I am very concerned for the environment. I live in fucking Los Angeles, so of course I am. Spend an August here in our awesome, polluted city and witness the beautiful, multi-colored sunsets and feel the shortness in your breath, and you too will be concerned for the state of our air. That’s why I think all those right wing idiots that want to deny global warming, that live in clean air places like Kansas and Montana should spend a summer here. Or even better, Mexico City. That’ll change their backwards-ass tune.
However, I will say that if you too are concerned for the environment, and yet have little or no issue with capitalism, you’re as big a moron as those “Jesus Camp” troglodytes in Kansas. Understand this: capitalism is based on one thing, and one thing only - exploitation. That is, the exploitation of people and resources. Resources = environment. Get it? As long as we adhere to our current addiction to a failing and ancient economic structure, we (and the environment) will continue to be exploited until there is nothing left. No people, no environment. Simple.
But we are human, and we must feel like we’re doing SOMETHING without actually doing much. So, we act vigilant, like Charles Bronson waiting for a dark colored criminal to make his move. Apparently, that dark colored criminal is me. I live in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles. I know I don’t completely belong here, but my friend found a nice apartment here for uncharacteristically low rent, eleven years later in a rent controlled building, I can still live in a neighborhood that barely tolerates me, it seems.
The other day, I got the second letter from The South Coast Air Quality Management District (the first one was probably about a year ago). Evidently, some well meaning fatheaded yuppie reported that my vehicle was “emitting excessive smoke.”
Okay. So I drive a 1965 Imperial Lebaron. My friends and I, about a year and a half ago, built a 440ci engine that puts out about 365 BHP and about 350 ft/lbs of torque. Hey, it’s a 6,000 pound car! It needs some serious power! With the current configuration, I get about 5.35 MPG, and about 12 MPG on the highway. Oh, and she leaks oil. Okay, so she’s not exactly good for mother earth, but I don’t drive her very often.
Here’s the best part: the complaint was NOT about my gas guzzler from a bygone era! It was about my motorcycle! Yeah! My bike! In addition to the earth killer, I ride a 1992 Yamaha FZR600. A crotch rocket. It’s the bike I wanted when I was twenty and couldn’t afford (and wasn’t allowed) to own. Now I own it, and I love it. It’s carbon footprint is decidedly smaller than my Imperial. Usually, I average about 50 (that’s 5-0) MPG, and it doesn’t leak oil (anymore).
It seems some eco-fascist thought my bike was spewing excessive smoke. It doesn’t. I would notice, if not me, my mechanic would. When I accelerate the Imperial on the freeway (that 440 is nice!) I can see in my rearview, the car behind me engulfed in smoke like I was James Bond in “Goldfinger.” My bike does not have that awesome option.
Let’s compare notes, eco-douchebag: okay, let’s say you drive a Prius. How nice for you. Do you masturbate about how good a person you are every night? Awesome. You get 51 MPG (est). You know what that “est” means? It means estimated, Wile E Coyote, Super Genius! Did you know that those numbers are rarely what you actually get on the street? Did you know that they get those numbers in the lab WITHOUT THE CAR ACTUALLY ATTACHED TO THE ENGINE?! Oh. You didn’t? Sorry to break you masturbatory fantasy.
I got my numbers with math. I fill up my tank, and divide the amount of fuel by the distance I have travelled. As long as my trip meter works (and it does) this is kinda foolproof, and a real world estimate of my mileage.
Now, let’s look at another, rather unpleasant (for me) aspect of this comparison. What happens when you get into an accident (mother earth forbid!) in your self-congratulatory-mobile? Your crumple zones crumple, your seat belts cease, your airbags deploy, and you get to get out of your car and cry about the loss of your identity. You know what happens if I crash? I get to fly from the bike and get to hit the hot asphalt at whatever speed I happened to traveling at that moment, I know, it’s happened to me a couple times before. If I’m lucky, I lose the bike. If I’m really unlucky, I get to be paralyzed for the rest of my life. Somewhere in between these two, in the field of luck, I get to die. You still think you’re doing SO much for the environment, you self-absorbed hippie? Would you actually risk your life for it? No, I don’t think you would. You probably wouldn’t even take a pay cut to benefit the environment. So fuck you, hippie. Stop complaining about my death mobile, because the real irony is that I’ll probably be felled by an asshole like you in your sissy-ass Prius, because you weren’t paying attention because you were too busy trying to find that new Raconteurs song to play on your iPod ready eco-car.
There’s one more thing I’d like to mention about misguided, moronic eco-fuckheads. There seems to be a growing number of you that think the world would be better off if we didn’t exist on it. Perhaps. Who can say? I mean, we’re here now, so it’s difficult to say. A lot of scientists say that if we cease to exist, then squids and octopi will inherit the earth (I swear it’s true, and it actually makes sense). Well, then in a few hundred thousand years, there’ll be moronic squids wishing they didn’t exist either.
I’m not sure if the world would be better off without us on it, but, if you’re so adamant about it, I got an idea: why don’t you start the revolution by killing yourself? I mean, we’ll never know until we try, right? And if doesn’t work (it won’t) at least we’ll be rid of idealistic idiots like you, and we can then try to fight a real fight to destroy our current vampiric economic structure and begin a new one.