Monday, March 28, 2005
"You're not an artist if you don't piss people off." — Spike Lee
And this long quote from the liner notes of Moby's 1995 album, Everything is Wrong:
By "everything is wrong" I mean EVERYTHING. I look around me — I'm typing on a plastic and metal and glass computer perched on a desk made from cut-down trees and tpxic paint. I sit in a building made of wood and bricks that were taken from the earth on a street made of poisonous asphalt that was laid over an ecosystem that had thrived for hundreds of thousands of years. I'm clothed in cotton that was saturated in pesticides while it grew and treated and dyed with toxic chemicals while it was being processed. All my possessions were made hundreds or thousands of miles away and shipped in styrofoam and plastic wrap via gas-burning engines and destructive roads and airways to me. My food, although organically grown and completely vegan, is shipped from where it was grown to my local store and is often packaged in paper, plastic, metal, and toxic inks. I know tons of people who eat meat, smoke cigarettes, drive cars, use drugs, etc., even though they know that these things will ultimately hurt the quality (and length) of their lives. I live in an apartment building where no-one is on a first-name basis. I know more about idiot actors in Hollywood whom I've never met than I do about the woman who lives next door to me (and who is probably more interesting). While walking to work I inhale toxic exhaust from cars sitting in traffic.
To make sure that eating three cans of oven cleaner will make you sick, or to make sure that pouring nail polish remover into your eyes will hurt you, we torture mice, rabbits, dogs, cats, etc. We use toxic chlorine bleach to keep our underpants white. We cut down the rainforests to drill for oil so that we can drive to the video store. Do you see what I mean? Everything really is wrong. Even the back-to-nature people still drive cars and use products made from materials ripped out of the Earth. People struggle all of their lives doing work that they hate just to be a functioning member of a system that is wasteful, destructive, and unhealthy.
What I advocate is this — a sensible, pragmatic, and non-destructive approach towards existence. We need to re-evaluate our practices. Just as it doesn't make sense to hire an elevator operator to run an automatic elevator, it doesn't make sense for billions of people to drive to work alone in their cars. It doesn't make sense to consume animal products. It doesn't make sense to use pesticides on agricultural products. It doesn't make sense to derive power from nuclear, coal, and petroleum when we have solar, hydro, and wind power. It doesn't make sense to maintain destructive systems just because people earn their livings from them. It doesn't make sense to pour billions of tons of toxic chemicals onto our lawns so that they'll look pretty and green. I could go on, but you're probably either bored or overwhelmed by now. I advocate change, massive, massive change.
Basically, we should stop doing those things that are destructive to the environment, other creatures, and ourselves, and figure out new ways of existing.