The Greening of Me

This planet green thing has got me wondering, and I don't necessarily mean the cable network show by that name, although I'll get to that shortly. What I mean is this idea of becoming green, being green, living in harmony with the earth, critically examining your life and your bathroom habits, leering at your neighbors as they drench their lawns and spread their weed and feed. It's all just seeping and not so slowly into the very collective conscious of the American people. It has saturated the airwaves and the radio, the Internet and literature; hell, even the black newspaper ink is taking on a green hue. Is all of this green fever actually a good thing or could their be serious trouble, and I don't mean your neighbors leering back or flipping you off. I mean is green itself green (whatever that means).

Anyway, when I do watch planet green I use it simply as background noise while I surf the web, write in my blogs, play computer games, etc. But what's strange, interesting and even disturbing is that although I am only partially listening, the green thing has entered my subconscious and I feel as though I've been brainwashed.

For example, when washing my hands I don't let the water run. I don't take long showers, and I no longer blast myself with hot water--I simply turn down the pressure, and when I take a crap, I no longer use wads of paper. InToilet paper fact my brainwashing might have been too effective. I no longer keep the television on as background noise and, subsequently, I no longer listen to planet green as background noise. In fact, I don't seem to watch much television at all. But enough of the green propaganda has altered my consciousness that probably watching planet green would simply be superfluous.

The downside of going green and learning to hug trees come these sometimes overwhelming feelings of guilt. When I go to wash my hands or take a shower or by bottles of water (which I do no longer), I get these pangs of guilt and I think about what I'm doing, and it's this feeling that I hate. But this green guilt has festered in my mind and cleaning it out is simply impractical. I am now full of thoughts about water conservation, power reduction, the fear of becoming a hippy, the fear that big brother green is watching me (and rummaging through my trash cans while I'm not around).

Still, some good things have come from all of this invasive brainwashing. I am spending more times outdoors and I am photographing the foliage and puffy clouds. I am wearing sneakers made completely of man-made materials--e.g. no animals harmed for the sake of my feet. But even here I wonder if my shoes are really green. What man-made meterials comprise my sneakers? Is the manufacturing of these materials and my shoes causing our planet to get warmer, do the byproducts pollute the ozone, increase the green house effect and cause people to become republicans? I hope not--see, the guilt is coming out.

There was a time when I was a hippy, sort of. I was a vegan (and will probably one day return to it), and at that time I was worried about our planet, but assumed that feeling bad about our hoofed cousins as they are mindlessly trucked to slaughter and thus eschewing such things a milk, eggs and all manner of animal flesh was doing enough of my part in helping to save our precious Gaia, mother of the earth, our tiny blue marble of a planet spinning endlessly in a vast sea of bitter cold darkness. But alas, I've learned that it just wasn't enough.

Oh, and one more thing. I decided to force my email signature to become green--I got little resistance. So here it is:




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