By Jason Miller
Thomas Paine’s Corner
“Of Mommies and Daddies Who Just Don’t Give a Fuck”
Sorry kids, but you’re just going to have to deal with the fact that we are greedy narcissists. We’re dyed in the wool consumers, we worship Mammon, and eliminating the cancer of capitalism is simply out of the question.
What’s that, our beloved sons and daughters? You’re worried that the air will be too polluted to breathe, the water too toxic to drink, the rain forests too sparse to act as the Earth’s lungs, and the resources too depleted to sustain you and the other sentient inhabitants of this planet? You don’t believe “clean” coal, biofuels, and nuclear power will sustain the exquisite industrial civilization we will bequeath you once we’ve siphoned off the last drop of oil and departed for the big suburb in the sky?
Unfortunately, you’ll just have to suck it up, shut up, and deal with it! George Bush 41 made it abundantly clear that our “American Way of life is non-negotiable.” We Americans don’t even negotiate with terrorists, so it would be idiocy to even consider the possibility that we would budge an inch for mere children! Culturally genocidal perpetuators of the horrors of factory farming like McDonald’s; mammoth, gas-guzzling personal tanks that keep the economy Humming; televisions with screens large enough to put AMC out of business; single family McMansions with sufficient square footage that one subdivision could solve the homeless problem in America; our dinosaur-sized carbon foot-prints; and the production of enough garbage to ensure that we have the means to fill that ugly void known as the Grand Canyon are indispensable aspects of our being.
Ironically, Lorax-like prophets of the inevitable environmental catastrophe we are engendering are acceptable as long as they remain safely abstract and confined to children’s fables. We’ll let the Lorax lecture, plead, and implore to his dying breath via Seussian rhyme, but the minute he begins taking direct action on behalf of Mother Earth against the Once-lers and their capitalist, consumerist, and industrialist infrastructure that is sucking the life from this planet like a starved vampire, he becomes public enemy number one.
Just how deep are the moral decay, rot, and decadence of mature capitalism and the American Empire? They have penetrated to the very core of our collective being. Facts and statistics on Climate Change, the alarmingly rapid rate of species extinction, the devastating effects of commercial fishing on marine life, the horrors of factory farming, rampant deforestation, and a plethora of other deep gashes left by our relentless assaults on the planet to which we owe our very existences are so ubiquitous and irrefutable that only an idiot would deny that we are destroying the Earth and many of its sentient inhabitants.
Each day our industrial civilization thoughtlessly and carelessly launches ruthless violent assaults upon our world and its non-human animal inhabitants, yet when the Lorax finally does strike a blow against a Once-ler (as was the case in the Earth Liberation Front’s recent laudable destruction of several McMansions in the Seattle area) all Hell breaks loose. “Crack” teams of law enforcement circle the wagons and frantically scramble to eradicate the “terrorists” who had the audacity to violate our sacrosanct property rights and interfere with our ongoing rape of the Earth. As a society, it is permissible for us to continue a relentless march toward rendering our planet uninhabitable, but let a handful of individuals from the Earth Liberation Front destroy some precious manifestations of our perverse obsession with material possessions and the FBI offers a reward of $100,000 to ensure their capture.
Just why were the ELFs so enraged? Consider their own eloquent explanation for their actions:
“There are over six billion people on this planet of which almost a third are either staving, or living in poverty. Building homes for the wealthy should not even be a priority.
Forests, farms and wetlands are being replaced with a sea of houses, green chemical lawns, blacktop, and roadkill. Farmland is being bought out by land developers because of their inability to compete with cheap corporate, genetically-engineered, pesticide saturated food. The time has come to decide what is more important: the planet and the health of its population or the profits of those who destroy it.”
The unoccupied homes the Earth Liberation Front torched on the “Street of Dreams” near Seattle on 3/3/08 were abominations represented as “environmentally friendly” and “green”. Two million dollar houses? 4500 square feet of living space for a single family? Friendly to the BUSINESS environment? Definitely. But to the natural environment? Not even close. And the only “green” would have been the money that would have gone into the wallets of the builders and developers. Let’s be honest here. The presence of these “Street of Nightmare” homes would have polluted Bear Creek (a crucial home for nearly extinct Chinook salmon) and a nearby aquifer. It also would have threatened protected wetlands in the vicinity. We owe the Earth Liberation Front a small debt of gratitude.
So we rape the planet, torture and murder sentient beings to feast on their flesh, wantonly and willfully spew toxins into the environment, and consume the Earth’s resources with the rapacity and rapidity of a starving man attacking his first meal in a week. And we do so without giving it a first, second, or third thought. Meanwhile, the ELFs act on their justified moral outrage, put a tiny dent in our planet killing apparatus in a desperate bid to awaken us from our greed-induced apathy (injuring or killing NO ONE), and we are ready to lynch these heretics quicker than Cotton Mather could have said, “Get thee to the gallows, witch….”
Make no mistake. The world is burning while we fiddle. And even if we don’t feel impassioned to act on behalf of non-human animals or our Mother Earth, isn’t the fact that we are condemning our children to the purgatory of a dying planet motivation enough for us to stop the madness? Or are we truly “mommies and daddies who just don’t give a fuck?”
Long live the Earth Liberation Front!
Jason Miller is a recovering US American middle class suburbanite who strives to remain intellectually free. He is Cyrano’s Journal Online’s associate editor (http://www.bestcyrano.org/) and publishes Thomas Paine’s Corner within Cyrano’s at http://www.bestcyrano.org/THOMASPAINE/. You can reach him at JMiller@bestcyrano.com
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