Day two of our epic odyssey kicked off with some walking and some bus riding.
We visited the Nature Museum, the Lincoln Park Zoo, and the Children’s Museum at Navy Pier. The Nature Museum was, by far, the best place for Alex to explore and learn and have fun.
It turns out that this was the very first time ever that Cassie had set foot on a metro bus. It was a very nice bus, it made an effort to tell us that it was a hybrid, clean air bus.
I suppose everyone has their first time at everything, but… well, I certainly felt my poor-as-dirt roots, you know? I’ve spent plenty of time getting to and from work by bus, not because I was interested in being green, but because I didn’t have the money for a damn car. Or insurance. Or gas.
Now begins a very personal rant on green energy in our personal lives. If you just want WoW stuffs, tune out and turn off. It’s cool. But I’m gonna get this off my chest and return to having fun.
I’m going to give you my take on the reality of being green, because over the course of the day it has been in my face everywhere. The buses we took, the Nature Museum “Green Room”, the Childrens Museum at Navy Pier, most places we passed through. Wherever I looked, there was something telling me that I was a burden on the ecosystem and implied that I should be ashamed for using water, gas, food, plastics or air. This annoyed me.
Being green is the luxury of people with enough money to have alternatives in their life. If you have a family, you need groceries to feed them, you don’t want a damn hybrid clean air bus to ride to and fro on their schedule, you want a minivan you can get the damn food in and get home. That’s luxury, right there, the ability to just get up, go and get what you need and get back without having to plan your entire day around how to get the groceries and bring them back to your house.
Anything that can reduce the amount of time you spend out of your life and your families’ lives going about the business of doing daily chores is precious. The time savings of the modern industrial age is supposed to be the miracle that lets us turn our attention to things other than working in our home gardens all day to keep our plots productive and abundant.
If you like gardening, more power to you. Trying to impose your love of gardening on other people in the name of being green is being a dick.
You can do things that reduce how much energy you use, of course. I am all in favor of many of them, because reducing the energy you use also corresponds to a direct savings in money you spend. Use less gas, buy less gas. I like that logic. Turn lights off, reduce energy bill. Sounds good. Use less water, reduce my water bill. Hey, I can follow that. I understand.
Having had parents that damn well couldn’t afford to pay the electric bill some months, or the water, or tried like hell to make arrangements for payments so the phone didn’t get cut off, or the gas… you know, so we could keep COOKING FOOD or take a bath? Yeah, I can grasp the concept of reducing energy use to save money.
What I strenuously object to is the concept that I, by existing, are by definition a burden on society, and should have to pay credits to earn the right to use energy. Kiss my big bear butt.
If you’d like to compare who has contributed to society as a whole, and who hasn’t, and determine who deserves to exist in that fashion, I’ll put my past up against people pointing fingers and telling others how they should live their lives any day of the week.
I start from the simple point of view that I will use what I have to that I can afford to provide myself and my family with a solid, dependable life, with as much free time as possible spent living it.
If you want me to take a bus, then have it stop at my front door and I’d better have room for plenty of groceries. Oh, and it should be available when I need it. You want me to drive a hybrid or an electric car, then it should be as cost effective as the car I’ve got now… and no, that doesn’t mean you jack the cost of the gas my car uses up so that in the long run it’s far more expensive than the initial outlay on your electric. If you use an electric car in your daily life, it must be nice never having to go more than 8 hours from home… ever. You know, before you have to let it recharge over night.
Something rich assholes seem to forget; most of us still need to get to and from our jobs. And some of us can be called in at a moments’ notice. We might not be able to leave our car plugged in over night.
You want to make decisions for your life, then go ahead. That’s being responsible. Be militant about what you do yourself for you and your family.
I draw the line at you or anyone else telling me what I should or should not do in the name of whatever cause you are fixated on. You are not being responsible FOR me, I’m taking care of that just fine, and again, kiss my ass for being arrogant enough to think you know how I should live my life better than I do.
I’m glad you’ve got the luxury and free time to think that your way is the right way for everyone else to live, but speaking just for me and the way I grew up…
I clawed my way to where I am now, and I damn well used precious little in the way of the worlds’ natural resources to do it. My goal in life has always been to provide a better way of life for MY children than I had growing up, so they could have abundance where I knew only scarcity.
I’ll be damned if you come along now while sipping your latte and driving your $40,000 electric yuppymobile and tell me I’m a burden on society and that I should stop my evil consuming ways.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to return to my vacation, where I am futilely trying to pretend for my son that there are not tens of thousands of people suffering and dying in Japan right now, while I’m tearing my guts out thinking of all the wonderful people I met in Japan during my time overseas who are living a true nightmare I can’t even begin to grasp.
Yes, I know my rant is at least partially fueled by my frustration and feelings of powerlessness over being able to do NOTHING about what’s going on in Japan. That’s fine. I still do feel this way about green bullshit, so why not just say it.