Trending Now — AquaNots

waterThe question is, just who are these so-called AquaNots?  Apparently, AquaNots (media name: not mine) are people who refuse to use water in any form.  They believe that human consumption of water is not only killing our planet’s fish habitat, but, if left unchecked, will eventually destroy the Earth’s entire ecosystem.  Sounds legit.  However, based on the information I can find (which isn’t a lot) their practices including not washing their clothes, their dishes, their hair or themselves, not using flush toilets (according to their information sheet, American toilets alone consume 23 billion litres of water every day) not cooking with water, not using water-based products and, in some radical cases, not even drinking water.  Wow!  It sounds  pretty harsh to me, but before we rush to pass judgement, let’s see what the AquaNots have to say for themselves.

“We totally reject the accusation that we are extremist.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.  Our planet is in crisis, and if people are too stupid to understand that this is the only solution, then they need to be re-educated.

“We want to effect lifestyle change.  We need to end our dependency on the hydro-industrial complex.  Do you know the flush toilet is less than 200 years old?  Obviously, for the vast majority of human existence, people merely squatted in the woods.  We need to bring that natural experience into the 21st century and the urban environment.

“Fashions change so quickly these days it doesn’t make any sense to actually wash your clothes.  We just give our dirty ones to poor people and buy the newest, latest look.  This way, we’re always in style.”

“Eight glasses a day?  I’m laughin’.  People in desert countries don’t drink eight glasses of water a day.  They don’t have any water at all, and they’re always runnin’ around fightin’ and blowin’ shit up.  I seen them on TV all the time, and I’ve never seen them drinkin’ water.”

“It’s all about raising awareness.  An international Aquagarchy controls most of the world’s water, and their corporate profits are fueled by constant in-your-face advertising.  Look around!  Soap, soup, shampoo, tea, coffee, wine, organic gardening, outdoor recreation — I could go on and on — and their subliminal message is always “Use water.”

“Washing dishes is no problem for us.  Normally, we eat fast food and simply throw the wrappers away.  Of course, in the summer, we barbeque a lot and use paper plates.”

“We are definitely tolerant of other points of view, but we refuse to allow flushers and bathers to spread disingenuous information.  They clearly hate our planet and we must stand, as a group, to stop this kind of hate speech.

“We are a growing grassroots organization.  Yes, right now, our membership is mostly from private schools and universities, but we have followers –of all ages — on four continents, and we’re reaching out to get our message to people of less privileged economic backgrounds.”

“Our community has always faced discrimination.  Many of our followers have lost their jobs because of coworkers’ complaints about personal hygiene. We are all working very hard for the day when Mother Nature’s perfume will be accepted in the workplace.”

There you have it.  Make up your own mind.

* Disclaimer
It’s a sad commentary on our times that I have to even write this, but … so be it.
This is a satire.  It is meant to lampoon how genuinely good ideas get hijacked by idiots.  The AquaNots do not exist, and any relationship between them and any real activist group is purely coincidental.

There’s Gold In Them Thar Phobias

protestIn the 21st century, grievance is a growth industry — worth billions — and activists are the new entrepreneurs.  All hail the post-industrial economy!  However, milking White Privilege has become such a cash cow that’s it’s getting very crowded at the high end of the social justice and awareness trough.  To put it bluntly, there are only so many dollars Western society is willing to pay to ease its liberal guilt.  So in order to survive, activists are beginning to specialize.

For example, generic “anti-discrimination” branding simply doesn’t work anymore.  It’s too vague.  It’s got too many syllables, too many letters, too much going on, too many things to think about.  It just isn’t sexy.  It smells like pro bono law students and low-rent housing.  Sting and Susan Sarandon are never going to show up to raise awareness (read: money) for “anti-discrimination.”  However, rebrand it as, say, Anti-Islamophobia  — and now you’ve got something a creative activist can sink his (or her) fangs into.

First of all, adding somebody else’s religion to your cause is always a good idea* because everybody knows that only fascists and assholes are against freedom of religion.  So not only do you prove you stand for tolerance and diversity, you’ve also designated your opponents fascists and assholes.  Clearly, a twofer.
*except Christianity — Social Justice Warriors hate Christianity the way Satan hates the wafer.

Two, ya got the whole “phobia” thing going on.  We’ve been programmed from childhood to distrust phobias.  They are, after all, an irrational fear of things like spiders, #13, closed spaces, etc., etc. and people spend years in therapy, trying to get rid of them.  Thus, in one fell swoop, you’ve  declared that anyone who disagrees with you has a serious psychological disorder.  They’re not just voicing a different opinion — they’re sick.

But, I’ve saved the very best for last:

Ya want sexy?  Nothing feeds middle class imaginations like the tale of the helpless victim being rescued by the powerful hero.  This is the stuff Scheherazade and Disney built their careers on: the psychological territory that bodice ripper novels and Michael Moore documentaries are made of — and it runs deep, deep, deep in our subconscious.  So if you want to get into the worthy cause business, the formula is simple: identify a metaphorical damsel in distress, market a rescue mission and people will pay you big bucks for the privilege of being part of it.  Why?  Because, stereotypical or not, The Rescue is a very, very powerful sexual fantasy (on all sides of the gender equation) and people, especially here in the 21st century, desperately want to feel sexy.

The Scariest Thing in the West

scared24As I wrote on Monday, one of the things that scares the hell out of me is the current crop of high-powered maniacs, prancing around the planet, trigger fingers dangerously close to (and I know these words have been overused) Weapons of Mass Destruction.  You can read about it here.  However, as much as this makes me want to crawl back to bed, assume the fetal position and turn the electric blanket up to 9, there’s something that scares me even more.   Now, honestly, I don’t wander around all day in my pajamas, chewing my fingernails and sipping Shmirnoffs, but when I do stop and think about it I wish I did.

It’s becoming increasingly apparent that the people in my society who should be outraged at the likes of Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong-un, Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Bashar Al-Assad  and all the various other nutbars out there, don’t give a damn.  The very folks who have taken it upon themselves to try and win friends and influence people, raise awareness, make a difference or whatever other euphemism we hold dear for acute activism, could not care less.  This scares the bejesus out of me because it indicates that my society’s moral compass is so out of whack it’s now useless.  To all intents and purposes we have abandoned any moral direction and are now merely winging it, in a shrug-your-shoulders hope that something eventually sticks.  We are rapidly becoming the Seinfeld Show of history, with George and Kramer leading the charge.  Confused?  Of course you are.  From my point of view, our whole society is.  But you’re not specifically to blame.  Let me explain.

Who, on this earth should be absolutely livid with rage over what’s been scared23happening in Iran and the rest of the Middle East for the past few decades?  One guess – women.  I don’t even have to go into the gory details; the beatings, stonings, shootings etc., are all clear and common knowledge.  Even as the men of the region decry the decadence of the West, they make no secret of legally chaining their (I used that adjective on purpose) women to institutionalized domestic violence.  Frankly, to be considered a second-class citizen would be a step up for women in that part of the world, since they’re not actually considered citizens in the first place.  In the face of this, every Women’s Rights, Gender Equality, Anti-discrimination and Feminist group from the Vistula River to Venice Beach, California (and all points in between) should be in the streets right now, demanding action.  Every foreign minister, trade secretary and business leader should be buried in emails.  Every company who does business with these repressive regimes should be boycotted.   And no woman who enjoys sitting alone in a cafe, driving a car, feeling the breeze in her hair or who ever wanted her daughter to go to school should give these people the time of day.   In fact, when Mr. Ahmadinejad shows up in New York City to speak to the world at the United Nations, every woman within a stone’s throw (yes, that’s an allusion) should line the streets of his motorcade route, shoulder to shoulder, and give him the finger.

And who should be right behind them?   The Gay, Lesbian and Transgender lobby!  And who should be right behind them?  University students!  And there are plenty more; activists against poverty, hunger and oppression should all be on the front line, but in reality, they’re nowhere to be seen.

This isn’t rocket surgery, folks.  Even as North Korea is spending billions on nuclear weapons and a viable delivery system, their people are starving.  Yet I have never seen one protest, one demonstration or even one person with a sign creating “awareness” of the situation in North Korea.

Furthermore, Gay people are routinely murdered in places like Iran (which, BTW, officially doesn’t have any gay people) yet go to any Gay Pride Parade (I’ve been to more than one) in any city in North America, and you won’t see one person protesting that godawful situation.  Apparently, the real obstacle to gay equality is the weirdo opinions of some guy who owns a bunch of chicken restaurants.  (I wish sarcasm had its own font.)  I could go on and on, and I’m not going to even touch where the oh-so-political university students stand these days, but does Israeli Apartheid mean anything to you?  (Or anybody else, beyond the clever marketing department who that it up?)

scared22Our society has a very well-organized and powerful Activist industry.  It throws its weight against some serious problems and does a lot of good work.  However, its priorities suck.  Chasing chimeras of oppression in a society as benign as ours, while neglecting even to notice the true nature of repression in the wider world, is a scary indictment of all of us.  It frightens me that we are now so insulated and isolated from reality that every harsh word or social faux pas demands a media or legal response; yet, when young girls are shot on their way to school, we answer by clicking an icon on Facebook.  Something’s wrong here.  It literally scares the hell out of me that this huge apparatus we’ve created for activism, advocacy and awareness has become so morally spongy that they only fight battles they’ve already won.