Posts Tagged ‘ecology’

The Happy Earth

March 21, 2013

The Happy Earth

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(From the Cub Club Bedtime Stories collection)

Deep in the Milky Way stood the Happy Earth. This planet had been blessed with water, oxygen, and carbon-based food sources. These wonderful features bestowed upon the planet life-forms like us polar bears, which is why it was labeled “The Happy Earth” by its glad-to-be-alive human inhabitants.

One day a few thousand years ago, a human entrepreneur noticed that the Happy Earth had grown colder, and it was difficult for many entrepreneurs to find food to sell. He placed a small carpet on the ground and knelt down to speak directly to the planet.

“Happy Earth, why do you let us starve in the cold? This is unpleasant and unfair.”

The Earth pondered for a while, almost falling asleep in the process. Then he spoke: “Gentle Entrepreneur, take the water from my rivers and flood the great plains to grow more food than you need. You can then sell the surplus and buy status symbols and thrill rides.”

The entrepreneur looked confused: “But Happy Earth, I can’t change the flow of your waters. This would destroy the fish and animals who depend on their fragile complexity.”

The Happy Earth replied: “Do as I say. Redirect the flow of my great rivers.”

And the entrepreneur did so, and there was much food for all. Of course, this new food was mainly starch-based and the people who grew it had to remain sedentary, but the entrepreneur and his associates got to buy a lot of status symbols with the surplus.

Happy Earth MicrophoneA few decades later, the entrepreneur panicked when the Happy Earth flooded a large agricultural zone, endangering the lives of an entire civilization and its consumers. He placed his new designer carpet on the ground and knelt down to speak directly to the planet once again.

“Earth, why do you damage the very agricultural zones that you have counseled us to create? Now, many thousands of people have no food, and these agricultural workers have long lost the ability to hunt and forage.”

The Happy Earth spoke with much sadness: “Gentle Entrepreneur, take the sand from my mountains and use this sand to block the waters whence they flood.”

Once again, the entrepreneur hesitated: “But if I remove so much soil, this will create great scars on your beautiful complexion, disturbing the spectrum of land animals and destroying life-rich wetlands.”

But as with the previous suggestion, the Happy Earth insisted that the entrepreneur do as he said, and all of his mountains were subsequently flattened in order to block all the rivers at strategic points. The civilization was saved and its population doubled every few years, which lead to many new status symbols for the entrepreneur.

This process of technology-failure leading to more and more invasive technology continued until the Happy Earth was a giant, lifeless, grey rock with few species left on it. Among complex mammals, only us polar bears and a few aggressive human entrepreneurs remained. And a lot of lesion-pocked reptiles.

The entrepreneur, on his deathbed, knelt one last time to ask the Happy Earth for another bit of advice on how to progress. By now, the carpets under his feet were laden with gold and platinum strands. “Happy Earth, what will we do now that you have no more rivers, mountains, air, or food?”

The expensive rug beneath him then trembled as another human dug his way out of the underground bunker he had been living in for many years.

“Gentle Entrepreneur, I’m not really the Earth. I’m another human entrepreneur like yourself. I was just trying to motivate you to do exciting things because I was so bored in my cave.”

And then they both died of heat exhaustion.

Amen.

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Aqua Phoenicia vs. FMJ

March 10, 2009

Phoenician Water B

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Stubbing out a half-smoked cigarette on the wall, the judge reads aloud the first charge:

Judge: “Free Market Jesus, you and your mother corporation – 107844 Nazareth Inc. – are accused of polluting the groundwater in Central Phoenicia with waste products from your organ-disposal installations. This is a class-action suit being filed by Aqua Phoenicia on behalf of a million Phoenician plaintiffs. How do you plead?”

Jesus has just applied organic aloe-hazelnut moisturizer to his hands and is in no hurry to answer. This particular charge seems like a trivial affair better suited to non-designer-wearing working-class lawyers – in the kinds of no-holds-barred trials that the families of murdered labor organizers are always staging to spin their insignificant stories into conspiracy theories.

FMJ: “Your Honor, before I answer this proletariat lawyer’s questions, I’d like to have five minutes to consult my astrologists and color consultants.”

As far as FMJ is concerned, it’s always the right time to look your best, and that means astrologers and the right colors. His new collagen lip injections aren’t going to go unnoticed at his own celebrity trial.

The prosecuting attorney – Abdul Bouq Emmisayar – furrows his brow and flares his nostrils as he crosses the court to approach a nonplussed Jesus, grinning with his already-open Versace cellphone clamped to his surgically-enhanced ear.

Abdul: “Your Honor, I would ask the defendant to please put down his cellphone.”

He turns toward FMJ and his attorney:

“I would like to remind Ms. Popovic and her client that this is a very serious charge. There have been over 1000 deaths directly attributed to one of Mr. Christ’s organ-disposal factories in Sidon. And this is to say nothing of the various cases pending against him for suspicious organ purchases involving children as young as three.”

The glamorous courtroom goes silent and Moe Silverberg – sitting behind the huge pink wig of a drag queen to hide from arch-nemesis FMJ – types something into a no-name laptop with a library sticker on the back.

Blinking for half a second, Jesus rolls his eyes, and crosses his legs as he begins:

FMJ: “Oh please. Those selfish orphans all signed legally-binding contracts. Those who couldn’t write their names were assisted free-of-charge by my legal staff. It’s all perfectly legitimate.

And Phoenicia’s water problem is a government problem, nothing to do with me and the Free Market, may it continue to thrive. I pay my corporate taxes to the Phoenician government just like any other respectable numbered corporation.

If Aqua Phoenicia can’t keep its water clean, then they are the ones who need to change. Not me. Passover Organs has been around longer than most of the plaintiffs have. Your Honor, my representation and I feel that Aqua Phoenicia is just another citizen action committee looking to make a quick buck by attacking a celebrity.”

Abdul leans into the judge and speaks to the entire courtroom:

Addul: “But didn’t another one of the defendant’s affiliates – 87553 Nazareth Inc. – buy the government in a hostile takeover only a few months before the organ-disposal site was approved?”

FMJ stops filing his nails and asks an ungrateful world a little question:

FMJ: “And how am I supposed to know what all my little baby Free Market children are doing? The big picture: they got a lot of jobs out of the deal, and I contribute hundreds of shekels in taxes. Even more than I collect in subsidies, some years. It’s win-win for everyone, and trickles down like mercy from the market’s rain gutters.”

The jury are awestruck by the beauty of his prose as his hair glistens with the special celebrity lighting that was a pre-condition of his personal appearance at the trial

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O Quarante

March 10, 2009

le O-40 2

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Hot liquids melt his fur into skin as Rusty eases into the swirling water of the massive jacuzzi. His small, pert backside brushes a water jet that parts the fine white hairs between his cheeks.

He thinks silently to himself as a cloud of artificial fog comes out of one of the disco boxes near the bar:

Someone ought to throw some ice in there once in a while so the mist doesn’t burn your flesh.

Rusty closes his eyes and fantasizes about being the quirky and high strung spokesmodel for Le O Quarante.

“Is there any better way to temporarily forget the decline of our species and the gray misery outside than with a quick fix of steam and flesh at le O Quarante health club and slushee bar?”

This mix of chlorine, the other patrons’ cologne and the pot he voluntarily ingested before the sauna are mixing together to make Rusty feel dizzy and unfocused. Which is exactly what he needs.

Am I stoned? Of course, I’m stoned!  Why wouldn’t I be. Sitting here in this sauna wasted and breathing in chlorinated mist and soap products. After all, I’m a polar bear. What have I go to look forward to? Extinction?

After working in an office all day, role-playing comes easy. But now comes the hard part for after-work Rusty – relaxing. How to relax your polar bear muscles when the fate of the entire world seems to hang on every adjective of every sentence of every conversation. ‘You snooze, you lose,’ is why he drinks so many espressos.

Visualizing Antarctic penguins, he spreads his toes and concentrates on unwinding the nerve endings in his chest and upper thighs as he exhales slowly, like a Buddhist monk creaming his smock.

Rusty’s mind changes gears suddenly:

Hey, isn’t that a grizzly wading into the pool? What the…

I have a major soft spot  – I don’t know why it’s called soft – for bears from other lands. I remember I heard some smart bears at college say something about how this was my way of avoiding intimacy.

But is that really why I chase after gorgeous and healthy brown bears? I mean, I really love being intimate with bears from other lands. If I wanted to avoid intimacy, wouldn’t I stay home instead of seeking this kind of intimacy?

The grizzly emerges from the cold water of the pool and walks right over to the jacuzzi where Rusty is now trying to relax. One of his muscles gets really tense as the small but well-built brown bear submerges his lower abdomen in the chlorinated cauldron and breaks the sauna code of silence.

“Hey, do you know what time this place closes?”

Aaah, a country bear.

Rusty will be sleeping well in a few hours.

Cindy’s Toys

March 5, 2009

cindys toys 2

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Theodore Fellonius III, Cindy’s little white stuffed bear, begins to quiver and stretch. From where he lay on the floor next to an ice cream container full of crayons, he is invisible to Cindy’s parents who are watching reality TV and infomercials  in the downstairs den.

He starts to grow in size, doubling in height in just a few seconds. His face begins to rapidly mutate – the soft bushy nose turning into a firm wet rubbery snout – the eyes morphing from perfect little black beads into red-veined watery orbs with a fixed and angry black-eyed glare.

Cindy sleeps without interruption. She keeps her “Max-Air Plus” air conditioner in her room on maximum arctic cold and sleeps with five blankets to stay “cozy.”  Sometimes she even leaves the window open and the air conditioner on super-turbo.

Theodore’s formerly amorphous paws begin to sprout distinctly un-cute digits. And on each digit, a razor-like claw begins to pierce through the increasingly matted white fur.

Will Cindy wake up in time?

Commuters

March 4, 2009

commuters 2

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Rusty the polar bear sloshed back his sud-soaked squeegy paw. From the other side of the windshield, he could see the bored face of yet another hyperactive and irritable rush-hour commuter ignoring his presence. For the commuter, Rusty was just another squeegy-punk loser species at another baked-asphalt intersection.

Rusty’d about had it up to here.

His clenched paw plowed through the safety-glass of the windshield. Perhaps it was all the pot, or the headache from the heat beating against his dirty fur, but Rusty felt no pain or remorse as his razor-sharp claws lunged through the broken glass and into the soft neck of the suburbanite motorist.

The sudden blood loss made the commuter drop his cell. In no time, he slumped over, dead in his Abercrombie and Fitch muscle shirt and spray-on tan.

picnic basket 2

Meanwhile,  just a few blocks away, a few polar bears were having body-bag races and eating bean-stuffed human intestine on wheat buns. Jimmy and Orca had been chosen to organize the Polar Bear’s annual picnic and bake sale in Jasper National Park.

Jimmy had brought along some eyes for eye salad, potatoes for potato salad, and lettuce to make some commuter-on-rye sandwiches – with the crust removed, of course.

Orca, a vegetarian since her ice fields melted, decided to skip the commuter sandwiches and just eat raw nuts and berries, along with the wine.

But she got really loaded on the wine and ran into a clogged intersection full of SUVs and killed over a hundred drivers with her paws, laughing and singing Pat Benatar “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” the entire time she mangled the motorists and scratched the paint of their vehicles.

“Orc, honey, the picnic’s over here,” Jimmy whispered after her rampage, a smile sprouting on his furry white face. He knew she was just dealing with her inner demons in a creative way. This was Step 4.


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