These days it doesn’t take too much reading between the lines to figure out that the human experiment has gone very, very, very wrong. These three seemingly unrelated headlines from the Sunday New York Times seem to all but scream out “We’re doomed!”
Ah yes, welcome to the wild new world of “transportainment.” It is the logical manifestation of our autoAmerican obsession that we don’t even want to get out of our vehicles to party anymore. We must boogie on wheels or what is congestion for?
Which is not to say that we don’t have our standards.
Reports the New York Times: “Hell on Wheels, a company that deploys converted military cargo trucks, has strict rules: No music with explicit lyrics. No inflatable penises, an item that is popular with bachelorette parties. The last ride is done by 10:30 p.m.”
And why not? We’ve already got food trucks. Now it’s party wagons. Throw in some Motels-On-Wheels and the autoAmerican experience will be a 24-7 thing.
And then there was this:
Let’s face it, earthbound party wagons are so bourgeois. And really, Darling, what’s the point of being Super Rich if you have to breath the same air as the common people?
True, these first SpaceX passengers were more or less “everyday people.” But that was just for show. As the Times reported: “Orbital spaceflight is still far too expensive for anyone except the richest of the rich, but by giving a chance to people who represent the larger society, Mr. Isaacman said he hoped to inspire a future generation to dream bigger.”
Dreaming being free of course. Dollars to donuts there will be luxury resort hotels circling the Earth long before some latter day Kirk starts hauling migrant passengers in steerage.
And, Darling, the view up there will be so fab! All those little people on the ground driving around like ants cocooned in Detroit steel.
Which is not to say that we little people aren’t doing our best to consume, consume, consume so the super rich can orbit in style.
Back to the Times:
“Across Brazil, recycling plants stopped running for months. In Uganda, a junkyard is short on reusable plastics. And in Indonesia’s capital, disposable gloves and face shields are piling up at a river mouth.
“Surging consumption of plastics and packaging during the pandemic has produced mountains of waste. But because fears of Covid-19 have led to work stoppages at recycling facilities, some reusable material has been junked or burned instead.
“At the same time, high volumes of personal protective equipment have been misclassified as hazardous, solid waste experts say. That material often isn’t allowed into the normal trash, so a lot of it is dumped in burn pits or as litter.”
If all this sounds like an the beginning of an Anthropocene nightmare, please remember to look on the bright side.
One day the Super Rich will be able to gaze down from their orbital TaJ Mahals, sip their Astrotinis and exclaim “Look, Darling! There’s Mt. Plastique, and it stretches all the way from New York to Rio!” Truly an unnatural wonder of the Anthropocene world they left behind.
And as for we little people? Not to worry. It’s tons easier to burrow multi-laned car expressway tunnels through mountains of plastic waste than the old fashioned granite variety.
And, listen, as long as our supply of White Claw holds out, we will keep on truckin’.