Wake up and smell the roses, literally

So, what’s with the carpeting around here? I haven’t heard anyone else mention anything, so at the risk of sounding crazy, I have to tell you that I HATE the smell of the carpeting on campus (especially in the AWC entry way). Correct me if I’m wrong here y’all, but I’m fairly certain that it reeks of permanent marker and battery acid. It’s like the gods know that I need a quick head-rush high before I drag myself into the gym.

Though I appreciate the divine gesture, I have to tell you that I could do without it, and without a lot of the artificial environments we build for ourselves. I thought about all of this while I gasped for the recycled air pumping out from under my artificial exercise machine the other day. And, after a while I thought, ‘man, I’m glad that no one else can hear this thread in my head because they’d know what a hypocrite I’m being. How embarrassing that would be.

So, in case there were any mind readers that day, I thought I’d go ahead and confess this all to you here. At least, in doing so I could use my own hypocrisy to make a point (or rather use it to ask questions, hopefully provoking more questions from you all].

Why is it that we prefer these artificial environments to more natural ones? Why is it that we cage ourselves in like zoo animals in painted brick mural jungles?

Aside from those who have particularly earthy tastes (and I mean reaaaalllly earthy], we mostly consider things ‘nicest’ when they are as unnatural and arguably as impractical as possible. Stainless-steel appliances, petroleum carpeting, and sleek black over-sized vehicles with the ‘new car’ scented plastic air freshener on the rear-view: a heavenly scene for those seeking the finer things in life.

Speaking of vehicles, I find myself to be uniquely annoyed when people would rather crank the air conditioner in their cars when it’s sunny and 72 outside. If it’s hot, roll down the windows and breathe some fresh air! Of course, there are some practical reasons to keep the windows up (keeping hair in place, noise on the interstate, etc.), but that’s not usually the case according to experts (those experts being me as I watch for this like a hawk when in a vehicle with someone).

If I’m a hypocrite, then so is everyone else, by God! OK, settle down, I just needed a nice Segway into this next story.

Picture this, you’re cruising along in your friend’s Prius headed to vote for ‘climate conscious’ policy makers, when she says “It’s hot, I’m turning on the AC.” I counter with a “why don’t we just turn down the windows?” And she comes back with a whopping: “Oh, I don’t really like the smell of the outside.”

*Cue the blank stare and rapid eye blinking*

As usual, I blame the system, man! We’ve been socialized and trained to bleach this, wax that, color in the lines; because unnatural is beautiful. You crazy existentialist would probably say that we’re using ‘stuff’ to transcend our instincts. It can’t happen and won’t happen. This is probably why there is a real-life psychological condition called nature deficit disorder. Our creation of fakeness is literally driving us crazy! Wake up and smell the roses, people, literally.

OK, so I’ll never understand why people like the dusty air from car vents better than the outside; I still think it’s weird that people find bleach to be a better alternative to a little bit of mud on their kitchen floors, you know, because one’s a toxic fluid and the other is uhhh … dirt.

But, hey, I don’t have a lot of room to pass judgment while I hamster running on the tread mill conveyer belt. I should probably hit the city sidewalks, or errr, maybe the forest reserve trails.

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