Thursday, October 1, 2009

Blinded by the Dark

BEWARE THE HUNGRY GHOST. My old friend Peter Georgelos tells me of a Buddhist image of the insatiable wandering mouth. It's something that seems more present than ever in our spiritless modern world. I've always found it so compelling that Kennedy chose space as the key to new human frontiers -- a vast black emptiness. I suspect all our answers reside inside of us.

Todays drawing is built from the new 'Cashmere' special edition toilet paper. Special edition to raise awareness in the fight against breast cancer. Not to be a negative nelly but I've had it up to here with ribbons and the co-opting of the unarguable cause (Nick Craine! how can you possibly disagree with this!?). It seems that most charities exist to perpetuate their own existence. Take the magazine fundraiser at my kid's school. Once a year an army of children sign up their grand parents and neighbors for countless subscriptions to Reader's Digest, Chatelaine, Macleans etc. in a veiled campaign to raise money for the school. Meanwhile a year down the road the magazine people begin their own campaign with their new database of names and addresses and systematically start selling renewals with no thought of the school children. Just another example of an aspect of our society that is self governing consumerism. 'Let's use the kids to achieve our bottom line'. I know I'm oversimplifying things and yes I'm all for sincere efforts to create awareness and find solutions and cures.

My request is this. Could we please stop co-opting causes to borrow their empathetic capital? Otherwise we are merely wiping our asses with good intentions and continuing to live in the void, our lives unexamined.

Incidentally, the company that creates this product (Kimberly-Clark) uses vast amounts of paper each year to meet consumer demand, and more than 2.5 million tons of this paper is composed of virgin tree fiber. The company is guilty of sourcing from endangered forests and emitting toxic substances such as mercury and dioxin that have devastating effects on the environment and human health. One Kimberly-Clark plant in Washington emitted 26 pounds of mercury into state waterways in the year 2000 alone.

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