I AM GREEN; I was green before you were green. I’m not as green as Ed Begley but still I’m green. I’m so green that I don’t even think about being green anymore; it’s innate. But I’ll think about it now so that I can tell you how green I am.
Of course I drive a Prius; we have one car, and it’s a Prius. If I need to go grocery shopping on a day when I don’t have the car, I walk. Yesterday I walked five blocks to the grocery store and walked back with two bags of groceries. The bags were not paper and they were not plastic; they were made of fabric and they were reusable; they were green.
I wear sandals, and I have worn the same sandals for five years. Wearing sandals doesn’t make me green but wearing the same pair of sandals for five years does. I wear tee-shirts and they too are very old. I have short-sleeve tees and long-sleeve tees. I wear walking shorts in the summer and sweats in the winter, and they are old; I wear all my clothes until they fall apart because it's good for the environment. I don’t shop unnecessarily. The manufacture and transportation of merely decorative clothing is bad for the environment; fossil fuel is wasted. I am not a peacock in my dress; I am very plain, and I am very green.
Yesterday on my way back from the grocery store I bought three more compact fluorescent light bulbs, CFLs. We use only compact fluorescents in our apartment and notice please that I said apartment. Living in an apartment is very green. Common walls, common facilities, an economical use of space, no lawn. Living simply so that others can simply live. I am very green.
So that’s the way I am. I do what I can, but there is only so much that one green person can do. And, yes, there are days when I wonder if I, even in my extreme greenness, am doing any good. For the planet. What else can be done? I think. The polar bears, the birds. A tanker hits a bridge, an oil spill, the birds. So I think and I think. It’s us; it’s people.Too damn many people, our excessive needs, our absurd wants. What can be done?
And it comes to me, it’s babies, of course. Babies become people and we have too many people. And so I’ve been thinking about all the babies we keep having, all the cute babies, and all babies are of course very cute. Not all the time maybe but most of the time and people of child-bearing age who don’t have babies on seeing a cute baby will say, “I want one of those. Look at that cute baby; let’s get one of those.”
So I began to think of how we can make babies less cute. Not in any kind of harmful way of course. I mean there must be young people of child-bearing age who have had babies and have then become environmentalists out of wanting a better world for their babies. But these young parents then realize that it’s babies themselves—their over-abundance—that are our most pressing environmental problem. Because babies become people. So how do we make babies less cute so that there will be fewer of them? And I wondered if young environmentalist parents might be willing to make their own children less cute in order to help the planet.
And I had these thoughts.
I think first we should do away with cute baby clothes; that’s obvious. No cute little hats, baseball caps or little overalls or those bow things for girl-baby heads. Little decorative strap-things with bows. That would be the first step. No cute baby clothes.
And I think that it would be helpful to cover the baby’s face in some way so that it doesn’t look so cute all the time with its little cute face, a little disguise maybe. Maybe those big black eyeglasses with the big nose. Or I was thinking about a little Hitler moustache and little painted-on thick eyebrows, nothing toxic of course.
And to make the point about babies growing up to become people, what about making the baby look like an adult while still there in the stroller or crib? Not a cute miniature yuppie adult with Jimmy Choo booties or a little hockey jersey but an adult with a job, which as we know is what will happen to that baby all grown up. That would take the cute off baby real fast. Put a little hardhat on the baby, give it a little prosthetic beer gut, use makeup and put circles under its eyes to simulate stress and lack of sleep. And let’s come up with some slogans. “Cute babies become ugly people.” “Cute babies can destroy the planet.” With some help I can think of some really good slogans, put them on bumper stickers.
But is that enough? all that might not be enough. We've been doing this baby thing for a long time. So with that realization I became even more serious about all this and recognized that we must just go ahead and think of how to prevent babies in the first place, or really cut back on their production. And not with standard prophylactics or the pill because that still allows The Baby Idea to remain the focus of our concern and that’s what we want to change because we don't need any more babies.
And then I had an epiphany, more powerful than any of my other epiphanies: we need to alter the purpose of the sex drive itself. If we don't need more babies, if babies are destroying the planet, isn’t it time that sex evolved? How could we handle sex in a way that would allow it to become just fun— non-procreative and fun? And the answer of course is pornography or the acceptance of pornography I should say because pornography has been around for a long, long time. It’s time to make pornography and self-abuse fully respectable, even commendable. “Spill
your seed; the planet will be freed.” “Too many babies being born: up with porn.” Something like that. I know I could use some help with these slogans, but it’s a start. And what about rallies in giant stadiums where self-abuse is honored with giant concerts and rock stars, like Bono and Madonna but younger? Affirmations and demonstrations, in the how-to sense, the USC marching band doing masturbatory formations. Orgasmic fireworks. We need to get creative and work together on this; I can’t do it alone, in a manner of speaking. Say, what about “Do it alone” as a slogan? Good, very good.
Finally, when you think about all of this doesn't it seem rather obvious and inevitable in an evolutionary sense? As a species I believe that we are collectively beginning to recognize the plague that people have become. Yes, what if pornography and self-abuse are really evoluionary choices, survival choices? A way to limit our numbers. Natural selection doing its work. Our coming to realize that too many babies make for too many people, ravenous people, eating the planet, running into things, killing birds.
I'm very serious about all this and that's because I am green. No, I am deep green and I just thought of another slogan, how's this?
“Remember, babies cause people.”
16 November 2007