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  • Anto Astudillo

We stink and we know it

We think pollution is out there hating us like an ex we wronged but not quite. Pollution is coming from our own inability to live in peace with the world. So yeah, pollution is our own bull shit, the kind we have never dealt with even after hundreds of therapy sessions, so it is lingering out there getting in everyone’s business. The stuff we haven’t worked on and won’t let us have a healthy relationship, with Earth in this case. So yeah, if you generate pollution it means you are the toxic one in this relationship and not the other way around. But we can all agree that there are levels of toxicity and some of us, humans, really stink, as well as some of those who, to my perception and their wealth, have become something else.

The reason I'm writing this come from reading recent news about scientific findings of microplastic in human lungs. My first reaction to that headline was to sigh at the word "humans." This is all on us and no one else. However, it would be unfair to blame the common human, the disempowered, the worker, the voter, the groceries buyer, the employee, the TV consumer... honestly accusing this person feels like accusing my abuelita of using plastic bags. How could I?

One of my biggest problems with this capitalist society is its similarity to a toxic heteroparental relationship. It is a constant reminder of a mother that cooks and cleans all day and a father that keeps bringing home all sorts of toys for the kid to play instead of taking the time to come up with some creative game that needs no equipment other than his and his child's imagination. By the way, a very simple reason for the use of this particular imagery is the fact that the United States is par excellence the number one originator and promoter of capitalism in the world and has never been able to give a woman or any non-cis men the opportunity to govern. So yeah, to me, it looks like this father who doesn't really know what parenting is and a mother that cooks and cleans all day because she is not allowed to do anything else.


But rather than give lessons on how to be a father or a mother in our days of plastic pollution, I prefer to return to my proposal, that of avoiding a parental relationship in a government/society. Whether or not it's toxic. Our governments are not our parents and should never be. "Kill the god figure" they said, I say "kill the father figure", I also say "kill the oligarch figure" but I won't go there in this opportunity.

The reason we need to kill that idea is because 1) it keeps us connected to a romanticized idea that our governments will care and provide for us 2) it renders us powerless and submissive 3) it preserves patriarchy as the ruling class 4) it renders us childish, unprepared and immature... and the list goes on and on.

A good example of this is how Greta Thunberg became so popular, not due to her demands but due to her appearance. She represents the child, the society, and her demands have the same resonance as a temper tantrum.

In order to create change, some say "we need a revolution." I say, we need to "kill the father figure."




(image from Te Quiero Tanto, 2018)

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