Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sailing the Garbage

So, I'm calling my friend to see if she's okay after the trauma of losing her cat.  It feels like it's too late to call.  It's only 8:27pm.  Since when do we look at our clocks so closely?  Since we started using our phones instead of wind-up wrist watches, since we moved to nuclear time.

Who even wears a wrist watch any more?  Well, I followed a very funny post on Facebook the other day when a friend said she didn't know where to go to get the batteries replaced in her watch.  Mike had that same problem and since the watch never worked right after he had it done, he asked me to buy him a new one.

This pisses me off.  Manufacturers don't build things to be repaired any more.  Televisions don't have any visible screws.  Dishwasher salesmen tell you that your new dishwasher is guaranteed to fail within the next seven years and you should spend another $300 for the five-year service contract in case it explodes early.  They said that about our refrigerator too.  We bought a new espresso machine just like our old one and it isn't put together as carefully.  It leaks sometimes, so I don't believe it will last half as long as the last one did, which was almost twenty years. 

We can't get a stupid can opener that works at all.    Why the hell can't we get a can opener that opens my damn cans of garbanzo beans?  We've bought three of them in the past six months.  At this point, we have to struggle to make the one we have work.  Where the hell is my receipt for this thing?  I want to return it.  Why is all this stuff failing?

It's because manufacturers have colluded with each other to deny us the ability to shop for the highest quality that we can buy.  It just doesn't exist any more.  All of the dishwashers were made using the same cheap plastic parts.  What the hell?  Not even the most expensive one was worth spending the money on because it was built out of the same crappy parts. 

Stone age
Bronze age
Iron age
Plastic age

If our culture survives what we're doing to it now, it will be known as the age for which all future cultures paid the price.  Oh hell, it might just be known as the petroleum age.  Did you know that 4.6% of our petroleum goes toward making plastic parts?  And half of this crap will be floating in our oceans in about ten years.  The site where I read about this said that they can't even say how big the 'great Pacific garbage patch' is, possibly bigger than the state of Texas. 

So, imagine that you want to sail around the world in a sail boat.  It's a beautiful picture in your mind.  You imagine spending some time in the doldrums.  You figure you'll stay up for 72 hours straight at some point battling stormy seas.  You'll lie on your deck sometimes and soak in the sun.  Your distance vision will get more acute as you stare at the shifting line between ocean and sky.  You'll study the stars.

And you might spend a week traversing the Pacific garbage patch.  How does that fit into your vision of your expedition?  Did you plan on that?  Imagine going with your husband or wife.  Do you want to take a midnight swim in that? 

Well, let me know if you find my old dishwasher in there.  I'll come pick it up.

Thank you for listening, jules

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