16 February 2009

Monday Musings...
I was watching the news the other day, and saw all these sharks that were swimming a little TOO close to the shoreline to make ME feel comfortable enough to go in the water, and that got me thinking (uh, oh...look out, folks).
When it comes to consuming, sharks just have to be at the top of the food chain. They are without question the PERFECT consumer...the perfect eating machine. They will attack, devour, consume anyone OR anything that comes in their sphere of influence. Scientists have studied the contents of shark stomachs and have found everything from a car license plate to polar bear remains to boots, cans and even human remains.
And since sharks are pretty much a stomach with fins (and rows upon rows of teeth), they (like relationships and other societal interaction) have to constantly move forward, lest their internal organs collapse, thereby killing them.
Show ME a shark that's NOT moving forward, and I'll show YOU a dead shark!
Sharks are predatory, are prone to becoming frenzied easily, and will keep coming back even after you attempt to chase them away. They are THAT determined. Anyone that ever saw the original "JAWS" movie, knows that much (although the fiction of the movie overwhelms the fact in many scenes), and the survivors of the sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis back on 30 July 1945 would tell you likewise.
Now if you think this post is all about ICHTHYOLOGY, stick with me here, because it's not as "fishy" as it all sounds.
WE are (also) consumers to a degree.
The human race is a consumption-driven species.
Ask anyone in SALES or MARKETING.
Since the dawn of man, we have been consumers, and over the millennia, we have sought more and better ways TO consume. In today's world it's much worse than in generations past. It doesn't matter WHAT we consume, as long as we keep consuming, seemingly without purpose.
Our basic economy, from ancient history to modern man is replete with the need to CONSUME.
Our inventions and Industrial Revolution were based on consumption. Our individual cultures were based on it, as well, and there is not ONE facet of human endeavor that doesn't have SOME degree of consumption about it.
In many ways, a portion of mankind has become what amounts to a "land shark" when it comes to being able to CONSUME.
There are people out there that have no other purpose in life than to make it even more possible to consume, and that makes them TONS of money, as we purchase whatever it is they're hawking, so we can happily consume it. We really NEED people like that.
That's called CAPITALISM, and it's done pretty well for this nation since the founding days.
At the OTHER end of the spectrum are people whose SOLE PURPOSE IN LIFE IS TO CONSUME!
This isn't representative of folks like you or I. We consume with a REASON....and with RESTRAINT.
We NEED to consume food, and we're willing to WORK to be paid, so we can GET that food.
We NEED to consume utilities, so we can remain ALIVE to work and get that paycheck to PAY for those consumables.
The people I refer to as the "consummate consumers", are those that do little if nothing to achieve anything in life, but are just as wanting to CONSUME that which you and I strive to purchase.
Whereas those that consume resources to PRODUCE items and even services for US to utilize, thee people take...and take and take. They consume...and consume...and consume, and produce NOTHING at all (except the waste from their consumption).
These people will commit any act to feed their consumption.
These people have no reason to care about you...they only want FROM you that which they can consume.
They are willing to DEPRIVE you of everything from your wallet to your life, JUST SO THEY can continue to CONSUME.
They consume everything in their path, with no regard for anything, save that next item to consume. (Wow...does this sound a little bit like those sharks at the beginning of this post?)
If you think so, you're correct.
These people are basically sharks..and of the worst kind.
In almost EVERY urban area, we have the ultimate predators, constantly on the move, looking for that next consumable.
They are always on the lookout for that next entitlement, that part of YOUR paycheck that feeds their appetite.
They take anything AND everything...and give NOTHING back.
And with every new (free-ride) program the government tosses in the "urban waters" like so much CHUM, they begin to circle the boat, and are stirred to a feeding frenzy. They are even willing to attack ONE ANOTHER to get at this (entitlement) "food source".
But when the eating becomes scarce, these predators might come looking for YOU, because you've got something they can CONSUME. Doesn't matter if they NEED it or not. They WANT it...and you have it. It's the worst possible form of consumerism!
That's when societal problems develop in the inner city.
Now the main problem with having SHARKS in the water, is that it scares away ALL THE OTHER FISH.
Sounds familiar too, doesn't it? Maybe the phrase "white flight" comes to mind? Correct again.
With the advent of shark-infested waters, the other fish have only one choice; get the hell out of the area.
It's either THAT...or get eaten by those damn sharks.
Many of us living in my part of the city don't feel as if we're going to be "eaten" per se, but we DO know that someone is "nibbling nearby the boat", and isn't afraid to "nudge the hull" every now and then.
There are only TWO choices left to anyone that wishes to remain in shark-infested waters.
1- You can start the engine and sail away from the area.
2- You can go SHARK HUNTING.
I prefer the second choice, myself.
Case in point: I have a hard time wanting to take on a much larger debt JUST because someone else wants MY house as THEIR own, but hasn't the balls to knock on the door and make me an offer.
When I weigh one against the other, it's just not practical at this time to leave.
It IS, however perfectly justified that I find some way to get THEM out of MY area, and off MY street.
After all, WE are the ones paying TAXES, EARNING our way, MAINTAINING the property, and otherwise being a great example on HOW TO OWN A HOUSE. We, as NORMAL consumers are producing what's needed to actually DRIVE our economy FORWARD, completing that "Circle of Life", as it were. Sadly, nearly everyone else produces little, wastes much, and gives back nothing to the community, the city, or any other agency (unless you want to consider adding GRIEF to that mix). And they do it ALL in the "name" of POVERTY.
For example, there is no reason to use "poverty" as a blanket excuse when it comes to BEING CLEAN.
Poverty didn't deprive anyone of the use of their arms or legs, and has NO bearing on being able to grab a broom, mop, shovel, rake, or whatever and keeping THEIR place looking half-decent.
Poverty does NOT make it IMPOSSIBLE to purchase a that broom, mop, shovel, rake, or whatever either.
They're just lazy to the point of being odorous.
You can SMELL the "lazy" in the damn neighborhood.
And it don't smell at ALL like VICTORY, trust me.
I suppose that with the PROPER "motivation", many of these low-life, mud-sucking bottom dwellers will dredge up some humanity, and get their collective shit in gear. Some will simply NOT. They've been at this "game" to long. They LIKE being the shark a little TOO much.
I've always felt that if you want to make some REAL progress with a lot of the lazy-asses of the world, DON'T GIVE FISH to them...TEACH THEM TO FISH instead! That's from the Good Book...not MY book.
Believe me, the results will be a LOT longer-lasting.
And that nasty smell will all but disappear.
Time to STOP rewarding the lazy people, and START rewarding the productive ones.
If not, I fear that many cities are "Gonna need a BIGGER boat".
And even that is NO guarantee it will help one bit, but it IS a start where rampant and uncontrolled consumerism is concerned.
Ben Franklin said it best (as usual):
"Everything in moderation...Nothing in excess."


indy said...

i hear ya there. i refuse to move from my house to a house that is not only more expensive, but the taxes are sky high. and a little off topic here but, about sharks.

we were down in naples fl a few years ago and went down that big old pier they have down there. the men were lined up and down that pier fishing off of it. i remember laughing at a no shark catching sign. next thing i knew this man caught a baby shark and it flew out of the water. it was so beautiful the flight out of the water. when it hit that pier all it wanted to do was just chew up everything and everyone around it. and they were trying hard to throw that sucker back in. it was amazing. made a pitbull dog look nice. then last year my daughter wanted to go surfboarding off cocoa beach fl and she ended up wiping out and she swears when she went under a shark pushed her back up. she could feel it under her and everything. trust me, we personally dont want to go out in the water now unless we are on a boat. which i think i might be doing this summer when i go back down there to my condo. probley get some deep sea fishing in. that will be cool. especially if i can eat what i catch.

Bob G. said...

I agree with you that sharks are fine to watch (at a very discreet distance).
And catching fish to EAT is fine and dandy.
Had a buddy that always brought us some bluefish when he went offshore...man, that as good!

I used the analogy of the sharks to point a finger at the predators we have in our cities (and even now with this "bailout"...big business)!

I hope more folks "get it" like you have.

Thanks for the comment