who called you

I am being left behind. Why is every organic cleaner scented with lavender? Memories are short, people forget stuff and then it’s lost forever. Calling an item disposable shouldn’t make anyone feel ok about throwing it out. Every men’s deodorant stinks like weird chemicals. Why do men always drive the car while women sit in the passenger seat? I see a lot of motorcyclists riding and acting like total fucking idiots. Saying all options suck and refusing to take a productive stance is cowardly, and I’m guilty of doing this. I try to keep my face neutral to slow the onset of wrinkles. I’m nostalgic for eras I didn’t even enjoy much at the time.

A snapshot into some of my thoughts today.

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People will always do what’s easiest for them, even if the costs for it are exorbitantly high

A friend just sent me a news article about how reusable cloth shopping bags are actually worse for the environment than plastic bags. I think the article was misleading and essentially clickbait because it only spoke specifically about cotton and organic cotton reusable shopping bags, and almost all of my reusable ones are not made from cotton at all. What about all those other non-cotton reusable bags? That’s the first “hmmm” moment I had about the article.

The second moment came when the article said reusable bags cause far more damage because of the footprint that goes into making them…but then it acknowledged that the study being quoted here didn’t take ocean waste into consideration, which is where the majority of single use plastic bags end up. That’s like saying “the sun does not cause skin damage,” then acknowledging you didn’t actually look at skin damage caused by the sun. If you’re talking about what happens to a thing but disregarding what happens to the majority of that thing, you don’t have a fucking clue what you’re talking about. It’s absurd.

So I thought the article was largely junk. But there was one part that I agreed with, which was that the best thing to do was reuse all bags as much as possible and then recycle them when they’re no good anymore…

…Unfortunately, that’s useless advice because no one in North America cares enough to follow it. And I think that is our fatal flaw in all things: we know what we should do to improve things, but virtually none of us do it if it takes any effort whatsoever.

For example, there is a stretch of highway around here that is notorious for fatal accidents. What is the simplest, cheapest, most effective solution? Well, people could just drive slower on that highway.

But that doesn’t happen. Instead, the highway has been rebuilt countless times, widened, and barriers added throughout almost its entire stretch — all to the tune of millions of dollars spent over decades, and years of gridlocked traffic during construction. And guess what. Accidents still occur, because people are still driving too fast.

The moral of the story here is we are too impatient and self-centered to do the right thing. So yeah, people should just reuse their plastic bags and then recycle them when they’re done, but it will never, ever happen because we’re all too lazy and thoughtless to do it. We will always do the easier thing, even if it costs us mountains in money, life, freedom, etc.

In other words, humans are shit.

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As long as plastic bags are around, they will always end up in the ocean. So what’s my solution? Simple: exterminate the human race.

Where is my damned scribe?

Most days, I wish I had a scribe running around behind me. I have so many thoughts I want to write about throughout the day — some big, some small — that I can’t remember a fraction of them to start with. Even when I can, by the time I sit at a computer and have time to type them out, I’m no longer interested in exploring that thought. If I had that damned scribe kicking around while I’m driving through town or getting dressed after a massage, I could simply verbalize a whole post and just come back to edit it before posting it online. Damn, that would be easier.

Another option would be a voice recorder. Actually, I think I have one of those. But then I’d have to listen to my own voice and transcribe the words, and I wouldn’t like that. Listening to yourself speak is only slightly better than seeing video of yourself — anyone who is not a delusional narcissist will wince at both of those things. It’s a terrible thing to see the way your mouth twists to one side when you speak, or hear the tiny lisp or annoying sing-songy cadence in your voice. I find that stuff horrifying.

So I don’t know what I’m to do. I mean, today alone, I had at least three, maybe four things I wanted to write about. What were they now? I don’t know. I think one was about how we should be forced to see both the upstream and downstream costs of everything we do. For example, if you buy a car, you should have to sit through a seminar that details the destruction and waste caused by each step of the cars construction (like the mining of the metals and fabrication of the plastic moulding), as well as the destruction and waste associated with drilling for and refining gas and oil so that the car can run, and also the amount of pollution that car will puke forth in its lifetime, and so on and so forth. I think the same approach should go for everything else, too: the food we eat, computers and phones we use for a few years and then throw away, the cheap clothes made by slave labour that we wear, etc. People in the first world should be forced to confront the vast waste and destruction we are responsible for, and we should feel guilty and miserable for it. We deserve it.

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Buy chocolate, and you are responsible for rampant deforestation in the Amazon — animals are literally going extinct because you have a sweet tooth. Sleep well.

And that’s just one of the gems I thought about today that I DIDN’T have a scribe to write down for me!

Now it’s a few days later (I’m writing this in fits and starts), and today while I was on a run, I thought of something I wanted to write about. But when I got home, I couldn’t remember the damn thing. I retraced my steps and remembered other things I thought about during other portions of the run, but couldn’t remember the thing I wanted to write about. If only I had a damned scribe with me then. Fear not, though, dear readers — while laying on the floor doing yoga after my run, I spontaneously remembered the lost idea so I jumped up, dashed to the computer, and jotted the basic premise down. I will be delving into this latest masterpiece soon.

But my point is I need a scribe, stat. I can’t keep working like this. I’m hamstringing myself, like Michelangelo being forced to paint the Sistine Chapel with crayons. It’s insanity.

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I’m just goofing around. I know I have more in common with this Michelangelo.

Movies are wasteful, and for lazy people.

Before anyone blows a gasket, I’ll clarify that I’m one of the lazy bastards that I’m going to bitch about.

It just occurred to me that every film or tv show costs millions of dollars to make, and there is a massive footprint left behind by them: scouting locations and actors; entire film crews flying all over the world to film a scene that lasts only a few minutes; cars and buildings blown up; elaborate costumes and makeup and special effects that will never be used on another film; countless meetings between executives and producers at high end restaurants so they can discuss what font to use on the poster; etc. Then there is the countless hours of physical labour that go into it — writers, producers, set designers, casting, lighting crews, film crews, sound crews, stunt doubles, etc.

My point is that even the shittiest film or tv show requires an immense amount of effort and resources to create — and then we, the audience, end up sitting on a couch in our sweat pants, slack-jawed, eyes glazed over, brains mostly turned off while we stare at the talking heads on the screen in front of us. It’s really quite absurd how much work goes into creating our passive entertainment.

Meanwhile, in the not-so-distant past, reading books used to be the go-to entertainment form, and books have a far smaller footprint and require us to actually use our brains.

This makes me feel guilty for not reading more. Of course there are still some great flicks out there that no one should feel guilty about watching but that’s probably less than 1% of all film and tv — the rest of it, we should definitely feel a great deal of shame over.

I think I need to start reading more.

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Chocolate diet

Sometimes I really wrestle with my job. I feel like a lot of what I’m paid to do is virtually pointless, and some of it is even completely out of line with my personal values. I won’t go into any great detail here but as a small example, my job creates a lot of waste — tons upon tons of plastic and that goes straight to the dump. I can’t condone that kind of thing with a clear conscience.

And when I think about other careers, I think of aspects of  them that I would have just as hard a time with. I think about border guards and how they have to strictly enforce laws that they must know are fucking idiotic — like the US treating grass the same way they treat heroin. I can’t imagine busting someone for having some pot in their car and making a big stink out of it when I don’t think it’s worth giving a moment of thought.

Or if I was a lawyer, I’d have a hell of a hard time representing some clients, and prosecuting others. If my gut or the evidence pointed to something other than what I was fighting for, I don’t know how I would reconcile that.

I just have a lot of problems with a lot of things people generally do, and that applies to careers just like it does to anything else. Maybe if I worked at some kind of recycling center, that’s something I would probably be able to get behind. Or better yet, if there was some way I could make a living by promoting anti-consumerism, encouraging people to use less of everything, that would be great. Or if I was a hangman. There are way too many people around so good or bad, guilty or innocent, I could certainly justify thinning the herd a little bit.

Realistically, there aren’t many options for a misanthrope like myself to make a buck and not hate myself and the human race even more in the process.

I should probably just go on welfare, stop reading the news, and never leave my house again. Like I always say, “if you can’t beat them, pull out of the rat race and live the rest of your miserable life in isolation.”

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It’s not you, it’s you AND me.

I read a news article on how Nestle and Tim Horton’s are Canada’s biggest plastic polluters. This was determined after a collection of environmental groups picked up tons of plastic trash throughout Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax last month.

The article went on to say that easily recyclable items, like plastic bottles, were about as common as items that are more difficult to recycle, like chip and candy bar wrappers. Sarah King, head of Greenpeace Canada’s oceans and plastics campaign, said she believes that it’s the companies that make the products that should be held responsible for this mess, not the consumer: “We aren’t given a lot of options for buying food and household products in plastic-free packaging,” she said.

I don’t buy that for a second. I think everyone should consider themselves responsible — companies obviously shouldn’t make single use shit, but if they do, why should consumers be absolved of any guilt for purchasing the stuff? As if someone has a gun to our heads, forcing us to buy iced lattes-to-go and Doritos, as if we couldn’t possibly find an apple or banana somewhere instead, as if we’re all starving and will die if we don’t stuff our faces with some garbage food ASAP, as if the majority of our population isn’t obese and would actually benefit from avoiding a few lattes and Doritos.

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It’s happening again.

I think the fact that so much waste that is easily recyclable and even refundable still gets carelessly tossed is an obvious sign that the problem does not solely reside with the companies making the stuff. 99.9% of us are lazy scum who can’t be bothered to bring a reusable coffee cup with us even though we buy about eight coffees every fucking day, so we should feel just as ashamed as the companies who are so eager to appease our wasteful consumer tastes.

Yeah, the companies making single-use junk are short-sighted, despicable filth, but so are the people who a) buy that stuff and b) can’t even be bothered to reuse or recycle it.

No one is innocent. We are all complicit. I’m annoyed, let’s bust out the gallows.

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10 reasons why the human race deserves to choke

i hate the plastic wrapper del monte puts around their organic bananas

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I don’t understand why Del Monte insists on wrapping its organic bananas with a plastic label. I buy organic stuff because I want to less shit being put into the world on my account, and this plastic wrapper negates that effort. The plastic wrap at the top of the bundle also sucks. It seems like common sense to me that they should be using a biodegradable wrap.

I emailed Del Monte about this a while ago and was re-directed to Del Monte Fresh. Apparently they are two completely unrelated companies that have nothing to do with each other — bullshit. I wonder what kind of stupid loophole they are exploiting with that little maneuver. Anyway, I was given the email address of someone at Del Monte Fresh so I politely let them know my thoughts on the topic. That was at least a month ago, and no response yet. Not even an automated ‘we have received your email’ response. Fuck.

Maybe I should start some kind of petition to attract attention to this. I know it’s not a huge deal, that there are countless other sources of waste plastic far more egregious than this but this one bugs me because I deal with it on a regular basis, and it seems counter-intuitive to the very nature of the product it’s being used on. Most companies catering to pretentious environmental twits like myself have the sense to package their stuff in a manner that appeals to the consumer — recyclable material, compostable material. So why isn’t Del Monte Fresh doing it?

Money, I’m sure. God damn money.