Saturday, May 15, 2010

So Amazing!


I must hereby perform my civic duty and announce to all those who may be listening in the various realms of the blogosphere that, this upcoming Tuesday, and very momentous event shall occur.

For, this Tuesday evening, director Joss Whedon, of Firefly, Buffy, and Doctor's Horrible Sing Along Blog, will be directing the television musical sensation that is Glee. Guest starring will be the amazing and incomparable awesomeness of Neil Patrick Harris, who is rumored to be playing Will Schuster's old high school rival / arch nemesis.

Much like the merging of puppies, cupcakes, and party to form my totally awesome Cupcake & Puppy Party, this television event has managed to combine three of my favourite things into one, making it a truly momentous occasion...mostly for me, but also for other people with appreciation of the finer things in life, such as puppies, cupcakes, Joss Whedon, Neil Patrick Harris, and watching of Glee.

Consider yourself informed.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

When I Rule The World...

...Plastics will be banned, outside of electronic and medical use (with appropriate review for situations in which human lives are fundamentally improved through the use of plastics and there is a consumer and manufacturer commitment to ensure that all plastics are recycled and appropriately disposed-of).

...Shampooing of hair will be optional.

...Transit will be free (and collectively paid for through taxation of members of the communities the transit system serves).

...Tuition will be abolished - currently, university tuition only makes up 25% of schooling costs anyways (donors and government pay 75% of schooling costs), but the continued and rising existence of tuition makes even minimally-adequate education prohibitively expensive for the vast majority of young adults. Governments and donors need to step up, just a little, and in doing so education becomes universally accessible, and young adults and their families are no longer strapped with massive debt in an effort to make themselves more employable and thus better for the economy. Student loans disbanded. Economy saved. Problem solved.

...Oil spills will probably still happen, sometimes, but they will hopefully happen much less,  and the human toll on the oceans will be lessened through increase transit use, decreased personal car use, and the abolishing of all but essential plastics.

...Manufacturers whose products result in negative impacts will be fairly and equitably charged for the toll of said impacts, and any resulting increases in cost should be passed down to the consumers.

For example, say you chew gum, and your gum ends up on the sidewalks of my city, and my city does not like having gum on its sidewalks so it hires street cleaners (preferably through a supported-work program designed to rehabilitate adults who have been chronically underemployed). The city could then very justifiably bill the gum manufacturer (say, Trident) for the cost of the street cleaners as it relates to cleaning up gum.

School boards whose janitors find themselves spending 25% of their time knifing gum off the underside of desks could charge gum manufacturers 25% of their janitorial budget, too. Everyone can get in on the fun.

As a consequence of these ‘billings,’ Trident is forced to pay out a few million dollars, and in order to maintain profits, Trident passes the buck on to you, the consumer. So the cost of the average pack of gum goes up, and you, the consumer, may decide to chew less gum, which means less cleaning up for the city and the schools. Or Trident could theoretically try to educate consumers about proper gum disposal, in order to limit future cleaning bills. It’s really up to them, and to you.

But the point is that the actions of the consumers and the manufacturers DO have a cost, in the form of litter, or pollution, or lung disease...and these costs are generally swallowed by the very accommodating public and governments. But if smoker’s cigarette butts are filling up Vancouver’s gutters, then the manufactures, and the smokers, are the logical people to pay for the clean-up. The same goes for medical costs related to first and second hand smoke, which the province could theoretically then bill to the cigarette manufacturers.

As a result, it may not be financially viable to run a cigarette company, when you actually have to pay all the costs, or to operate a coal mine, or to drill for oil off the Coast of Mexico. And if you stick your chewing gum on my sidewalk and I step in your gum, and it takes me twenty-five minutes to extricate your gum from my shoe, and even now my shoe still seems to stick a little as I walk...Pay.