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I know what you’re thinking, yes Monsanto (the fat GMO spreadin’ agricultural giant) was bought out by Bayer (the fat Pharmaceutical big wigs), so the name is gone. So technically there is no more Monsanto. Technically. The damage they left in their profit-hungry wake is still here, however. Those affected with cancer from the pesticides are still here, or rather some of them are. Their families, their loved ones are still here. (You may proceed to do your own research on the litany of pending lawsuits Monsanto is drowning in. I did and it was infuriating.) The rotten lands, air, and water are still here, and we’re still breathing and drinking it all in. Although in all fairness, the sloppy shape of our planet today cannot only be the work of Monsanto. It took other money hungry soul sucked big name corporations to get here. But can we really blame them? After all, love is blind and especially so when your seductress is that green crumpling piece of paper, dollar. Dollar. Bills.
I would like to switch gears here for a moment and sprinkle in some background information about myself, about what I believe I stand for. I am an equal rights for all (and I mean ALL, but especially for the most downtrodden and freakish of the bunch), worker’s rights and peace advocate, writer, artist, card-carrying-weed-toking-hippy with a deep-seated anarchist-punk soul. And I found myself, as I believe many of the strange and/or artsy creative types do, flocking from home to find others of like minds and souls. For me, for here and now, I landed in the west, The Golden Coast, the birthplace of the hippy movement. When I arrived in Los Angeles, I arrived broke and the minimum wage job was not cutting it. Through a roommate and the roommate's lady, I scored myself my first paid writing job to be done in between working and sleeping, YIPPEE!!
Or so I thought. The job is (and oh yes, despite all I am about to say here, I still do the job. I’m still broke, of course) watching 20 to 50 grueling minutes of military stock footage and writing descriptions on said films. Not one ounce of creativity or mental effort required, save for the mental strain to keep watching and writing complete crap. These films, in their essence, are old military promotional films for wars, for joining the army and for promotion of blowing everyone who’s not us up. (Until their dead of course and then I presume the next target will be ourselves.) A few in between are of miscellaneous content such as Captain in the Kitchen, which is a woman’s guide to keeping her appliances clean and looking fashionable while doing it (it was a particularly vile thirty minutes if you can imagine). I was even unable to enjoy one of my favorite legal California hobbies while working, which was upsetting. I did, one time and it made my stomach somersault; made my anxiety crinkle my face and it rocked me so I almost smashed my phone and took off running down Hobart Boulevard. I told myself that was it, who needs money anyhow! I’m a starving artist and I will remain that way until the curtains close! So, I rolled up my remaining slivers of dignity and sent a long email thanking the man that was paying me for the slop I was churning out (that was ten almost every two days, which paid about $75 for about ten hours of work and about…75 percent of my gumption for life) and said I could do no more. My excuse was lack of time of course, better not to close doors on a negative note.
I lasted until rent was due again, so one month. That’s right, I went slithering back and begged the faceless man with the money I desperately needed and informed him I suddenly appeared to have much more time than previously estimated. He was stoked. My shoulders sagged a few inches lower.
This time I would not smoke one iota of legal marijuana prior to watching any video. This time I would only consume massive amounts of coffee and plow through it like skating through a piss puddle in LA (you know, when you’re already hauling ass and to stop might mean be to land smack in it).
The first video began. Cue opening credits and elevator music, cue colorful glowing orbs dancing intoxicatingly around one another and the title screen, The World That Nature Forgot.
Nature doesn’t forget anything, nature is everything.
It wasn’t starting off so good.
And then cut to a moist little seed deep in the soil. It begins to sprout with these cute little green leaves and soft roots stretching ever so elegantly to the surface of the soil and to the sun. And once it breaks the barrier, the cute little leaves are folding out, they are spreading to absorb that oozing warming life-giving sun. Cut to a shit steaming, oil guzzling, rusting metal hell hole; a chemical plant. And here is where the narrator attempts to connect the two; compare the two to one another, to actually allude to the viewer that they are one in the same. That the baby bulbous wonder of life that had just sprung through the dirt to join in the circle of existence and the toxic death machine they created was the same damn thing.
I stood up, swallowed stomach bile, and hotly began another lengthy email detailing exactly why I could no longer carry on with this gig. I was aiming to burn this bridge once and for all! Unfortunately, upon opening my laptop for said seething email, I was struck first by the date, the 29th and rent was due on the first. I sat back down and opened my laptop back up. I was too close to the piss puddle to pull up now. I could see the questionable water splashing up and over my shoes.
When I plowed through it, I realized I was watching an advertisement for the ‘wonderful world of plastics’ or so they boasted it was to be. And how wrong they were as I now watch these innovative substances wash up and back out along the shoreline.
Perhaps this is my repentance. Perhaps this is my way of making good of doing a job for so long which is so out of whack with someone of a certain kind of spirit. I will admit I have strangely learned more than I ever imagined I would have. It gave me a view from the other side, from the side that boasted pearly white picketed fences, a shiny ford automobile resting in the driveway, a wife with a plastic smile and neatly pressed apron, the immaculately crafted genetically modified meal simmering on the table and a pummeling slew of bombs dropping somewhere else far away from the cookie cutter view. It is as if I can see all of the tiny dominos that were set to fall so many years ago. Where it all began, how easy it was once corporations such as Monsanto realized they could make a killing off synthetic everything; from plastics which never, ever biodegrade, to crafting a patent on a pesticide for seeds which would, in turn, leave small farmers enslaved to them and how we landed here. How we the consumers are left to consume the rot and let it rot us we have and with such complicity.
I believe the question we are left with is “What now?” What is our redemption? How do we change our situation? The punk in me is strapping on her best kickin’ boots and is heading out the door to go smash some windows and hold the rats accountable. The hippy in me is lazily planting flowers and oozing; with a sun-kissed smile, that we should only ever spread love, love, love.
I believe the answer is yes. Hold the rats accountable, and then work with them to make changes for they are the ones who appear to own this world. They can still get rich for all I care, just don’t mess with my home in the process. Get rich off going green, it’s trending anyhow.
We’re all going to need something to stand on in the end including the bunch that screwed us while chasing their green goddess.