I Heart Rednecks, Sometimes

In college I took a poetry class from a guy who brought a littered beer can to class every week. It was a class about the modern nature poem, but he spent a lot of time picking up the can and saying “I understand this [mimes drinking] but not this [mimes throwing on the ground].” I guess that relates to every American nature poem of the 20th century or something.

Anyways, I took Squinch and his brother to the river today and there was a campfire littered with beer cans and plastic bags. Classic Snoqualmie redneck party. One of my students just wrote about the giant garbage patch, so I decided to pick up the trash. Keep it out of the ocean. I understand this but not this, said my professor in my head as I poured the beer dregs out on the sand.

But I disagree. I think I do understand. It’s something we all do. But rednecks are just more upfront about it. How many times have I listened to a story about climate change on NPR while driving around in my car? I can’t point any fingers here. I was getting maudlin about the smell of stale Rainier and cottonwood trees, when the dogs started barking at a lady in a bougie jogging outfit. I apologized and she told me to be careful because “there was a leash law and there might be other dogs.” Which is something I just can’t see the throwers of the beer cans saying, especially since what she really meant was “don’t let your dogs bark at me.”

Sometimes, I just prefer the redneck thing.


Startling Statistics #2 — The Final Numbers on I522

Unlike the first startling statistics I wrote about, these are true:

In the recent I522 campaign to label genetically modified foods in Washington, the Yes campaign raised $8 million dollars from 16,421 people. Average donations were about $10.

The No campaign raised $22 million from 12 donors, only six of whom were human people instead of corporations. Average No donation? $1.8 mil.

The initiative, if you weren’t following, lost 51.09% to 48.91% with less than half of voters actually voting. It won in every age group except seniors.

First response: a spike of outrage about corporate money in politics. Second, the calm knowledge that GMO labeling is just a matter of time. At worst, we just have to wait for all those skeptical old guys to die off.

Meanwhile, I think we should organize a sporting event pitting the Yes donors against the No donors — something civilized, so those pitiful six real humans won’t get crushed. Maybe a tug-of-war. Then we’ll see which way people want this thing to go.