The Disposable Culture


Anyone who reads my blog with any consistence knows two things about me. I try to say positive in my post and I keep away from political content. Well today I break both of these self-imposed laws. Today I’m going talk about a culture of the throwaway that seems to have this nation is a vice grip. So no sweet, perky ‘isums’ about life and puffy white clouds, no today it’s all about the fact that if you don’t measure up you get thrown on the scrap heap.

It all started last Wednesday when I put some excellent left over veal parm’ in my microwave and hit the start button. Nothing happened. The microwave was broken, on the fritz, kaput! I went and told my wahine what was wrong and asked here to call a repairman out to fix it. I mean after all I had to get back to my tiki’s. A few days passed and we had an appointment for the repairman to come out and fix the microwave. Great I thought microwave popcorn soon!

But no brah, this weekend my wahine, she wants a NEW microwave. She starts talkin’ ‘bout, “We put a lot of money in to fixin’ the old microwave and it break again. The we have to buy a new one anyway.” How can you argue with that kind of logic!

I say fix the old one. Less mess, less to throw away, less money to spend. But no she only wants a new one. And besides, here papa says we get a new one. Well!! If here papa says we get a new one then we get a new one!

Now here’s my gripe. We could have fixed the old microwave for less money than it cost to buy new one. Except the new one was, well, NEW. So like good little consumes we threw out the old one and bought a new one. We consumed. We did exactly what we have been conditioned to do, get rid of anything that doesn’t work properly and replace it with a new one. That is what we are taught to do from the very first moment we can understand and retain a complete sentence.

Now some of you may not see anything wrong with this. You may say my wahine did the right thing and bought a new microwave. You may think like she thinks that the new one will last longer. And that works just fine, if we live in an inexhaustible supply of natural resources from which to manufacture an endless supply of consumable products. However we don’t.

We face ever-tightening energy resources along with an ever-exploding pollution problem. We can no longer afford to simply throwaway things that don’t fit perfectly into our perceived notion of an ideal. We are consuming our selves into oblivion! We are buying and throwing away our future, and our children’s future, on an unprecedented scale. Natural resources are being depleted as manufacturing pollution skyrockets and landfills are ever expanding. In fact many cities across the nation are struggling with finding places to put our throwaways. This is just not healthy, physically or mentally.

And we just don’t throw away things. The disposable culture has tainted how we value life in general. Today there are record numbers of pets being destroyed in America. As a matter of fact the US leads the world in domesticated animal unitization. The animal shelters across America are full of discarded birthday and Christmas gifts. Dogs and cats, pigs and rats, that are purchased on a whim, and giving to a child for companionship from absentee parents. These helpless animals are winding up by the thousands in holding pens for the veterinarian’s gas chamber.

And it doesn’t stop with animals. We are now beginning to see the emergence of the disposable human. You don’t have to look to far to see examples of this on every newspaper and in every television news report. You see this disposable culture of death beginning to bear fruit with the current court battles over Terri Schiavo. Unfortunately for Terri she no longer fits the mold of a “socially contributing person”. She is now “damaged goods” and therefore should be disposed of.

How has a society sunken so low that it will turn on itself and destroy the very weakest of its members? The Terri Schiavo case perfectly illustrates the ultimate manifestation of the disposable culture.

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