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Title:What Ever Happened To [...] #1006
Date:Friday March 23rd, 2012
Author:Troubadour
[Default Article Image][Wow. What Ever happened to Winter in the Midwest? It left early this year! And in its wake it left all this trash in my yard that the snow used to hide. Reminds me how ultras in the woods have changed, too--for the worse. Too many peeps, methinks, have been counting too long on snow hiding their refuse as well. Well, it's pretty bad. And I've decided to take up my quill against it, hopefully without spilling all the damn ink and causing my clothes to have to go to the landfill also.]

The Johnson Administraction Presents...

WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO ["Not Littering"] ?


Yes. "The Great Society" and "Keep America Beautiful" and "Just Say No" [To... stuff]. Right. What ever happened to all those things, especially the non-trashing part?

Having recently slogged, bogged, and quagmired my way thru the titanic (sinking) mud of a gigantic gorgeous forest (in Mississippi), I could not help but notice all the garbage. Wrappers, cups, styro, plastic, paper, rinds, empty water bottles, half-empty water bottles, FULL water bottles, bottle caps, and squeeze tubes. Squeeze tube tops only! Socks (yes). Shoe parts. Gloves. STUFF! Sleeves, leavings, and leaves. The stuff from nature is OK, but the junk from man un-kind isn't.

So. Man unkind is now endowed? Privileged? And totally *entitled* to some body ELSE having to stoop down, scoop up, stash away, and empty at the next proper receptacle farther down the trail? Sullenly, within the last many years, we no longer have to do this ourselves?

Gosh. Who knew?

If I'd've only known earlier, I could've been making a whole lotta back-breaking work for some other dufus all these decades when it had previously been brainwashed into me: "Pack it in, pack it out. Leave NOTHING behind but your footprints."

What ever happened to THAT kind of reasoning?

Surely it's old-fashioned. Today's whippersnappers haven't ever felt whips snapped. Their mothers have picked up their rooms for them ever since their very first tantrum. Dads too. Parents have seemingly built up such guilt at being "away" from their kids all the time, that the number one lesson each junior learns is how not to have to do anything. Instead he learns how someone ELSE will do everything!

In my old-fashioned day, we were taught such antique jazz as "doing your good deed for the day." "Go ahead," everybody's parents would encourage everybody's kid, "pick up that wrapper. It won't kill you. And if you get it off my lawn in the next ten seconds, I won't call the cops either!"

Church youth groups, the Boy and Girl Scouts, and sometimes even whole Little Leagues would scour neighborhoods on Saturdays doing "spring cleaning." We got pretty used to the idea that leaving garbage all over the ground was a pretty bad idea.

So what EVER happened to that idea?

We used to even cheer when the city's street-sweepers rolled into action. You know, those big huge contraptions that looked like horizontal car washes. Gigantic swirling brushes...brushing...and vacuuming. They used to suck up everything off the street including little kids! Sometimes we had to stop, look, and holler to the driver to let our pal's arms go!

What's needed now is some sort of single-track trail-cleaning machine. It could roll along just like mommy does, sweeping up everything little junior has laid down before her. The driver could feel like Moses, dividing things, like the wheat from the chaff. The mommy could feel even guiltier. And precious junior could continue feeling nothing at all.

Yea, woe yea, we are surely very near to the end of civilization as we know it. Look what happened in history: after the spoiled-rotten Roman kids started leaving their togas and Forum bar wrappers all over the Appian Way, the Empire fell. Ancient Greece the same thing. I cannot tell you how many of Plutarch's chronicles are devoted to the capturing and rounding up of trailer trash during Alexander the Great's march to the sea. Or, wherever he marched.

Chances are pretty good those ancient troops slogging through THEIR woods simply did not tolerate plastic crap and paper wrappers being tossed around and left behind.

Probably because they didn't have any.


( O_O )


So maybe after another two or three thousand years, our trails won't either.

Yours troubly,

The Troubadour
"your fiendishly 'friendly' ancient Crusader who used to MAKE slaves pick up the garbage BEFORE they could even hint at throwing a tantrum"

Yankee Folly of The Day:
We remember Lady Bird with "tch tch" on our breath and a tongue in our cheek. "The Great Society" never had a sweeter nor more ineffective spokeswoman. Maybe there wouldn't be so much trash today if Jane Fonda had gotten her priorities straight, and had her picture taken on top of a garbage truck instead of an anti-aircraft gun.
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