You can turn yourself into an icon at Obamicon. What fun!
Not to be completely narcissistic but as I was listening to Obama's beautiful speech today I realized a tiny noble purpose in my life could be to be suburbia's (weak and whining) conscience.
All this talk of change and preserving a way of life. Forget about those lofty ideals of freedom, democracy, yada yada yada. Archaeologists centuries from now will discover as much about us by the garbage we left behind than our art, literature or what remains of our ideals. And it won't be pretty. So if the world wants real change, not just a bunch of rhetoric and wishful regression to some idealized 'good old days', then we'll have to change more radically than just being inspired by perfect lovely speeches. Sorry to be an inauguration party pooper. I'm ecstatic Obama is president, but the poor man has impossible expectations put upon him.
My first task as suburbia's good conscience is to make living here more sustainable. If I could build community veggie gardens, local markets with useful local artisan goods and wonderful walkable communities I would. The truth is I hang my hypocritical head in shame as I've let a lot of my good, green habits slide the last year and an half. I quit composting as my nemesis on the street, a rhinoceros disguised as a Labrador escapes from it's yard, tears open the bags , strewing potato peelings 100 metres in every direction. That beast really pisses me off. But too bad, I have no excuse not to compost so I went to City hall today to get my orange sticker to put on my bin to mark it as compost. They're all out and I'm on a waiting list for orange stickers. It took me until the end of the day to figure out I could go and BUY something orange sticker-like and put it on my bin. D'oh. I shall do that.
For serious inspiration on sustainable living you can turn to Colin Beavan and his blog No Impact Man. Beavan lives in New York City with his wife and daughter. For one year his family lived as carbon neutral as possible, even passing on the toilet paper (yeah, you heard right). The result is the documentary No Impact Man which just finished debuting at the Sundance Film Festival to standing ovations. I've been following this blog for a while so it's great to see the success of his family's effort and hopefully the film will get a sizable theatrical release. A recent post that had me thinking was posted by a guest blogger living in a village in Japan explaining how they don't heat their homes in winter but sleep and eat under a kotatsu - a table with an electric heater underneath. It reminds me if everyone lives by the same then it isn't considered a hardship. Suburbia is a cesspool of conformity and we're generally a species of followers, in spite of the fanatical individualism we've suffered from too much. Wouldn't it be nice for us to adopt uniform green technologies, that may be slightly less convenient, but become perfectly normal through habit and conformity? Maybe one day. For now, I know I need to work on my own change.
And since I don't want to part without a little art, take a look at this eye candy, origami and paper sculpture taken to new heights, amazing. I'm especially impressed lately as even basic origami is harder than it looks. It took me 3 freakin' days to figure out how to make this butterfly. Although I'm especially inept at these things.