Tuesday, 1 June 2004

All hail the Swiffer!

While I was away, Mark Morford was boldly going where no man has gone before: into the murky world of household cleaning products.
"These silly new products, these sexist new ads, are merely a small but nasty sign, like a malignant lump, a festering murmur, in the karmic heart. Just more proof of how we are still being trained not to care, still trained since birth to believe the supply of paper and wood and plastic and petroleum is inexhaustible and that America is the land of abundance and it will all last forever and, besides, most of us will die well before there's any 'serious' problems, right? So who the hell cares, and leave it to the next generation to figure out. Now pass the giant tub of foam packing peanuts. Mmm, landfill.
As it is with toilet brushes and brooms, so it is with our national agenda, our environmental policy, our war motives. In other words, there is a straight and unwavering line connecting the Scrub N' Toss with our environmental policy, our worldview, our motives for war and destruction. The world is our commodity. This is the message, the American standpoint. The world is our giant toxic overlit soul-sucking Wal-Mart. Restrain it at your peril."
Inventoried my household. We have a) one broom, made of twig-type stuff, which lasts for six months b) several dusters, washable c) some MagicMop shit which disintegrates into furry pulp the first time you use it d) an absolutely brilliant Neem and Citronella spin on phenyl which is available only in Calcutta, thanks to a Bengali proprietor who doesn't understand why anyone outside the state might want to buy it and e) many cats who produce toxic but environmentally sound emissions. Our big problem is garbage bags. Cats=cat litter=many garbage bags, however politically incorrect, required. Someone source me jute garbage bags and I'll be a happy Babu.

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