Sunday, September 23, 2007

This morning, I read the comics and went to the recycling center at Holiday Island. The recycling center has been particularly convenient because it, being unattended, is open on Saturdays and Sundays. The syndicated cartoon Cathy and the Holiday Island Recycling Center each offer interesting, though tragic insight into the mind (mindlessness) of the American consumer.

The Recycling Center is being closed due to the idiocy and irresponsibility of the people it was established to serve. It seems that people have a great deal of difficulty putting their recyclables in the right containers and the huge cost of decontaminating materials has made the center a major loss for the area wide recycling efforts. Every time I've visited the center, I've found evidence of mindlessness, ignorance and contempt... people dumping garbage and even dead animals in bins intended for the sorting of specific materials.

You can see in "Cathy" the mindlessness of the consumer mentality. The glorification of shopping as a major American pastime shows the idiocy of our nation. Cathy is an extremely popular comic strip whose consistent theme of shopping for useless and needless objects reflects one of the most popular American activities, far surpassing involvement in the crafts or athletics.

If we were a nation of makers, our core values would be those of quality and attention rather than price and expedience. At last, it seems the major media and even the Republican administration of George W. Bush, have come to an understanding of the impact of our consumer culture on the planet. Unfortunately, many Republicans and other idiots are saying "Isn't this wonderful! Once the ice melts, we'll be able to ship our Chinese made junk faster to Europe though the Northern Passage! (Polar Bears be damned?)" So the disgusting modern precept, "shop until you drop," becomes "shop until we've ruined everything." Then, no doubt, we will take pride and glory in what we have done.

If you need evidence of what a culture is like when the power of synthesis and the interest to learn have been stripped from education and the distractions of the media have claimed the soul of its people, read the cartoon above and join me on a visit to the Holiday Island Recycling Center before it closes on September 30, 2007.

Oh, by the way, did you know that there is a cause and effect relationship between the very small decisions we make as individuals and the wanton destruction of the rain forests, the loss of the world's glaciers, the melting of the polar ice caps and the direct sense of despair, depression, anxiety and powerlessness prevalent in our society? We have to claim power over the small things first. Make something. Discover the power you hold in your own hands. Change begins at arms length. Mine and yours.

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