"I've been thinking", Brisbane Rantings - by Muffy (Brisbane, Australia)

From the Web 1.0 days I bring you The Forum. To preserve them for posterity as Geocities can no longer be found but also it's fun to re-read some of them.

18th December, 2001

I've been thinking. 

As anyone who has read some of my earlier columns, I work in a university. It's OK most of the time, but every now and then I am caught in a conversation which is just so FULL OF SHIT that I am bowled over in the moment and rendered disbelieving that this could come from the allegedly educated minds that both teach and learn here.

I have a theory that I am perceived as an easy mark by those-who-know-all as I am merely a lowly receptionist (we call ourselves "administrative assistants" or "AO 4's" to escape the stigma but it's a tricky thing to lose...) in AWE of the great and better educated and of course I am ready, nay, GAGGING to be told what to think by my juniors and betters. 

So here's how it panned out: I was minding the telephone during my (non-existent) lunch break and writing a letter to a friend when a persistent "ahem-hem"-ing caught my attention. As I looked up in response, the culprit rattled off some credentials and told me that I should not be wasting paper and damaging the environment by sending paper letters and it is far more efficient and environmentally friendly to send e-mails as there is no waste associated with this. Then there was a bit more of a lecture about trees, the ravaging of the earth, some crap about the Amazon and the atmosphere etc etc blah blah multinational industry blah blah. She then continued with the business she was there for and left. 

"Well thanks for the advice" I thought. But was she right? Was I damaging the environment through my reckless and ignorant penpaliness? Hmmmmmm. Something to think about.....and I've come to the conclusion that she's an idiot with far too narrow a view of the problem she seemed so happy to spruke on to me about. 

What about the plastic? What about the environmental damage the production of electricity does? What about disposable technology - computers don't just grow on trees you know - aren't they, when you get down to it, almost completely torn from earth (all full of petrochemicals and metal), just like the tree I was ruining by writing on it?

I have come to the conclusion that the things I do whilst on this planet will affect it, change it and possibly damage it. I may as well accept this because even if I think I am choosing a supposedly SAFE option for anything from using the half flush to walking home from work, the things I do and use and contribute to the use of through my support via taxes and purchases and my general breathing in and out will affect the environment. Only if I were to die and somehow get sucked into outer space to be a problem to another planet will my influence be lessened on this one. But then I'll still be part of the universe.............

now, back to finding my belly-button to gaze into....surely there's an answer in there.........somewhere.....


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