‘Tis the season to sweep out the old, and pledge to the new. It’s also a good time to vent, to do a little mental housecleaning. So, here are a few of my green peeves and wishes for their resolutions:
For the local TV anchors: Please resolve to stop conflating “mall” with “shopping.” I can’t count how many times chirpy unreflective anchor people would say “what’s the weather going to be like for everyone heading out to the mall for that last minute shopping?” One can shop in places other than the mall….downtown for example. I swore off Tysons Corner back when I had a car after suffering a Sartre-esque bout of existential nausea one Christmas. And that was it. Never went back. Never wanted to. Never needed to. Georgetown, innumerable stops on Connecticut Ave all the way up, Gallery Place, Columbia Heights, Eastern Market, all offer plenty of things, usual and unusual, for purchase. And it’s so much more interesting! When all else fails, order on-line.
Another one for the media: Please resolve to acquire a critically reflective editor to eliminate the "exquisite corpse" sequencing of stories. Best not to follow a story on how Americans are to blame for not buying enough cars with a traffic report showing a back up near the proverbial Occoquan. It begs for ironic commentary. Looks like we have plenty of cars. Maybe that’s why we’re not buying them? And don’t follow stories on the environment with a “human interest” story on an ice skating rink in southern California where people skate in bikinis. Those crazy Californians. Aren’t they something out west? It’s obscene. Where’s the FCC when you need it?
For planners and politicians: No more iatrogenic solutions to environmental problems! Adding lanes to highways does not cure traffic congestion, but causes it. Building houses one per 5 acre parcel does not preserve open space, but consumes it. Ethanol…well, just watch Frontline’s episode, Heat.
And for me? I have the usual set of resolutions involving weight maintenance, flossing, being a better person, et al., but I have a few new green ones to focus on. Pay better attention to where stuff—food, energy, clothes-- comes from. What regime am I inadvertently supporting with my purchase? Have I contributed to the removal of a mountaintop just to light my living room? Do I really need strawberries in the winter? Also, make regular use of those SmartBikes. They’re so convenient and so inexpensive and only burn calories (see weight maintenance above). Finally, keep the sarcasm and snarkiness to a socially acceptable level.
But, I still have a reservoir of snark to discharge before the end of the year, so here’s hoping we can enjoy 2009 without: bumper stickers supporting environmental causes; the passive voice; “complementary” not “complimentary;” shops with doors wide open and mechanical systems roaring; FUV’s with bumper stickers supporting environmental causes. Now that I got that out of my system…
The New Year really starts on January 20th. This Wednesday night is just an abstraction, watching a clock tick and toasting its continued ticking. The whine festival is over. It’s clean up time and we have a lot of wonderful, fulfilling, important work to do. See you next year.