This morning, I had to make a quick pit stop at the supermarket to pick up some sandwich bread. I didn’t take my cloth bag, figuring I wouldn’t need it for just a loaf of bread. I shoulda' known better. I couldn’t pass up the freshly baked puffy cheese bagels. The scent of them immediately had me salivating and then the French bread loaves were peeking out of their bags, flashing some very sexy flaky crust at me. Anyway, I don’t want to turn this narrative into kinky bakery porn. Suffice it to say that I ended up with plenty of warm bread in my basket.
Which brings me back to my story. When I got to the cash register with my loaves and bagels, I asked for no bag. In the past this request has been met with irate indignation, which I’ve never been able to understand. Is it too much to ask that the checker or bagger pause his/her robotic impulse to bag my groceries? Well, this time it wasn’t. To my surprise and delight, the cashier responded to my request with “Oh, you're trying to do your bit for the environment. Good for you.” Though that was a nice touch, it wasn’t the payoff. As I wheeled out my cart full of unbagged bread I heard the man behind me say “That looks like a good idea. Don’t bag mine, either.” Now that would’ve made my day, but as I drove out of the parking lot I saw ANOTHER customer coming out of the market with an armful of unbagged groceries. I couldn’t believe it. It was contagious!
You don’t know how many times since I made those darn bags I’ve forgotten to take them to the market, or felt dumb for asking the cashier to take my merchandise out of the bag when they jumped the gun and bagged stuff before I had a chance to stop them. There have certainly been plenty of times when I’ve thought that taking my cloth bag to the market was never going to make any difference but today I caught a glimpse of the power that each one of us has to make change. Sometimes all people need is a little encouragement and someone to start the ball rolling.
Sometimes I think I can be obnoxiously positive, but then I remember that I can be angry and mean too, so I guess it all balances out. I think positivity has gotten a bad rap. I'm not positive in that "don't worry, be happy" sort of way; my positivity has more to do with tenacity. It can even be confrontational. In fact, I just saw a case study in what I would describe as confrontational positivity - a documentary which is out on DVD , The U.S. vs. John Lennon.
John Lennon's rebellious, in-your-face attitude, his idealism, and commitment to rallying the youth of the world to demand peace and an end to the Vietnam war are inspiring. In fact, I'm struck by how little anyone is doing to stop the current war and how bold and shamelessly President Bush asks for more funds to finance a war which is becoming increasingly unpopular.
In one scene from the documentary, a group of antiwar protesters stands outside of the White House chanting "Fuck War, Fuck LBJ!" (referring to then-President Lyndon Baines Johnson), middle fingers waving in the air - wow! Can you imagine chanting that sort of stuff anywhere, let alone outside of the White House, now? I don't think we'd get away with it. What the hell is wrong with us? How did we become so afraid of our own government? I wonder if those activists in the early seventies thought they'd get away with it back then. Guess what? They did. There I go being positive again...but really, what the hell is wrong with us?
Here are some statistics related to Bush's increased war budget that should get you pissed off.
Source: AP 10/22/07
For the Pentagon, the latest request includes:
All told, the $189.3 billion Pentagon request for 2008 includes:
Source: CBS NEWS 10/22/07
POLL: WHO IS WINNING IN IRAQ?
Source: Alice Bag 10/22/07
POLL: WHO IS WINNING IN IRAQ?
Defense contractors and big oil companies