People like David House, along with the other people supporting Wikileaks, have been working on behalf of the people to allow us to have information to participate in our Representational Democracy (or Your part of the World). :) Yay!
"For all our earnest recycling, America is still seen as a terribly wasteful country. It’s a stigma we’ve earned and are trying to overcome with our own unique blend of guilt and hypocrisy. On the first night of my trip, while brushing my teeth in the bathroom of my $270-a-night hotel, I noticed a little sign reading SAVE THE PLANET!
Okay, I thought, but how?
The card reported the amount of water used every year in hotel laundry rooms and suggested that, in having my sheets and towels changed on a daily basis, I was taking this precious water directly from the cupped hands of a dehydrated child. I noticed there was no similar plea encouraging me to conserve the hot water that came with my fifteen-dollar pot of room-service tea, but that apparently was a different kind of water. I found an identical SAVE THE PLANET card in each of my subsequent hotel rooms, and it got on my nerves in no time. I don’t mind reusing a towel, but if they’re charging that much for a hotel, I want my sheets changed every day. If I’d felt like sharing my bed with trillions of dead skin cells, I would have stayed at home or spent the night with friends. I was never the one paying for the room, but still, I resent being made to feel guilty for requesting a service an expensive hotel is generally expected to perform.
Pandas and rain forests are never mentioned when it comes to the millions of people taking joyrides in their Range Rovers. Rather, it’s the little things we’re strong-armed into conserving. At a chain coffee bar in San Francisco, I saw a sign near the cream counter that read NAPKINS COME FROM TREES – CONSERVE! In case you missed the first sign, there was a second one two feet away, reading YOU WASTE NAPKINS – YOU WASTE TREES!!! The cups, of course, are also made of paper, yet there’s no mention of the mighty redwood when you order your four-dollar coffee. The guilt applies only to those things that are being given away for free. Were they to charge you ten cents per napkin, they would undoubtedly make them much thinner so you’d need to waste even more in order to fight back the piping hot geyser forever spouting from the little hole conveniently located in the lid of your cup.
Traveling across the United States, it’s easy to see why Americans are often thought of as stupid. At the San Diego Zoo, right near the primate habitats, there’s a display featuring half a dozen life-size gorillas made out of bronze. Posted nearby is a sign reading CAUTION: GORILLA STATUES MAY BE HOT. Everywhere you turn, the obvious is being stated. CANNON MAY BE LOUD. MOVING SIDEWALK IS ABOUT TO END. To people who don’t run around suing one another, such signs suggest a crippling lack of intelligence. Place bronze statues beneath the southern California sun, and of course they’re going to get hot. Cannons are supposed to be loud, that’s their claim to fame, and – like it or not – the moving sidewalk is bound to end sooner or later. It’s hard trying to explain a country whose motto has become You can’t claim I didn’t warn you. What can you say about the family who is suing the railroad after their drunk son was killed walking on the tracks? Trains don’t normally sneak up on people. Unless they’ve derailed, you pretty much know where to find them. The young man wasn’t deaf and blind. No one had tied him to the tracks, so what’s there to sue about?"
David Sedaris (1956 - Pres.) (from "Me Talk Pretty One Day")
and speaking of WASTE, how much can be attributed to the military, the big agriculture, the pharmaceutical and other industries. And yet we are exhorted at every turn to recycle that paper cup, bring our own bags to the grocery store, turn out that light and walk instead of ride.
"I'd never thought much about how Americans were viewed overseas until I came to France and I was expected to look and behave in a certain way. "You're not supposed to be smoking," my classmates would tell me. "You're from the United States." Europeans expected me to regularly wash my hands with prepackaged towelettes and to automatically reject all unpasteurized dairy products. If I was thin, it was because I'd recently lost the extra fifty pounds traditionally cushioning the standard American ass. If I was pushy, it was typical; and if I wasn't, it was probably due to Prozac."
- David Sedaris (1956 - Pres.), (from "Me Talk Pretty One Day")
"My fear had nothing to do with the actual French people. What scared me was the idea of French people I'd gotten from movies and situation comedies. When someone makes a spectacular ass of himself, it's always in a French restaurant, never a Japanese or Italian one. The French are people who slap one another with gloves and wear scarves to cover their engorged hickies. My understanding was that, no matter how hard we tried, the French would never like us, and that's confusing to an American raised to believe that the citizens of Europe should be grateful for all the wonderful things we're done.
Everyday we're told we live in the greatest country on earth and it's always stated as an un deniable fact: Leos are born between July 23 and August 22, fitted queen-size sheets measure 60x80 inches, and America is the greatest country on earth. Having grown up with this in our ears, it's startling to realize that other countries have nationalistic slogans too, none of which are 'We're number two!"
- David Sedaris (1956 - Pres.), (from "Me Talk Pretty One Day") (pg. 157)