‘Tis the season to remember that most of the world is not Zero/Low Wasters. ‘Tis the season to remember that most of the world does not watch their plastic consumption. We are in the midst of the Christmas season that starts sometime before Halloween, and ends sometime after New Years Day.
There are magical local groups on Facebook where you give and receive gifts from your neighbors. There is absolutely no selling or money changing hands. It’s a hyper-local gift economy, and it’s helping to divert waste from landfills and promote re-use.
“Let them eat cake” is the most entitled line ever spoken in human history. Jean Jacque Rousseau wrote this line in his autobiography, stating an out-of-touch princess said this during a famine. He was actually referring to a Spanish Princess, but the angry French peasants in the late 18th century decided it was their Queen Marie Antoinette who said this. The reason that the french public so easily believed anything negative about Marie Antoinette was because they were growing tired of her and King Louis XVI’s lavish spending. The problem was greater than just the monarchy. All of the French aristocrats paid no taxes, yet had immense power and wealth, while the poor continued to get poorer. This lead to the French Revolution, which at its core is a story of the poor trying to equalize power. It was a failure in some ways, as it eventually replaced the monarchy with another authoritarian ruler, Napoleon. Still, the French Revolution stirred up ideas and showed that the people will try to fight back if the rich continue to act too entitled.
March For Our Lives, the protest for common sense gun control, took place 5 weeks after the mass shooting that happened in Parkland, Florida, was one of the largest protests in American History, turning out 1.2 million people in 880 different cities across the United States. People were incensed, moved, and demanded change. I see this same anger as, yet again, we have two mass shootings back-to-back, in Dayton and El Paso. It seems like mass shootings have become a bi-monthly event in the United States.
Those of us of a certain age remember this catchphrase from the late 90s and early aughts. It was from a popular infomercial for a home rotisserie machine which let you slow roast just about anything you could stuff in it. You could just “Set it and forget it!” until your slab of meat was cooked through hours later.
In sixth grade my Social Studies teacher told us to look around the classroom. He then said 50% of your classmates are predicted to contract AIDS. I was mortified. I thought to myself “I am never going to have sex”. My teacher was not totally fear mongering as these were close to the actual projections at the time. If you followed the AIDS epidemic, you can see where they came to this conclusion. In 1920 it was first recorded only in the African nation of Congo, but by 1970 every single continent had cases of AIDS and kept growing by large numbers. Luckily the worst predictions regarding the AIDS epidemic in the United States never manifested. In 1995 40,000 deaths were AIDS/HIV related, but that dropped sharply to 10,000 AIDS/HIV by 2013. The same study found that even the African continent was starting to see a decline. The new prediction is that AIDS/HIV will see an even larger decline.