I hate extremes on both sides. To balance things out, here’s “The hypocricy of the Left by Ken Mondschein”…
I was walking down Grand Street in Chinatown earlier today when I started feeling a bit peckish. One of the great things about Chinatown is that you can get dinner really cheap. For instance, there are these old ladies with these steam carts who’ll sell you a whole styrofoam container full of noodles and sauce. Those noodles looked and smelled terrific, but then I saw they had little tiny shrimp in them, so I said, “no thanks” and got a sticky bean bun. You see, like a good little anti-establishment free-thinker, I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 14, owing to the fact that I think that factory farming is awful for the environment and the meat industry is just unsanitary and about a zillion other politically correct reasons.
It was only later that the irony hit me. This woman comes from China, a country with one of the lowest per-capita incomes on the planet, where millions died of starvation during the “Great Leap Forward,” to sell me noodles on the street for a buck a pop, and I don’t want them because I don’t eat shrimp? There are kids in Haiti with bloated bellies from lack of protein who would kill for the opportunity to eat noodles with shrimp–I know, I’ve seen them. And here I am, who, though I make relatively little money, can eat meat every day if I want to, and I say “no, thanks?” Where the f*** do I get off?
Saving the world is a rich person’s hypocrisy. Only here in America, in the wealthiest, most powerful civilization known to history, can people actually pay extra for “organic” foods and peasant-style whole-grain bread. Many of us do this because we’re afraid of dying from the diseases you get from eating too much–something that previously only happened to extremely lucky royalty. Hell, we entire industries devoted to cramming the food down our throats. They have to PERSUADE us to eat more. Most people would kill for such plenty. And then .01% percent of the population decides that they feel guilty about being so f***ing rich and decides to carry its own re-usuable grocery bags to the store. Cry me a river.
Meanwhile, in other places, people are struggling just to survive. The Amazon rain forest isn’t being cut down to be pulped into copier paper for the Xerox machines of American industry: It’s being cut down so subsistence farmers have enough land to grow food to live. Try explaining “biodiversity” to Paolo to Brazilian dirt-farmer, who has a wife and six kids to feed because he doesn’t know sh*t about birth control. Or rmaybe you’d just like to fly him a box of non-biodegradable Trojans so his wife doesn’t pop out a seventh–but then, Paolo might just give the rubbers to the kids to play with, because, you see, he can’t read the instructions on the box, either.
But do we go down to Brazil and help this guy? sh*t no–but we’ll buy some “authentic Brazillian handcrafts” made in a sweatshop in Rio and then feel smug about our multiculturalist leanings when we show it to our white honky friends when they come over for a glass of merlot. Heck, in the name of diversity, we’ll gladly pay through the nose at any trendy ethnic restaurant under the sun and eat any swill they give us–just so long as said ethnic restaurant has a vegetarian option on the menu. Meanwhile, the chef in the back is thinking about how his grandmother used to go without dinner so that he could eat as he makes your all-soy-protein version of his national delicacy. Only the rich have the power to twist someone else’s culture to their needs. We’re like Marie Antoinette and her court at Versailles pretending to be peasants for kicks. (Marie actually had a model peasant village made, and she and her friends pretended to be rural milkmaids and shepherds. Truly, she deserved to be executed.)
Ask yourself: Am we all into macrobiotics and yoga and meditation and all that sh*t because it makes us more evolved as people, or because it suits our idea of the way we ought to be? We are entirely products of our culture, and our culture tell us that to be “good” people, we have to consume organic vegetables and say “om.” Our personalities are more plastic than we feel comfortable admitting. Patty Hearst was a spoiled little rich girl until she met the Symbionese Liberation Army. Then she became a revolutionary. A hundred years ago, I’d have liked meat just fine and gone to synagogue with the rest of the Jews. Now, I’m trying to relive some ad guy’s idea of what the ’60s were. No one, in the history of mankind, has ever really been an individual.
“But wait!” you cry. “What about our precious natural resources! They won’t last forever! We have to conserve them!” Well, I hate to tell you: Humans have always done things this way. It’s the way we are. about 12,000 years ago, giant sloths and flightless birds and all sorts of crazy f***ing enormous animals lived all over the world. The fossil record on every continent tells the same story: People moved into the neighborhood. The giant critters died. We’re just animals, and, just like other animals, we use the resources around us to survive. The joke that nature’s played on us is that we’re the only ones who feel guilty about being at the top of the food chain. Maybe we’re a failed experiment, like the dinosaurs. Or, maybe, as George Carlin once pointed out, the Earth wants all those plastic bags we’re so good at making for some reason.
Liberalism is a rich person’s luxury. The poor aren’t picky about what they get. Middle-class people in this country live better than Roman Emperors. We ought to be thankful for the fact that, by pure accident, we’re living in one of the brief cease-fires in the long war of survival. Everyone else sure doesn’t seem to mind, and they sure as hell aren’t going to get off their fat asses and give up their Wonder Bread and SUVs.
In the end, the most ecologically correct thing we can do is kill ourselves. That way, we not only consume less resources, we become resources ourselves. After all, we’re all going to die sooner or later, and it’s not like anything we’ve done in our little cubicle mazes is going to matter in 10, 50, or 100 years.
Hooray for becoming fertilizer as a career decision!