Today I made the dreaded trip into town to pick up some essentials. Our little town swells up to 2 – 3 times its normal size during summer, as hordes of tourists invade with boats, R.V.’s, four-wheelers and SUV’s, packing the parking lots and racing around town.
The new McDonald’s was busy, as usual. I’ve never been in there. A line of vehicles stretched clear around the building. Next door, the bank parking lot was virtually empty. Figures. Stuffing their faces and bellies full of processed garbage, McDeath has become a terrifying symbol of American culture.
The supermarket was packed out. Overflowing shopping carts full of beer, chips, ice cream and other useless crap crowded every aisle, pushed around by overweight sunburned people. Young kids were grabbing even more junk and tossing it into the already-filled carts.
Waiting at the butcher counter, the very stressed out employee didn’t want to take my order for some of the selections behind the refrigerated glass. His frustration was evident. He’d probably been there all weekend when it was even worse then today.
The checkers were harried, overworked and underpaid, running packages through the table top laser scanners as fast as they could. The waiting lines stretched out everywhere with bored-looking strangers trying to look inconspicuous in their designer shorts and floppy hats.
Near the checkout stands, glossy magazines filled the available space between the breath mints and chewing gum. It was easy to read all the latest headlines, Katie dumped Tom, and Kate got embarrassed by the Queen. Absolutely useless shit that nobody needs to know.
The din was incredible, loud, non-stop and contained a sense of anger amidst the smell of suntanning lotion and sweaty bodies. Some stupid lady tried to buy an entire weeks’ worth of groceries at the customer service counter, several items which had to be weighed at the non-existent weight scale. The checker patiently took these items back and forth to the checkout stand where this ditz should have gone in the first place.
Even the manager, who is actually a cool dude, looked pretty harassed. I wondered at all the money this store rakes in, in a never ending stream of cash drawers opening and closing and welfare card swiping (a full 70% of sales are charged to welfare). And then I wondered about how in the world could they even managed to keep the place stocked up. There was so much stuff flying off the shelves, piled high into the carts that it looked like Black Friday. They didn’t have Paul Newman’s salsa anymore, discontinued which is too bad, I did without.
But this is normal for this time of year, and in many places and in many much larger cities, it’s even worse. Millions upon millions of tons of products being shelved and purchased everyday by hordes and hordes of people.
I was already primed for disappointment. On the drive in, I got to hear about a swimming trip to a nearby lake. I didn’t go, working as usual instead. On the way to the lake, there was garbage everywhere. On the beach, in the forest, piled along the roads.
I’ve seen this pigsty myself in the past. Dirty diapers, empty cans, beer bottles, chip bags and discarded unidentifiable plastic garbage just tossed wherever these animals care to leave it. Lots and lots of so-called people are absolute pigs. I mean truly disgusting useless pigs. Emptyheaded bags of water. I’d rather live with hogs then be neighbors to them.
It’s times like this when it really hits home just how impossibly insane our world really is. I mean truly, bat-shit crazy, screaming at the moon insane. How incredibly wasteful, stupid and indifferent hundreds of millions of “people” are to the levels of damage we are causing by our voracious consumption. The discarded trash heaps, the bloated bodies lining up like pigs at a trough, the idling 4×4’s at McDeath waiting for the chicken “nuggets” (processed pink meat slime), the blaring media garbage overflowing at every checkout stand, the endless rows and rows of processed “food” (read the labels, it’s not food anymore, it’s poison), the jockeying for space and position at every aisle, street corner and stop light (a great representation of what “life” has become for Americants), it’s all so incredibly fucking sad and tragic that it defies my ability to convey.
I should have stayed home.
I just read early today where sea level rise is “virtually unstoppable”. No doubt. Yet the article still posited the same hopium found everywhere else that we can still deal with climate change. Well cover me with shit. This makes no sense at all (or just delivery my body to McDeath for recycling). Rising waters means heated oceans (thermal expansion) and even more melting ice, which also means temperatures on land are continuing to heat up, which means we are most definitely NOT able to deal with climate change as being endlessly promised.
They’ll (now, finally) admit the oceans are toast — but somehow the land will escape (somewhat), or so the (failed) logic goes. I don’t get it. You cannot have one without the other, lose one, you lose them both. It’s that friggin simple.
There is such an incredible disconnect to how things works, and what clearly isn’t working, that it truly staggers my mind on days like today. Our civilization may be “working” (at greed, gluttony, abuse and indifference), but not for much longer.
And that would be, in my opinion, a very good thing.
Our comeuppance is way overdue.