Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Of Coyotes and Common Sense

We have coyote concerns, it seems.

I didn't catch the story on the news, because I was just about asleep on my feet at 10:00 p.pm. and it was all I could do to stay awake for House (having been comatose for most of the previous 48 hours, I slept poorly Monday night), but I saw the teaser several times over the course of the day.

Apparently, there are coyotes afoot in the Metro area.

This is not surprising. Atlanta lies a mere 60 miles south of the foothills of the Appalachian mountain range. What is surprising is that people are surprised. They are also surprised by a deer carcass lying on a suburban thoroughfare. Or a mother raccoon who ravages their garbage nightly. They are surprised when Beavers dam up neighborhood creeks and alligators invade their sparkling chlorinated oases. They are surprised to find venomous snakes in sandboxes and vegetable gardens.

What can we do??? they want to know. They are concerned about their children and their pets, the integrity of their carefully sculpted and impressively expensive landscaping. They worry about their property values.

And who can blame them? When one spends $500,000 on the expansive and sanitary home of their dreams, in an impregnable neighborhood that is manicured, managed and satisfyingly if tenuously urban, one expects not to be discommoded by such creatures.

Never mind that these neighborhoods have been built where once stood forests, farmland, swamps and marshes. Never mind that they have filled in ponds and re-routed streams, never mind that they have pillaged and paved and denuded every square foot of land whereupon a home could possibly stand.

Never mind that those poor creatures were here first.

They are suburbanites and they will prevail!! They WILL have their piece of the pie, they WILL live the American dream, they WILL find their consumer utopia...nature be damned.

Luckily, I, Blog Antagonist, have the answer.

Stop. Building. Shit.

Perhaps I should run for City Council.

Seriously.

Those of you who have lived in Metro Atlanta for any length of time know that it is RIDICULOUS how fast the and how far the urban sprawl has despoiled the once lush and beautiful land.

When I moved here in 1988, there was absolutely nothing on what is now one of the busiest and most nightmarish commercial enclaves in Cobb County. There were only miles and miles of corn crops and kudzu.

When we bought our home in 1996, I had to drive 30 minutes to the procure groceries, gas, and fast food. Now I have all of that at my fingertips, and if it weren't for zoning laws designed to maximize profit and minimize foot traffic, I could walk to almost anything.

There are now four Starbucks within a 5 mile radius of my home. Two Wal-Marts. Three Targets. More restaurants than I could ever manage to patronize. Car washes. Nail salons. Drugstores. Gyms. Daycare Centers.

It's a pretty simple cause and effect equation. And yet....people are puzzled.

You know, I'm not a tree hugger, an environmentalist, an activist or a scientist. I am just one person who depends on this planet and it's resources. But I can see what is happening. I can extrapolate quite easily the consequences of such voracious consumption, such unconscionable polluting, such indiscriminate disposal of our refuse and such heedless displacement of the creatures with whom we must share the earth's bounty. Creatures upon whom, our survival might ultimately depend.

So why are we allowing this to happen? Why do we shake our heads and then go about our business? Why does the sight of a bulldozer or a logging truck not fill us with anger and indignation? Why are we accepting the death of our planet and our species?

I'm starting a campaign. It's the "Stop Building Shit" campaign. Will you join me?

Make a sign and take it to your next City Council meeting. I guarantee it will pique some interest.

21 Comments:

  • At 9:51 AM, Blogger Wendy said…

    We already started that campagin where we live. We live in an area that could have been considered rural, but is quickly becoming filled with sub-divison after sub-division.

    We moved out here for some peace and a little bit of land. We were happy to be away from New Orleans with it's crime, congestion and politicians who didnt care.

    Then a big land developer decided he was going to build 600 houses on land (120 acres) that was meant for 1 acre lots. We stood up and said "OH HELL NO!". Hubby and the neighbors got together and made damn sure he didnt build that many houses. Where this issue was going to be brought up they were there. Who says you cant fight big developers?

    There are many things to worry about if those homes got built, 2 big ones were the main road cant handle the increased traffic (we live off of one of the deadliest roads in the area) and the water has no where to go when it rains. Flooding is a big issue over here. ;)

    We defeated him, but once you cut the head off one another grows back in it's place. So more neighborhoods continue to sprout up. We will keep fighting to keep our area the way we like it.

    And to add to the stupidity of people's wonderment. Maybe people should look to history for many aspects of their life. There is a reason the French Quarter didnt flood during Katrina. After 2 hurricanes devastated the building of New Orleans in the 1700's, the founders built on the highest ground they could find. Stop building on marsh land where the water naturally flows in and out.

     
  • At 10:44 AM, Blogger Sharon said…

    I thought the same thing when I saw that news piece. I grew up in Roswell (my parents have lived there since 1979), and every time I visit, I'm amazed at developers' abilities to cram more useless crap into an already overcrowded city.

    I also laugh at the various city leaders who feel the need to brag about how many trees were planted while they were in office. Perhaps if they hadn't allowed them to be cut down in the first place....

    I live in Dahlonega now, and I'm sad to say that my mountain views are being threatened by the sprawl. Apparently the suburbanites have had enough and are moving north to build $600K homes on the sides of the mountains. I wonder if their realtors mentioned that we have quite a number of coyotes up here.

     
  • At 10:49 AM, Blogger margalit said…

    Sign me up as your campaign manager. I'm with you 100%. We've got coyotes and some moron running for mayor used them as his platform. Kill all the coyotes. Needless to say, he lost. We've got a fox den on my property, and lots of loose wild turkeys and even a moose has sauntered by. We live 6 miles from downtown Boston!

     
  • At 11:22 AM, Blogger Tracysan said…

    I agree with you 100% and the fact that so few people seem to care about this problem (I assume, because there never seems to be a shortage of people willing to by the obnoxious houses in the obnoxious subdivisions)hurts my heart. However, I don't understand your comment "I am not an environmentalist." Would it be such a bad things if you were? Sorry, I just don't get it when people who care for the protection of the planet claim not to be environmentalists. Just like the people who say, "I'm not a feminist, I just think women should have equal rights."

     
  • At 11:38 AM, Blogger Blog Antagonist said…

    Tracysan...No! Being an evironmentalist is certain not a bad thing. I really admire people who are going to bat for the planet. What I meant by that is that I don't think it's fair for me to claim a title that I do nothing to earn. Except...bitch on my blog, that is.

     
  • At 11:39 AM, Blogger Blog Antagonist said…

    Wendy...GOOD FOR YOU! I am encouraged and impressed by your commitment and your success. Keep fighting.

     
  • At 11:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sign me up for your campaign! After all, it is their land we're living on.

    One evening last year we saw 6 cop cars across the street and went to see what was going on. It turned out there was a (GASP!) raccoon in the neighborhood. Funny, only 2 cop cars showed up at the same house when they were looking for drugs belonging to the neighbor's kid.

     
  • At 11:41 AM, Blogger Ruth Dynamite said…

    Amen, sister. Count me in!

     
  • At 11:41 AM, Blogger Blog Antagonist said…

    Sharon...Dahlonega is a beautiful area, it's a shame it too is being spoiled. My Husband's parents live in extreme North Georiga, almost on the Tennessee border, and even there, the constant progress is unrelenting. Pretty soon, there will be nothing but city from the border of Florida to the border of Tennessee.

     
  • At 11:42 AM, Blogger Natalie said…

    Although I am an urban girl all the way I can appreciate some good old fashioned rural landscapes with the best of them. People should know that if they build homes on top of the homes of animals, the animals will still be around. Maybe not as often, but they will be there. We had a coyote in a Quiznos in the middle of downtown Chicago about a month ago. That was unexpected. A coyote in a new suburban development, on the other hand, that is the norm.

     
  • At 11:55 AM, Blogger Avalon said…

    The solution is not to STOP BUILDING SHIT. It is to STOP BUYING SHIT. There would be no need for 2 Wal-Marts, 3 Targets, seventy-eleven drug stores if no one was there buying. Day after day after day. Buy from a Mom-n-Pop. Spend a little extra.Pretty much a guarantee that Target will not build in east-bumblewad if demographic of shoppers are not there.

     
  • At 5:21 PM, Blogger BethGo said…

    We notice this when driving through the outskirts of Houston. Strip malls, strip malls and more strip malls. And it's the same damn stores and restaurant over and over.
    And then you get to the edge and there is wild life and critters and you know they're going to be next. And all for another Starbucks. Bleh.

     
  • At 5:25 PM, Blogger Mom101 said…

    There was a wolf recently found in the Snapple case of a Manhattan convenience store, so why should Atlanta be immune from the critters?

    I'm with you on the campaign. Make sure you feature Walmart prominently in that petition. They've led to enough abandoned strip mall skeletons for me, thank you very much.

     
  • At 8:33 PM, Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said…

    I love you.

    Seriously, it amazes me how people in my town get angry---ANGRY---at the amount of deer we have, yet the forget that almost all of the open space which contained the deer pretty nicely, is now being developed into homes and Over 55 housing (one right behind my neighborhood).

     
  • At 9:52 PM, Blogger jen said…

    we do it because we can't stop ourselves from capitalizing on other humans. we must make money.

    it's disgusting. so yes, i am signing up as your campaign manager.

     
  • At 9:07 AM, Anonymous Andrea said…

    I'm with you. I've been guilty of joining suburbia with the giant SUV and 2.5 kids (well, not that part yet) but I know that I'm contributing to it. We traded the SUV for a smaller vehicle, and I'm hoping our next vehicle will be a hybrid or the best that technology affords at the time, assuming we can manage the payment. My area isn't exploding quite like what you described, and actually the sprawl has stopped and a new movement to restore the areas from which people fled is in full swing. We considered building our dream house in a few years. We've reconsidered, thinking we're not picky people and a house already exists that will suit us perfectly well.

    I want to leave this planet better than I found it. Even if it's just the small things I can do daily it's still something better than doing nothing.

     
  • At 5:32 PM, Blogger Student of Life said…

    A sign that said, "Stop. Building. Shit." would certainly raise some eyebrows in these parts. I live about two hours north of you in the home of Bob Jones University. When we moved here, it was definitely GREENville. Now, just eight years later, a lot of that green is gone. Apparently, we are taking a page out of the Atlanta Urban Sprawl Handbook. It's been pissing me off for several years now.

     
  • At 6:48 PM, Blogger Mrs. Chicky said…

    We have campaigns like that around here. People are sick of the McMansions and the filling in of wetlands in the name of "progress".

    I have dreams of living on a large plot of land instead of on top of my neighbors. Unfortunately, the further west and north you go from here the poorer it gets. And the poorer it gets the worse the schools are. Of course, they're worse off because they don't have the amount of people in those towns that we do, so they have less tax revenue. It's a vicious circle, isn't it.

     
  • At 11:47 PM, Blogger fully operational battle station said…

    Count me in! I had to laugh at this. It reminded me of my neighborhood and how everyone is so FLABERGASTED and FRUSTRATED with the TUMBLEWEED!

    Us Americans, we can't seem to coexist peacefully with anyone these days... not even varmits

    Jamie

     
  • At 7:28 AM, Blogger slouching mom said…

    This saddens me, angers me, and puzzles me, all at the same time.

    The bees are dying, and I am really worried.

    Why do four people (two pint-sized) need more than 2000 square feet of living space? 2500, OK. But 3000? 5000? It's OBSCENE.

    Lately I seem to ask myself this question far too much about far too many topics:

    "What could they be THINKING?"

     
  • At 11:31 PM, Blogger CakeHead said…

    I live in an area that was pretty unpopulated ten years ago. Now it's sprawling, and like you I have five Starbucks within walking distance.

    We also have a boatload of coyotes. The other day as I was walking home from the (apartment complex) gym at five A.M. and a lone coyote was trudging across our parking lot. I thought of how odd that was, mostly becuase it's so common. He didn't pay any attention to me and I frankly didn't pay him much mind either. I thought it was kind of sad that I was truly the intruder.

     

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