Thursday, August 4, 2011

Climate and Psychology

It's very green where I live: there's a lot of rain in the summer, and the leaves on the trees and shrubs grow in very thick and deep green. And there are an awful lot of trees and shrubs. and many people let their lawns grow kind of long before they mow them. Some people around here don't mow their grass at all, not because they're distracted or disturbed, but in order intentionally to add to the already-abundant plant life, pumping out all that oxygen for us.

Politically it's very green around here too: many of the cars are Priuses or other hybrids. Many people don't drive at all or walk or run or bicycle a significant part of the time. The city buses run on bio-diesel. The city collects recyclables along with the trash every week. Until recently they provided different-colored bins for different kinds of recyclables: paper and cardboard, plastic, glass, etc. Then they replaced all of those with one recyclable bin. I was confused, I called the city and asked but what about the sorting? Should we put different categories of stuff in separate bags inside the bins or what? They said: no, just throw it all in there, throw it all in together in your new recyclables bin. Our new recyclables collection trucks sort it all automatically.

Boy hoydy.

When I moved here and saw all the Priuses -- they're the top-selling hybrid vehicle here as elsewhere, and the only ones I can readily identify as hybrid -- my only thought was that it was great. That if more place were like this we humans would have a better chance of not killing ourselves.

I recently saw the movie The Other Guys,and although I liked it, it clued me in to what some other people think of Priuses, and it was harsh. Will Ferrell plays an NYPD detective who happens to drive a Prius. Mark Wahlberg's character, Ferrell's character's partner, in the passanger seat of the Prius, remarks, "Wow, I actually feel like I'm riding in a vagina." Other detectives ask whether the car came with a dental dam, and so forth.

Wow. Excuse us for riling up your subconscious sexual insecurities by trying to save your lives, guys. Excuse us for trying to save you and the other hairless apes from yourselves.

All that lush plant life around here, pumping out all that oxygen -- which came first, the abundant plant life or the green focus in local politics? Does the extra oxygen help our brains function better? Like the nasty little Republican kid in Everyone Says I Love Youwho, it turned out, was only Republican because a blood vessel in his brain was obstructed, and once normal blood flow to his brain was surgically restored, he became a healthy liberal Democrat like the rest of his family?

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