Of Plastic and Plasticity
Of Plastic and Plasticity
Peering out over open water: green wash,
No spot of black to mark a seal, nor sight
Of white to indicate ice upon which to strike,
The bear turns about, towards dry land,
And trundles away from the shore,
Following a novel scent, not so sure
To signify a meal, but more appealing
Than sterile saline. The stench of humans
Almost overpowers hunger, pull of putrefaction,
But cautiously the bear pads across scraped
Gravel and strands of soft stuff –not snow – and
Colourful lumps, shiny hard strips and bits.
A sharp set of claws upturns tins and other
Things the bear has never seen, and finds skin,
Bones and shreds of flesh of prey never tasted:
Not even raw; changed in a way it can’t fathom.
Other animals abound – gulls and foxes and
Neighbour bears. But she fights for her share
Of the spread-out spoils of some unknown
Carnage, scavenging scraps of flesh amid debris,
Some of which is stuck with string, some
Clinging to wrappers – has to be eaten also –
But are surely shed easily enough
As would be ingested seal skin and bone.
Some men with glasses from a far observe
The animal with consternation, as it with
Relish ingests the refuse: Earth’s greatest
Quadruped predator reduced to such. But
Others shrug at suggestions of contamination,
Considering the data and the sea state –
Since even artic snow and summer rain contain
The same chemicals as the landfill, and
The seals are a dish equally intoxicating
From fish swimming in poisoned brine.
What use, they wonder, a pristine scene
Without seals within reach of a beach,
Other than to produce a perfectly clean
Bear carcass: healthy except for hunger?
The bear, on the other hand, now on land,
Is pulled by the wind past the dump, to
More varied carrion. Carcasses lie in woods:
Caribou, moose, deer and musk oxen;
Moving, the quarry could become new prey
Replacing seals, if bears become plastic enough.
The pinipeds themselves, if they are to survive,
Shall someday have to haul up on a shore to pup;
Walrus, too, must beach for calves to breach.
Eventually, perhaps, an adaptation to such crap
From our waste, awash in any water, solid or not,
They encounter, can give a chance for all species
To scarcely subsist somehow in a new balance.
But such hopes fast melt in plasticity’s absence.
Not the most up-beat of poems, but in some way a tiny bit optimistic for the predator if not species of large mammal facing the most precarious future of us all….
A Darwin Award for Everyone in the Audience?
This image has been doing the rounds for a while.
I have saved it for a time when my mind is so fucking boggled that this is the only expression of it I can use.
I called the file ReEvolution, as in evolving again – if only we could do it twice. But like all things to do with evolution, if you fuck up you are fucked. Game over. Darwin awards – when someone takes their dumbness genes out of the population – are dished out left and right in our modern world. And yet, it looks like we might deserve our own collective Darwin award – like that time they put a mirror on the Time person of the year cover.
We are facing the sixth extinction. Racing Extinction is a new documentary about it that is as important as An Inconvenient Truth is. We’ve lost half of our wildlife already in 40 years and 50% of the species on the planet are expected to die out if we don’t turn around like the dude in the picture above.
If that many die out, our environment will “not be pleasant” (my quotatiosn: I can’t acutally imagine how horriblly bad it wil be). Ecosystems will collapse. It’s the big ones that die out first, so if you are wondering how life will be like with half the animals and plants you normally see, scratch out oak trees and deer and keep rats mice and dandelions (conflict alert – I love dandelions).
It’s like when the dinosaurs died out.
With a big fucking exception.
The dinosaurs were done in by some catastrophic event (possibly a huge meteor impact).
We’re doing it ourselves.
It’s like the dinosaurs died out because one group of about a thousand brontosaurus decided they wanted to control all the shit in the world, and in the process made the land uninhabitable for themselves and everything else.
And everyone else just stood around and let them do it.
Imagine how stupid that would be.
Now imagine what’s happening now. The world is being fucked over for the cash flow of a few thousand assholes who have more money than they can imagine – they own it, but they can’t get their own minds around it, just like I can’t really imagine what it would be like to sell the same number of books as Stephen King or JK Rowling. And they want more, will kill people to get more. Will kill entire species to get more. Will fuck up everything around them to get more.
People say the Dodo was dumb. Fuckers didn’t even run away from people, the myth is.
Perhaps there’s a bit of truth in that – since plenty of other species have no innate fear of humans.
However, the Dodo didn’t fucking understand that humans were a danger.
We have this glorified consciousness. We can anticipate the future, conceive of our own deaths, imagine an afterlife, and all that other good shit. But we can’t get out of our own fucking way. We’re just standing still, waiting for the metaphorical club to come down on our heads.
Even fucking hedgehogs have figured out that they need to move the fuck off the asphalt when they see a car coming.
We’re just curled up in a ball of shit TV and stupid sports (disclaimer alert – I like some sports, sometimes. I watch good TV).
Prominent scientists have publicly stated their worry that humanity might be destroyed by our own creations. They think we should be careful in developing Artificial Intelligence, because the computers might take over.
Sorry, but we’ve already made the entity that is right fucking now raining self-destruction down up on our heads. We’ve endowed them with human characteristics, given them rights and never bothered to give them responsibility – bar one: to make as much fucking money as possible, doing whatever the fuck they like as long as they can get away with it. And we’ve made them immortal. We call them corporations.
Yes, we have made corporations have all the power of a human, but they can’t get sent to prison when they break the law. They are disengaged from their owners, so that their owners don’t get sent down half the time when they purposefully, yes, fucking, on purpose, kill people – dozens or hundreds.
A guy with a remote controlled plane would be responsible if it crashed into one person. A dog owner has more responsibility over what is actually another real life-form, with self-determination.
Corporate CEOs only get richer as they leave one boardroom and waltze on to the next.
I’ve just read Russell Brand’s book, Revolution, which he slants towards Re-Love-ution. It’s a good read. Buy it. One of the things he talks about is bringing an end to corporations: they should be created with one goal and then closed once they’ve completed that function.
I agreed with that.
But that was before the latest glut of corporation atrocities that have been perpetrated came to light and just fucking boggled my mind …. Johnson and Johnson selling dodgy drugs to kids despite the FDA saying it was dangerous, Volkswagen just shitting on clean air laws (and the CEO claims he didn’t know and is not being investigated in Germany….) , Exxon knowing for decades that we were facing climate catastrophe but not giving a fuck, that prick of a hedgefund CEO price gouging AIDS patients.
Now I think its time we started fucking clamouring for the death penalty for these things.
Break the law? End of that company. CEO on trial. Minimum sentence: can never own or operate a company for the rest of his or her natural – go work for someone else who owns a company which acts a bit more responsibly.
People (usually pricks in political office) say we can’t just get rid of Volkswagen or some other big company (same old too big to fail bullshit). What about all the car factory workers?
Don’t believe that.
There is a market for cars. A bigger market for cars made responsibly than for cars made to break the law so they can pollute us. There will be places for those workers to go as other companies take up the slack in the market.
And in any case, the jobs they say might be lost are inconsequent compared to the lives that will be lost as a result of their activities.
It has literally come down to that.