FW: The Green Thing

Sent: 3/19/2011 9:30:40 A.M. Central Daylight Time
Subj: FW: The Green Thing

I can relate to this.
In line at the grocery store, I heard the cashier tell the older woman that plastic bags weren't  good for the environment.
The woman apologized to her and explained, "We didn't have the green thing back in my day. "
That's right, they didn't have the green thing in her day.
Back then, they returned their milk bottles , Coke bottles, and beer bottles to the store.
The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, using  the same bottles over and over.   So they really were recycled but they didn't have the green thing back her day.  
In her day, they  walked up stairs, because they didn't have an escalator  
in every store and office building.
They walked to the grocery store and didn't climb  into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two blocks.
Back then, they washed the baby's diapers because they didn't have the  
throw-away kind.
They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts but "wind and solar power " really did dry the clothes.
Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters,   not always brand-new clothing.
Back then, they had one TV, or radio, in the house not a TV in every   room.
And the TV had a  small screen the size of a pizza dish, not a   screen the size of the  state of Montana.
In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because they didn't have electric machines to do everything for you.  When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used wadded
up newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble  wrap.  
Back then, they didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut   the lawn.
They used a push mower that ran on human power. 
They exercised by working so they didn't need to go to a health club to run
on treadmills that operate on electricity.

They drank from a  fountain when they were thirsty, instead of using a
cup or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water.
They refilled pens with ink, instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

Back then, people took the streetcar and kids rode their  bikes to school  
or rode the school bus, instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service.
They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances.
And  they didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.  
But that old lady is right. They didn't have the green thing back in her day.


Anonymous said...

It's almost like industrialization and what's good for the bottom line has brought us back to the ways of old.

But try and sell them a reusable canvas bag and they'll pitch a bitch fit over "THEIR RIGHTS OBAMAUSLIM"

Anonymous said...

Golly, imagine that!

Once upon a time, people lived in walkable population-dense communities, took public transportation, rode bikes, used public drinking fountains, used way less energy, and re-used and repaired consumer goods instead of buying cheap throw-away stuff.

Sounds like Granny was a friggin' socialist!

gruaud said...

Oh, you can relate to this, can you?

Newsflash, conservatards:

There were progressives back in your so-called 'good old days', too. We go back a LONG ways and most of life's little perks you enjoy are because our side fought for them. Yet you guys spent decades belittlling our concerns about pollution as a result of corporate indifference and/or malfeasance.

If you really think looking out for the environment is ok, we need to see some action, not these smug little e-mail forwards.

Anonymous said...

Amazing that whoever wrote this could miss the point so incredibly. They didn't have "the green thing" because they didn't need "the green thing", you twit!

Of course, this is also wrong. Anyone currently alive has lived through an age where human activity has had a negative effect on the environment. Fossil fuels burned, forest leveled, mountains strip mined, waters poisoned, animals killed directly and indirectly, and human health suffering as a consequence. Even back during the Industrial Revolution pollution was a major issue which made cities ugly and unhealthy places to live.

So again, we have an email forward which is part bullshit nostalgia, part moralistic scolding, and part missing the point entirely.

Anonymous said...

"The green thing," eh?

ferschitz said...

WTF? I'm not really even "getting" the point of this drivel.

Just one thing, though. In waxing ever so lyrical about using water fountains, let me rush to remind everyone that back in granny's vaunted fabulisitic times, those water fountains were divided into: one for the whites, and, if lucky, maybe a tap around the back for blacks.

Yeah: good times! Especially when the wimminz also knew their "place" down on their knees scrubbing the floors by hands (and, er, perhaps other stuff), chopping wood to cook the food for the menz, and washing baby diapers by hand. It's really great to have a house-full of drying baby diapers in the middle of winter, too... confess to being old enough to remember what that was like.

What a stupidly foolish, tawdry and ridiculous RWF, which, per usual, makes *no sense.* duh

P.S. to all those "manly" rightwing real MEN out there, you can still buy push lawnmowers. I happen to have one, and use it all the time....

Anonymous said...

Re. fershitz & the water fountains:

Depends on what time you were talking about, and where. There were segregated fountains, mostly in the 50s, more so in the south.

In other times and places, water fountains have been a wonderful, eco-friendly public service that everyone was welcome to use. In some places (like NYC's Central Park), there were even fountains for dogs and horses.

While there is a lot of implicit racism in a lot of right wing forwards, it does not follow that every forward is implicitly racist.

Sometimes, a water-fountain reference is just a free public hydration reference.

ferschitz said...

So, alright: a water fountain reference may not be a racist dog whistle (albeit it could be), but I am pointing out the reality that existed in granny's time, which this weird piece of drivel - I still can't really figure out the point of it is - wishes to magically inflate as the "best of all times." The '50s are often portrayed by the rightwing as the "good old days" when everything was superbly fantastic, when, in fact, that's not necessarily so. Of course, if you were WHITE, it WAS "better" for you, and that's a FACT.

Don't like a little dose of reality about racism? Ok here's another dose of reality for ya (there's plenty of FACTS where I come from. I prefer not live in fictional fantasyland):

Back in granny's day, the upper tax bracket was 90%, so guess what??? There was *plenty more* money to spread around on nice infrastructure projects such as "free public hydration."

Today's upper tax bracket is a mere, piddling 35% for those earning approx $373k and up. Plus Hedgefunders who *earn* literally Billion$$ per year get to only count their *earnings* as Capital Gains, which are taxed at a mere 15%.

So, let's all just wax lyrical about the good days that granny grew up in... it's a super-duper fantastic fantasy to indulge ourselves in, whilst completely *ignoring* the FACTs and reality of our present times.

Not of "free public hydration" around for you anymore? Gee, I wonder why. The T-GOPer's have been brainwashed into believing the magical MYTH that any taxes ever for the upper 1% of our nation - who own over 40% of the wealth - is bad bad bad bad bad. And believe me, those insanely rich people don't need no stinkin' "free public hydration" infrastructure, and they don't give a flying sh*t if any more are ever built for the lower 99% serfs, nor do the wealthy care if the water coming out of those fountains that exist is clean and drinkable or not.

Enjoy that dose of FACTs?? Sit with you better than paying attention to racism, which did and does exist??

If you don't like those FACTs, I've got more to discuss. lemme know... cuz believe me, I can go on all day long with loads and loads of FACTS, which dispute this weird driveling fictional fairy tale about granny and her wonderful days of yore.

Anonymous said...

fershitz -

Personally, I think the reason you might be having trouble with "getting" this forward is because it confused the right-wingers who forwarded it in the first place. It's confusing because it's NOT REALLY ALL THAT RIGHT-WING!

The forward talks about a time when there WAS stuff like tax-payer funded public transit, public drinking fountains, and more recycling and less throw-away consumption. It doesn't actually get into why that was so - in fact, it sort of leaves the door open for that question.

Yes, it's nostalgic - but has it ever occurred to you that are some things about the past that are worth being nostalgic about? And that maybe, if you want to actually win the other side over, a better way to do so is by acknowledging that some of the things they "miss" about the past are in fact good things. (As opposed to shrieking "RACISM!!!!" just because somebody misses - what? Walking to the grocery store? Recycling bottles?) And that maybe if you took a different approach, people who really are just nostalgic for an old-fashioned sort of community might actually listen to you about how to get those good things back, via different public policies?

This thing is, just because there was racism and sexism in the past doesn't mean that EVERYTHING about the past was inherently BAD. And not every nostalgic forward about the "good old days" is about racism. The forward in question seems to be about a "simpler" time - you know, before public services were defunded, and before suburban isolation and rampant consumerism overtook the culture. (If anything, I'd guess that the "plastic bag" thing might have been tacked onto a non-political nostalgia piece. And if this were a real right-wing forward, don't you think they'd make some explicit link to how today's' loss of community and what-not is all the fault of [insert group of choice]?)

Rather than having a knee-jerk reaction to the forward ("OH MY GOD!!! It mentions PUBLIC WATER FOUNTAINS!!!! It's all about JIM CROW!!!!), maybe a more useful response is something like,

"Gee, you know, some things in the past were good! Sure was nice when zoning laws enabled people to walk to the grocery store, more people had access to public transit, people didn't have to work so hard to pay their bills, consumer good were built to be repaired, and we had nice public amenities like parks and water fountains! Do you know what sort of taxation/zoning/public policies made stuff like that possible?"

Also, has it never occurred to you that even people who might agree with you in principle, might still take issue with a ridiculous knee-jerk reaction that absolutely EVERYTHING is all about race, all of the time?

gruaud said...

I wax nostalgic about President F. D. Roosevelt.

Not perfect, but certainly great; and this quote always made me stand up and cheer:

"Competition has been shown to be useful up to a certain point and no further; but cooperation, which is the thing we must strive for today, begins where competition leaves off."

This is where our current, predatory system of Capitalism shits the bed. The ultimate goal of unrestrained, predatory capitalism is one man standing. Folks, there's a "one man standing" club for people hauling down 7-8 figures a year...

...and you ain't in it.

They may devour you last, but they'll still devour you.

ferschitz said...

Yeah yeah, so ok: it looks like I have a knee-jerk reaction re racism and sexism, but I invite you to skim through the archives here at this one little website (no offense to Dave who set it up; it's a great resource) that archives *some* of the rightwing forwards that are shipped out daily.

The bulk of them are nastily & in your face racist and sexist. In all sincerity, I do get the point you're making, Anon-poster, but yes, I am very very cynical - cynical from reading these RWFs daily, cynical from watching, really, ANY "mainstream" news outlet, much less FOX, cynical from the incessant bullying shrieking nastiness spewed forth by the T-GOPers (who are funded and managed by Elite David Koch), cynical from daily/hourly nasty racist/sexist harranguings of the likes of Rush & Glenn & Sean & Billo, etc.

And there is NO comparison to any/all of that on the left. Spare me from bringing up MSNBC, as if a few evening "nooz" programs are even comparable to the incessantly rightwing nastiness shilled out daily on a range of broadcasting stations (that's gone on for a couple of decades, now). Just no comparison, and I don't even see MSNBC as being particularly leftwing, frankly.

Then you (gently) chide me for not being "nicer" or "gentler" and more "accepting" of the "other side" and their wish to be "nostalgic"?? And just give them some sort of "pass" to dream on about a so-called "better" simpler time that was "so good"???

Well, frankly, I've tried the route of being nice, kind, gentle, while also being FACT-based, and it hasn't gotten very far. IMO most rightwingers live in a la-la fantasyland that's been designed to be that way by the PTB who developed the Southern Strategy (which is totally based on racism) and roll out daily via a plethors of rightwing think tanks, Fox, Clear Channel, etc.

Absolutely NONE of the T-GOPers I've ever encountered - either online or elsewhere - have been even slightly respectful towards me or my opinions/thoughts/desires, nor are they interested in being FACT based.

So maybe I point out an *inconvenient FACT* that "back in the day" the drinking fountains through a wide swath of the USA were color-divided. That is, after all, a FACT. A FACT with which I am personally aware of and saw with my own two eyes.

So excuse me for treading into the land of REALITY and pointing out inconvenient TRUTHS. I'm really done with being a rightwing *enabler.* It's my opinion (and you can certainly disagree with me) that the time is long gone for being co-dependent with these fictional fairy tales. Just my opinion, but that's where I'm at.

But, please: I invite you to skim QUICKLY through the archives here at this very website, and it might clue you in to why I feel the way I do.

Thanks for your responses, though, which were courteous, reasonable and well-thought through. I do appreciate that. Best to you.

Anonymous said...

The problem here, I think, is that you're broadly confounding "the other side" with radical (racist/sexist) wing-nuttism, and confounding vague nostalgia with pernicious intent.

I get a lot of these particular kinds of forwards from my relatives and in-laws - by "these kind" I mean stuff where one might read something pernicious into it if one was determined too, and if one put it in the context of "hard-core" right-wing forwards, but where, if you DON'T put it in that context, it's really not all that "right-wing". And the people I tend to get this sort of thing from are by and large NOT the same people who send around the really nasty stuff.

The people who send me this kind of stuff aren't the hard-core right. Some may think they're Republican, some may think they're Democrats, most they think they're "independent" - but, if anything, they tend to be politically CONFUSED. They know SOMETHING is wrong, and they have some (in my opinion, perfectly legitimate) nostalgia for the past - in fact, these sorts of "in my day" forwards are the main kind I get from certain middle-aged relatives. And yes, I DO think they deserve a "pass" for their nostalgia, because I never hear them waxing nostalgic for "bad" things. (They miss the damn trolley cars!) If you actually LISTEN to them, their nostalgia and complaints about modern life are mostly about a lost sense of community, and a vague longing for a slower pace, less commercialism and less consumerism.

Now, I have no doubt that many of these people are POTENTIAL prey for the hard-core right. The fact is, they tend not to understand WHY things have gotten so bad. They don't have the LANGUAGE to talk about things like suburban sprawl and economic pressures taking away their communities, or "free market" worship and consumerism destroying their culture. The hard right knows this, and they will try to manipulate these people by some combination of one, pretending to be "compassionate" and pretending to care about "family values"; and two, trying to re-direct their disappointment with modern life onto blaming the wrong people. Yes, some people will actually fall for it (although maybe less so lately). Maybe one of the reasons they fall for it is because it's not like the left gives them a better story - why, if you wax nostalgic for community and a slower pace and less commercialism and consumerism to a lefty, they'll just scream at you for being a racist!

I never said that there wasn't ample display of sexism and racism on this site - I said that not EVERY forward is about the same thing. In fact, I'm not sure this particular forward even BELONGS on this site - at most, I think it might be a generic puff piece with some "environmental" thing tacked on. If anything, it's an example of how the right takes some slightly-muddled cultural nostalgia, and tries (in this case, half-heatedly and poorly) to make it into a "conservative" position.

Personally, I think a better use for this forward would be to skip the plastic bag thing, send it out as a "in my day" nostalgia piece, and then tack on some FACTS about tax rates, public funding, and over-consumption of resources.

ferschitz said...

Fair enough.

Still find it annoying, though, that such people will long & pine for the "good old days" and do next to nothing to connect the dots as to why things are not so great anymore... much of having to do with agreeing that any taxes under any circumstances are bad and evil and must be done away with... esp for the super wealthy 1%.

As you can tell, I'm beyond frustration with that nonsense, and it's spewed out so much in our society that one cannot avoid it.

Yet the very same folks who'll push & shove to cut taxes for the super wealthy - because of the magic fraud of trickle down economics - will turn around and indulge in puff-pieces like this pining nostaligically for the so-called "good old days."

Perhaps this shouldn't be included here, but it was. I still think it's a load of bunk, but that's just me.

Thanks for taking the time to explain your point of view. I do get what you're saying, even though I don't agree 100%.

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