mowing grass

Peloton

The Peloton craze suggests a decadence that has marked and will continue to mark the utter failure of the American experiment.  Such statements are by design hyperbolic- even perhaps silly- but they point us in the direction of the heresies we need to embrace if we are to do something decent with the gifts we’ve been given.

The story is one of obscenity.  As Americans, we engorge ourselves on beef in specific and on excessive calories in general.  To eat as we want to, we denude forests, repurpose crop land to serving the grow-slaughter-eat-suffer from heart disease cycle, and destroy water sources.  We eat as we want and others die from malnutrition as a result.

As we fatten ourselves, we start to feel sluggish and ill-tempered.  We come to the realization that we need to exercise and instead of enjoying the land and the air (in one of the least densely populated major countries on Earth), we purchase machines made of plastic and metal, that require enormous amounts of energy to make, transport, and run.  Not only do we squander enormous amounts of energy to run them, we also need high bandwidth, streaming services to keep us entertained as we ride.

When we get off of our Pelotons, we know we “deserve” something special so we engorge ourselves yet again on lavish meals.

Isn’t that America?

There’s not much more to say.  Either we find ourselves to be idiotic and comical or we don’t.

Lawn Maintenance

Sisyphean tasks are popular in America.

Take for instance lawn-mowing (or “cutting the grass” as some people say.)  Think about it for a second. You put in grass and then use huge amounts of water to get it to grow.  When it  grows a bit too much- and is so very unsightly- you use an expensive, gas-powered machine to cut it down to size.

Then you waste much-needed water to help it grow again.  Then you use an expensive, gas-powered machine to cut it down to size.

Then you…well you get the picture.

And to top it off, Americans consider this a moral obligation-something to be proud of.  In parts of India and Sub-Saharan Africa, women walk 10 miles in scorching heat to get a few gallons of water to use for cooking, cleaning, and washing up.  We waste water on lawns that we then despise enough to decapitate.

For us, our lawns are more important than their lives.

Guns

There is only one thing to be said here.  The gun debate in this country is sterile and useless.  Why?  Not because of some uber-powerful NRA or other rabid lobbyists (as sick as they are.)  Not just because of intense Republican intransigence when faced with anything decent or humane.  Nope.

But because both Democrats and Republicans agree strongly about hyper- individual rights and the right to own a gun specifically.  Democrats go out of their way to molly-coddle gun-owning Americans – “No we are not coming after your guns,” they say.  They want small, cosmetic changes.

It’s an American failure not a failure of either party, even though one is so much fouler than the other.


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