I just took the kids to the dollar movie tonight, Wall-E, for the last night of the “Staycation” we’ve been having for their fall school break. If you haven’t seen it, it’s about a robot that is the only remaining life form on Earth, since humans destroyed it with profligate consumption and garbage pileup and toxic waste. He goes around doing waste disposal, until he meets and falls for a probe sent from a spaceship where the remaining living humans are. The probe (appropriately, “Eve”) has the task of trying to find any green life, so humans can come back to the planet and make it green again.
These humans are grossly overfed, underactive, basically obese babies floating on hover chairs with robots doing everything they need (like levering them back into their hover chairs if they fall out and fetching them yet more junk food). They consume electronics and fast food in their stationary life–none of them have ever seen a plant, let alone eaten one. Humans have forgotten how to work and to read well. Somehow they must still be having sex, because the movie shows babies. I wondered how that worked, because the humans can’t even walk. (In the climactic ending scene, they all roll out of their hover chairs and begin trying to totter around. They also plant the tiny little plant Eve found, and the captain says to all the people gathered around, “Kids, we’re going to plant lots of plants, like vegetable plants! And pizza plants!”)
Afterward, I had a conversation with my kids about, how far-fetched IS it, really, that we are like this 700 years in the future, considering the direction we’ve been going? I told them that they haven’t experienced, like I have, a time when there were no video games (unless you count Atari Pong, wasn’t it called?–we thought that was so cool! and Ms. PacMan in the video arcade, if you had a quarter). They weren’t around, like I was, back before everyone got fat. (It has happened in only a couple of generations!) Back when people made dinner every night. This is a little part of our conversation:
Emma: Mom! We need to start recycling!
Me: Are you kidding me? Recycling is for people who actually BUY glass, plastic, and tin. See, we don’t eat much of anything from boxes, cans, and jars. The occasional can I use, I can toss in the neighbor’s recycling thing on garbage day. Our eating 99% plant food, and growing a lot of it, is better than recycling, and the fact that every scrap goes to the compost pile means that we turn that into fertilizer, which makes us more food, and so on forever. What we do is UNCYCLE.
Emma: You just made that word up. The Joneses totally recycle!
Me: No, I didn’t make it up. It’s good to recycle, but the Joneses recycle because they eat lots of packaged, processed food. If you don’t eat that, you don’t even HAVE to recycle.
Kincade: Man, those hover chairs would be COOOOOOL, though. You wouldn’t have to do ANYTHING.
I’ve got a bit more work to do to teach my kids that WORK IS A BLESSING. The law of the harvest and all that–I love every time I haul cabbage out of my garden and in 30 minutes turn 2 big heads of it into 6-7 quarts of raw sauerkraut. But watching the big old incapacitated grownup babies on Wall-E may have influenced my kids a bit in that direction! Have you seen the movie with your kids, if you have any–and what did you think?
Check out the gsg.com homepage for my brand-new video on composting and my garden:
www.GreenSmoothieGirl.com (or see it on YouTube–click on “watch this in high quality”)