Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's All About Mama Earth Today

Well... let us celebrate Gaia!  To begin with... remember that post last week about all the dandelions here in Beautiful La Hacienda Trailer Park?  Well, I stand corrected.  It seems like the caretakers/groundskeepers in BLHTP are just slightly ahead of the curve, and are obviously thinking about our Earth Mom.  From Tuesday's NYT ("The Dandelion King"):
As I’ve told my neighbors, I feel bad about lowering the value of their property. I mean, it isn’t my goal to have a front yard that, by standard reckoning, is unattractive. The unkept look of my lawn is just a byproduct of a conclusion I reached a few years ago: the war on weeds, though not unwinnable, isn’t winnable at a morally acceptable cost.


I mean, sure, an expanse of green probably does appeal to the typical human’s sense of beauty. But so does a snowcapped Alpine peak — and I’m definitely not putting one of those in my front yard. The question isn’t whether carpets of green are intrinsically attractive, but whether the more natural alternative — my front yard — is intrinsically unattractive.
I think not. If it were, why would hikers pause, look out on an unruly expanse of earth and reflect on how great it feels to escape civilization for the great outdoors? Moreover, given our species’ long history of traversing various unkept landscapes, how could natural selection have imbued us with an intense aversion to them?
So I think it’s possible in principle to engineer a new ethos that allows us to fight chemical negative externalities without creating aesthetic and hence financial ones. Maybe someday suburban neighborhoods will consist of lawns that look like mine, and everyone will admire them.
Back to BLHTP's management.  In addition to being considerate of Mama Earth, it seems there's also a considerable amount of trendiness in play here.  P-Ville?  Trendy?  Who'd a thunk it?

As implied above... today is Earth Day, one of those non-holidays celebrated by All The Best People Who Really Rilly Care.  And here's the latest shot across the bow for us troglodytes who tend to turn a jaundiced eye on the whole Earth Day thing...  from "How to Green Your Parents," in yesterday's NYT...
Thursday is the 40th anniversary of the original Earth Day. Over the years, the impact of this once seminal day has lessened. Earth Day brings people together for nice gatherings and noble efforts but has, for the most part, made sustainable action more of an annual event than a daily habit. We’ve got to change that.

Here’s a move in the right direction: launching this Earth Day is Green My Parents, a nationwide effort to inspire and organize kids to lead their families in measuring and reducing environmental impact at home. Not just on Earth Day, but every day. GMP’s initial goal is to have its first 100 youth advocates train and educate 100 peers (who will then turn to 100 of their respective peers and so on), with the aim of saving families $100 million between now and April 2011.
Ah.  Good on the American Young Komsomols.  You're following in some well-defined and heavily trafficked footsteps.  That said... a brief cautionary note to MY offspring:
Don't. Even. Think. About. It.  

I'm just being sarcastic, coz I know you wouldn't lecture me in any way, shape, or form.  It's not that we don't care about Gaia - quite the contrary.  We just don't like to wear our heart on our sleeve in that smug and patronizing sort of way.  And we hate indoctrination of any sort.

Gaia image from here.  Dang.  I need me one of these.  I think she'd look good among the dandelions, kind of a 21st century garden gnome.  Doncha think?


  1. Everyday is Earth Day! However, the tree huggers wanted their own "day" so they can show off their "greenness"

    Self-serving, not Earth-server if you ask me.

  2. The first Earth Day celebration that I remember was in Taos about 20-something years ago. I was at McDonalds when some tree-huggerish people came in talking about how great the Earth Day celebration at the park had been. Then they ordered their quarter-pounders and ate out of the styrofoam boxes. It was about the same time McD's was catching a lot of flack about the styrofoam, but I guess these people did not know that.

  3. It's Earth Day? Have the Norks tested a missile yet?

  4. Could care less about some contrived leftist day. Just mow the fargin' weeds, ok? But I support the idea of not using pesticides/fertilizers, using natural flora for the yard. A lawn is not necessarily a natural idea for someone's yard, just look at the wild areas.

    Don't forget kiddies; Mayday is a week away! Sing the "International"!

    P.S.; My yard is all weeds. Mowed.

  5. Wow, the Earth is forty years old today! And Memeorandum had not a single syllable to say about it that I could see. What's it mean?

  6. We just don't like to wear our heart on our sleeve in that smug and patronizing sort of way.

    I couldn't agree more Buck. That's what totally turns me off to the whole "green movement". I've been recyling, composting and such for over 20 years now, long before Al Gore came on the scene with his trumped up money making scheme.

    I remember the very first Earth Day at my school - the very first year of it all. It was about cleaning up after ourselves - I recall going around school grounds picking up litter, then we planted a tree. Funny to think that tree, if it's still there, is 40 years old now and probably quite large.

    That's all it was though - personal responsbility for our lives and awareness that Earth is a finite resource. No other mumbo jumbo that I recall.

  7. FWIW, I like dandelions. I may have said that on the other post, but it bears repeating.

    Well, OK, it doesn't bear repeating.

    Speaking of bears, how about The Broooons? Nothing - NOTHING - is as exciting in the world of sports as overtime during the Stanley Cup playoffs. And when your team wins to take a 3 - 1 series lead over a higher-seeded team? Heaven.

  8. I concur that the war on weeds isn't worth the price. I'm a less than good neighbor when it comes to yardkeeping. When the weather is nice, there are so many other things to do than mow and pluck weeds.

  9. I think it's odd to have a specific day, but -- what-ev-er. Shouldn't it just always be, in essence, earth day?

    Like Kris said, you clean up, you recycle, you don't use crazy pesticides and you pay attention. Basic personal responsibility.

    Oh, wait, we probably need Personal Responsibility Day!!

  10. RLM: Agreed... this is just another of the "feel good" non-celebrations.

    Lou: I vaguely remember the first Earth Day, mainly coz that was back in my plastic-hippie days. I don't recall doin' anything special, tho.

    Andy: No Nork missiles as far as I know. Yet.

    Darryl: You and me... you and me!

    Morgan: Mebbe Memeorandum is finally gettin' REAL?

    Kris: I was deep into that composting thing when I "grew my own (vegetables)." The recycling thing? Not so much, since all of our trash winds up in the same place... mostly.

    Jim: I watched your Bruins win last evening... and was rootin' for 'em, too.

    BR: I USED to be a serious yard-freak. No more.

    Kath: Isn't EVERY day "Personal Responsibility Day? Heh. ;-)

  11. Yo Buck,

    Here's a little selection for consumption with Belgian beverages.

    First, the founder of Gee I Feel Better Day. Algore must be proud:

    Next up, some serious snark for those who are not irony-impaired:

    And finally, the last word:

    By the way, I just joined you in the Now We's Old 'n Pitiful Platoon last Sunday. You're...older than me?


  12. Dang, Rob... those were some links! I'd never heard of Einhorn before, thanks for that bit. I'd cast the usual aspersions on crazy lefties, but... well, you know. And about that serious snark: I'll pass, thankyaverymuch. Carlin with "the last word" was a masterful piece; I wish I had known earlier today this bit of his existed coz it would have been the lead item. His "the planet is fine; people are fucked" sums it all up quite nicely.

    Happy Belated Birthday! This gettin' old ain't for sissies, is it? ;-)

  13. I know the artist. He's, um, interesting. He and his wife used to do surgery on goats to remove one horn, and move the other to the center of the forehead. Thus, a unicorn.

  14. The surgery bits ARE interesting, to say the very least. I found the Gaia statue creepy, myself.


Just be polite... that's all I ask.