It’s that magical time of the year… April 22nd! I suppose that quite a few of you suspected that I might make a point of writing something about this day. After all, it’s not every day that we can witness the greatest conspiracy of all time; the celebration of Lenin’s birthday under the sinister guise of caring for the planet you live on! For those of you with Brain Clouds, today is Earth Day.
I have mixed emotions about Earth Day and to express them I will channel my favorite jewish character of all time, Tevye.
One the one hand, I think that the fact that Earth Day is the single largest yearly secular celebration is inspiring and uplifting. It says something profound and hopeful that people do care about each other and the planet that they live on.
On the other hand, Earth Day encourages the rampant proliferation of Nature Winkies. What is a Nature Winkie? A Nature Winkie is someone who “loves nature” as if it were a singular thing that you can hug. These people have little/no knowledge or appreciation for the processes or intricacies of the systems they profess love for, but still feel free to pop off with advice, slogans, aphorisms, and ethical imperatives.
I have grown shy of calling myself an environmentalist because Nature Winkies use the same word for themselves and I’m tired of being held accountable for their idiocy. These people imagine that they are “helping” the planet by not bathing regularly or dancing in parks in their fresh-from-the-rainforest Birkenstocks to music only they can hear. I can’t even call them hippies because that would be implying that they have even a half-baked social or political agenda.
In the spirit of environmental education and Earth Day, here is a checklist to determine if you are a Nature Winkie:
1. You are a vegetarian because it is good for the environment… you only eat chicken and fish.
2. Consumerism is the death of the natural world, that’s why you still drive a 1963 Chevy and haven’t tuned it up… ever.
3. You buy coffee certified by the Rainforest Alliance from Starbucks… and use the disposable cups.
4. You think that dogs and cats are natural creatures and should be allowed to live in the wild as nature intended.
5. You think that granola is nature’s perfect food and you consume at least a cup of it every day.
6. You believe in keeping your body pure… that’s why you only smoke Natural American Spirits.
7. You have a favorite tree species for hugging.
If you answered “yes,” “that’s totally me,” or “Whoa, dude” to any of the above, then you are definitely a Nature Winkie. I’m sorry.
Perhaps I’m being overly critical of people with good intentions. After all, they are simply trying to help. On the other hand it is traditional to learn about a subject before you protest for or against it. (Cue Russian Dancers!)