There’s a side porch on the third floor of my apartment in between my hovel and that in the rear of the building. On the ground underneath the bench decorated with Parisian landmarks lay three peeps– the disgusting yellow (traditionally) marshmallow chicks that plague Easter baskets– alongside a can of spray varnish. This is not the project of anyone I live with but, out of respect, I carefully hunker down a safe distance from them to smoke a cigarette out of the wind.

A cereal box had been employed to prevent the newly varnished peeps from damaging the floorboards, some variety of Safeway O Organics product that have been increasing in popularity over the past couple of years. Poor people– they hear that organic foods are the

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thing to do, so right and so correct, but they don’t know anything about what that means or what it entails. Lucky for them Safeway discovered this niche and has provided “over 150 exclusive organic items” for purchase. Now you can get your box of organic cereal and you’ve done your part– no need to worry about any of the messy agricultural or transportation or distribution or economic implications involved. Look, the express aisle’s open and there’s no line.

Mildly offensive– as offensive as it is amusing– but nothing to start setting fire to shit over… or is it? On the back panel of the box there’s a colorful depiction of South America. The earnest copywriter who landed this contract entices: “Take Organic Living on the Road”. There’s an invitation for me, the viewer, to take advantage of “naturally beautiful eco-friendly vacation destinations…” next time I’m traveling abroad. The recommendations? The Dominican Republic, The Galapagos Islands, Chile and Brazil.

Nothing to special about the D.R.– just one more place with Club Med sanctuaries for Mr. and Mrs. White 1st World to play in the tropics for pennies on the dollar. Chile doesn’t seem too wild although there’s a suggestion that Easter Island is the most remote inhabited island (which is actually Tristan da Cunha) that calls into question the overall validity of my cereal box encyclopedia. Then the real head-scratching begins when you look at Brazil:

Travel through stretches of unexplored rainforest, islands with pristine tropical beaches and endless rivers.

As tempting as it may be to send tourists into the uncharted wilds of the Amazon some latent ethical gland prevents me from willfully pursuing a life as a death-dealing travel agent. It’s not only a bad idea for the personal safety and well-being of idiots booking vacation but it also seems a little less than eco-friendly to have a bunch a shorts and Tevas clad goofballs tramping around the flora and

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fauna, or that which is left after the clear-cutters came through.

The absolute worst crime against humanity perpetrated by the Safeway Cereal Conglomerate is, by far, best exemplified by their interest in the Galapagos Islands:

…the Galapagos Islands have rich natural history and unique plant and animal life that make it a mecca for ecology enthusiasts.

You’re then invited to scuba dive into the unique plant and animal and swim with sea lions and penguins. For years scientists have been concerned about the unique Galapagos environment being affected by flotsam and jetsam drifting in from us civilized folks the world over. Now the sea turtles and weird blind critters found only here have to contend with idiot eco-tourists alongside castaway nets, Coca-Cola cans and leaky outboard motors.

Poor people– they just don’t know what to do. We’re supposed to eat healthy and, lo and behold, you can now get salad at McDonald’s! How tasty and nutritious and once or twice a week on your lunch break at your McJob you can feel like you’re doing something positive. Unfortunately current laws do not allow me to smash these people in the face with handy bricks while shouting “Stop eating at McDonald’s you stupid fuck!”. (more…)

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