Sunday, 21 April 2013

Thanks to All This Effort, Utopia is Just Around the Corner! Or not.

If it were real, that ad would be looking pretty tempting right now, because the future's looking none too bright.

Tomorrow is Earth Day 2013.

Yeah, I guess it's that time of the year again - a period (for me) of vague disappointment that lasts from the ides of April through the ides of May. Time for all the world's hypocrites to celebrate their engagement in two 24 hour periods where they say a big 'Fuck you!' to anyone who makes more of an effort to be kind to the planet. The first in this 'axis of hypocrisy' is Earth Day, where they spend 1/365th of their year in a gargantuan pseudo-effort to save the planet (will that be enough this year - or any year? I doubt it). Next month comes Bike to Work Day, when many of these same arrant hypocrites try REALLY HARD to reduce their dependence on foreign oil by 1/365th, to reduce pollution by 1/365th, to reduce traffic congestion by 1/365th, to become 1/365th fitter, etc., etc.


Maybe this year the 1/365th effort will pay off and we'll achieve some kind of environmental event horizon, where all this far-less-than-half-assed effort finally pays off and we emerge into a new utopian dawn.

On the other hand (and more realistically), maybe not. This is what the aftermath of last year's Earth Day looked like in Fort Mason Park in San Francisco:

So... yeah.

On the bright side, at least I spent the weekend in good company (my wife and kid). Yesterday we watched last year's classic time travel movie Safety Not Guaranteed. Today, with the kid at a friend's house, I spent the afternoon in a Benadryl-induced stupor being driven around suburban MD in search of a home improvement store and berating my wife for trying to defend both Earth Day participants and lycra-clad cyclists. I have recently had the... oh let's call it 'opportunity'... to cycle-commute together with some folks who wear 'the lycra'. They're such nice people, which makes it hard to ask them if they really must wear that get-up on our commute. I've considered starting out with them and slowly letting them get far ahead and sneaking onto an alternate route. I'm not sure if the embarrassment of cycling with people who choose to camouflage themselves as bumblebees is overwhelmed by the pleasure I take in ridiculing their attire when my wife gets home. I'm thinking it does. And the kid enjoys it, which counts for a lot (and she seems able to overlook the fact that her new commuter-mates are oversized members of the bee genus Bombus).

So life has elements of humor, and things could be far worse. It would be nice though, if the kid had a bit better than a 1/365th chance of inheriting a better world. But the vast majority of people don't even try that hard, so let's face it - she doesn't stand much chance at all.

So, to paraphrase the main character Darius from the aforementioned time travel movie: "How do we eject?"


  1. I noted a local "Earth Day" event was a paddling trip down a not-far-away creek. Of course, since I don't have a good way to get the canoe there without driving the car, I didn't go.

  2. oh, and the last time I "did" the "Bike to Work Day" parade, I pulled my Bikes at Work trailer, loaded with a ladder, a couple of bins of tools, a pile of business cards for my handyman business, and two five-gallon urns of coffee (donated by a local coffee shop chain for the event), mostly to show the sort of thing that can be done to the once-in-a-year "commuters."

    I'll be otherwise occupied this year.

  3. I'd leave a comment, Ian, but I think you already know what I think.

  4. I've got allergy shots today, so can't bike to work. I did bike to work one day after allergy shots and got dressed down by the nurses. They said exercise after allergy shots can induce a bad reaction. I ignored their advice, and sure enough, they were right.

    What I really wanted to do this year was rent a Hummer for Earth Day and paint a big slogan on it "Working Hard to Induce Climate Change".