Thursday, May 22, 2008


At our Corporate Whoop-de-Do this week, I grabbed a bottle of water out of the convenient bin and looked at the label. Ozarka water, it was, and it had a prominent green label on the back touting its new Eco-Shape™ bottle design.

Environmentally friendly, made with 30% less plastic than the average water bottle. Oh, boy! Save the whales! Collect them all, win valuable prizes!

I’m really not convinced there’s anything environmentally friendly about any kind of water bottle, since I can get perfectly good water right out of the tap without using any bottle at all. And if I want to schlep water around with me - ’cause everyone knows how hard it is to find water in this country - I can put it in a reusable water bottle. You know: the kind that has minimal environmental impact because you don’t throw the damn thing away after you’ve used it once.

Good Gawd, we have become a Nation of Pinheads.

We’ll buy those reusable grocery bags - we all want to protect the environment, right? - and then we’ll fill ’em up with bottled water, the most useless Value-Added Product the Madison Avenue marketing geniuses ever foisted upon the American public. I especially love the imported stuff. Fiji water, sucked out of a pristine spring half a world away, then shoved into a disposable plastic bottle and jammed into a container on a steamship to be transported 10,000 miles for your drinking pleasure.

The fact that the suppliers of Fiji water can spend all the money to do that and still make a profit by selling us something that comes out of the tap for practically free tells us how stupid we are.

We’ll happily spend a buck or more on a 20 ounce bottle of water - the equivalent of $6.40 a gallon. Now imagine a magical substance (let’s call it “Gazzo-Leen”), the same 20 ounces of which can push a two-ton chunk of metal, glass, and rubber three miles or more at more in less than three minutes. We’ll piss and moan about having to pay half of that $6.40 a gallon we spend on bottled water on this magical “Gazzo-Leen.”

We’ll piss and moan even more if we can’t buy however much “Gazzo-Leen” we want, whenever we want it.

Every aspect of our country’s infrastructure for the past 60 years or more has been built based on the assumption that we would have cheap petroleum-based energy forever.

Surprise! Eventually, if you assume enough, it makes an ass out of u and me.

In China and India, there are now a billion more people that are being lifted into the middle class by the powerful engine of world economic growth. One billion people...and that number is growing fast.

They all want the same bright ’n’ shiny stuff we’ve taken for granted for years. Cars. Televisions. Whisky. Flush toilets. Movies with plenty explosions and ficky-fick.

And now they’re buying oil, just like us. Which eats up supplies...and makes the prices go up.

Meanwhile, we’ve got our SUV’s to feed so we can commute to work on our Great Big Network o’ Interstate Highways. So let’s put more ethanol in our gas tanks, so we don’t need as much petroleum, why don’t we?

Hmmm, lessee. Ethanol is made from corn. In this country, at least, thanks to the powerful Corn Lobby.

Corn is a high-yield crop that sucks nutrients out of the soil, necessitating the use of chemical fertilizers.

Chemical fertilizers are made from petroleum.

We’re using oil to grow corn to replace oil. So: Just how fucking stupid are we?

Nation of Pinheads, I tell you.

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