Wednesday, November 17, 2010

bagging the haters

"What's with the bags?" you're asking yourself. Good question. Those are all plastic bags that I retrieved from the trailside during a recent ride on the Glacial Drumlin trail, here in south-central WI. Some were on the ground, some were in bushes or trees, one was caught on a fence. The photo doesn't include other pieces of plastic that I picked up and put in the trash at the end of my ride. I figured I'd recycle the bags.

The way I see it, there is one big problem in the world today: People Who Don't Give a Damn. They're known by other names in some places (i.e. People Who Don't Give a Fuck), but we all know the breed. They're not really committed to any particular philosophy or religion, though many go to church or some other house of worship for social appearances. If they vote, it's Democrat in one election and Republican in the next. Biggest day-to-day concern? Making sure that the Tivo is set to capture "American Idol." They kind of want to recycle but don't. Their kids tend to grow up just like them. They wouldn't go out of their way to harm someone, but it takes an awful lot to make them help someone, too. They probably account for, like, 30-50% of the current US population, and I suspect they're growing.

"But what about the people who do give a damn, but in the wrong way? You know, like Sarah Palin. Aren't they the worst?" you ask. No. Because it's easy to spot people like Sarah Palin, and deride and discount her, and in a more ideal world she would have little sway. But it's the PWDGADs who empower her, because they're attracted by her superficial folksiness and likeability and don't see the menace lying underneath.

Anyhow, that's the general problem with the world. Of course, there's a spectrum of people, ranging from the true couch potatoes to the Nobel Prize winners and messianic figures. By picking up those plastic bags during my recent bike ride, I have positioned myself up on a plane above them all. I'm, like, levitating up there in some Buddha lotus position, serene, with golden rays emanating from every precipice of my body, spouting wacky aphorisms about Reiki energy or some shit like that. Yeah, feeling pretty good about myself ...

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