The Last Straw

Pete Thompson, Copy EditorLately I’ve been losing my mind. Over-consumption is being thrown in my face everywhere I turn, and it has subsequently come to consume me. I feel like every time I waste something these days, at least a little part of me dies…kind of like the way you kill a kitten every time you masturbate.

There are multiple causes of this fine frenzy I’ve gotten into, but it all began with a summer obsession with Hunter S. Thompson’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” I unfortunately found that the American Dream was dead and it tore my world apart; it was an end to being blissfully ignorant. I even went as far as reenacting the adventure with my friend, making our way to Mariaville, N.Y. for Camp Bisco in our own version of the Great Red Shark, which came in the form of a massive, blood red Ford F150 with a fully red interior. Strangely ironic, someone there also gave me the last bracelet he made, which happened to have what color beads? Red, white and blue. It all made sense.

After I got home and back into the real world, I realized it’s not lived in that constant state of euphoria. I came to be a lot more carefree, but one thing kept eating at my mind: those damn, dirty consumers. My online class continued, and it did nothing but inform me of the well-practiced art of teaching of careers and consumption, further freaking me out. The one thing I’d have to say I appreciated the most about Soc & Phil online was that it opened my eyes to the wonder that is the video, “The Story of Stuff.” Watch it now. Your life will change; it sparked a resentment of inaction within me, and now I’m forever damned to notice every wasteful action, and brainstorm ways around them.

My first step is eliminating straws. They’re stupid and pointless; I don’t care if they give you more of a buzz or you’re scared your face will fall off from using a restaurant’s glass. I work as a dishwasher and rest assured, I put my heart and soul into every piece put in the bus buckets. I fail to notice the necessity, unless (as I’ve been informed is sometimes the case) we’re talking about crazy straws being used to correct speech problems. I’m all about them in that context, and they’re reusable anyway. Until we can come to terms in living without the comfort of straws, we are hopeless.

I’m not hoping for extreme change, but maybe just a little increased awareness from both individuals and institutions. Do we really need a receipt for everything when it’s just going in the garbage within a millisecond? Why continue buying water bottles when you can get it for free without wasting the plastic? There are some things I simply do not understand.

I’ll be honest though, I was at my first student senate meeting this week and it was kind of cool to hear that you can bring Tupperware or something to the Student Union food courts so they’ll fill those instead of Styrofoam and there are hopes to set some benefit for doing so.

I’m well aware that everyone’s just doing their thing, going through the motions, but it’s weird to think that an immensely wasteful lifestyle can be a content one. Fuck producing for a consumer culture and fuck packaging. They do nothing but further load the landfills. At this point I probably sound crazy…watch the video; you’ll understand.

If all else fails, I guess we’ll just have to grab our monkey wrenches and kill all over-consumers…not really though.