contributing to california’s multi-year long, record-setting, godawful drought?

i finally took a deep breath and looked it up, and it was as bad as i thought: 4 L of water to make a single almond. that’s a lot! and how many almonds go into making a 2 L carton of almond milk? it’s tough to find consistent answers but the lowest number i saw was 16 — 16 almonds. that’s at least 64 L of water to make just 2 L of almond milk. meanwhile, california (which produces over 80% of the worlds almonds) is drying up.

drought

my taste for almond milk did this

this shit keeps me up at night. almost everything we do in this world makes me feel guilty for even living. we’re sucking this planet dry of any and all resources, and we’re filling the empty spaces back up with garbage. it makes me want to live like a monk and use less and less. pretty soon i’ll become an ascetic.

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then i’ll be happy

but until i reach that point, i’m really happy that at least i’ll be able to drink my milk substitute feeling just a little less horrible.

until i look up how much water it takes to grow 1 cup of rice.

blue apron is for lazy, wasteful motherfuckers

jenn listens to lots of podcasts. one of the sponsors for a few of those podcasts is blue apron.

wow, how wastefully convenient

blue apron is a mail order meal service. you order a meal ahead of time and they ship you a box with all the prepackaged, pre-measured ingredients so that all you have to do is chuck the shit together and BAM you’ve got a delicious, nutritious, home-cooked meal.

meanwhile, you and blue apron are wasting ridiculous resources purely for your convenience. bullshit.

i’ve never used blue apron and don’t imagine i ever will. i’m sure their shit tastes great and is very easy to make but i don’t give a shit about that because i have such a problem with the waste inherent in their system. i mean, it’s bad enough that food is grown one place and then shipped across the country, or continent, or world. people should be trying to shop locally, buying locally made shit so as to cut down on fuel used to ship food all all over the place. but blue apron is going the opposite direction, flying small amounts of stuff right to your door. flying your personal meal across the country is fucking nuts. no one is that important.

plus the increased packaging for all of the ingredients which only make a single meal is incredible.

when you’re all done, just toss the pile of garbage out! so easy!

we create far too much waste already with our normal groceries, and blue apron is creating even MORE waste with plastic bags and containers for the tiniest portions. imagine taking a box of raisin bran and packaging it in 30 single serving plastic containers. that’s what blue apron does, and that’s a lot of needless extra material. and guess where it’s going to wind up? the fucking dump, because people who crave convenience don’t give a shit about appropriate waste disposal.

thanks, blue apron!

so blue apron can kindly get fucked, in my humble opinion.

mystery machine

yesterday, jenn’s computer fucked up. it wouldn’t stay connected to the internet. it kept saying ‘limited connectivity’ or something like that. i looked that up on our other computer, which was still working fine, and found that the problem was probably something to do with the IP address. never mind that i don’t even actually know what an IP address is, i just know the term from hearing it a million times.

so i fucked around, confirming all the settings on the bad computer were correct. i probably spent 20 minutes, maybe half an hour on it. finally i just unplugged our router/modem for 30 seconds, plugged it back in, and everything has worked peachy since. great, all is well now, right?

wrong. now i’m even more unhappy.

“FUCK.”

i talked to bill about it and he said that something like 92% of computer problems are solved by unplugging things and plugging them back in. that really bothers me because it tells me that our devices are poorly made and fuck up all the time but rather than fix the root of the problems or make better devices, we’re ok with stuff that mostly works. like, “how’s the new laptop coming, ralph?” “not bad boss, but it occasionally and randomly disconnects itself from the internet and refuses to reconnect.” “good enough.”

considering how many versions and innovations there are in various electronics — computers, tablets, cell phones, smart phones, digital cameras, etc — you think the designers would have figured all of the annoying bugs out by now. it’s not like each device is reinventing the wheel and starting from scratch. there is so much overlap between all these things that after all these years, i don’t think there’s any excuse for shoddy devices that routinely freeze or otherwise fuck up, and need to be unplugged or have their batteries removed. that’s base, that’s caveman shit. it’s unacceptable.

i just want things to work.

wasting a whole bunch of money and resources to look nice and pretend to be ‘green’

this theme has come up in a number of my recent conversations lately. i get really irritated when people think they need to buy a $35,000 hybrid car so that they can feel more ‘efficient’ and ‘green,’ because the resources required to make brand new ‘green’ stuff usually far outweighs any potential improvements in efficiency you’re going to see from them.

think about all the mining, refining, transporting of materials, and manufacturing of parts that must occur before you buy a shiny new car. think about how filthy each of those steps are.

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industrial corporations (and sometimes governments, too) would have you believe that there is nothing wrong with tailings ponds, that they’re just plain old water. anyone who believes that is delusional. go drink the stuff than.

now consider that hybrids and electric cars get superior fuel economy, but most new cars and trucks are not hybrids or electric — most new vehicles are still gas, and they still get virtually the same mileage as cars from the early 80’s on. plus, that old car has already been made, it’s already here. by sticking with old cars, you are not supplementing the continued destruction that goes along with every step of making an automobile. sure, it can be annoying to fix things that eventually need work on an old car, but replacing brake calipers and tie rods is a hell of a lot easier on the planet than making a whole new fucking car every time you hear a clunk or rattle.

the same idea applies to all kinds of other products. people will try to tell you that your 10-yr old fridge and dishwasher and clothes dryer are not quite as efficient as new ones. and guess what, it will only cost you $10,000 to replace all of them. wow, with all you’ll save on your electricity bill, it will only take 50 years to recoup the costs! meanwhile, all your perfectly good old stuff ends up being wasted when it’s recycled long before its time.

“i just had to have the new model.”

do you know what would be more ‘green’ than that? keeping your old stuff in good working order, and not buying into the production of new stuff while throwing away things that still work just fine.

i think all this bullshit is basically driven by just a few factors: greed and vanity. vanity because we like to have new stuff. it looks nice and makes us feel privileged, higher class. but that’s horse shit. you’re still the same schlub you were in your ’87 dodge omni. you just have a flashy new car and appliances now. and greed because the companies making the products and the dealers hawking them to you, they don’t give a fuck about environmental impacts of their work. they’re not making cars and fridges in order to save the world, they’re just telling you what you want to hear so that you’ll buy their shit.

guys like this don’t give a fuck about your environmental concerns. they give a fuck about selling fridges, and will do whatever it takes to do so.

so don’t trust anyone when they try to tell you that you need their brand new junk to be ‘green.’ and know that you’re still the same old dink whether you drive an omni or a brand new VW jetta. remember the big picture and think about what you can live without in order to do less damage to this world. new cars and appliances are a few things, to start with.