Today I was sitting in the park enjoying a relaxing day when a guy comes and starts smoking his cigarette near me while blowing the smoke in my direction of course.
It’s not the first time, and it’s not because I’m in Asia. Of course in Asia, everything gets intensified because there are more people, but I’ve been having that problem pretty much all my life everywhere.
Same happens when I ride my bicycle every day, you get all the motorbikes and cars in front of you blowing you their toxic fumes, and even though I try to be health conscious and live a healthy life, I have to breathe waste, because yeah, people have to drive cars, right? And people have to smoke in the park, right?
So, I leave the park, start walking, and again thinking who’s fault is it that I have to breath toxic gases every day. Is it the guy who smokes or drives the car? No, because they don’t think for themselves, they are a no more than a product of their environment.
The guy would have probably been smoking a grasshopper, it had been properly advertised and introduced into his environment, as for the guy who was driving a fossil fuel powered car, he would be definitely driving a solar or electric car if it was readily and conveniently available to him.
Is it the people who had educated them or lead them to think that making the air dirty and causing cancer to others and to themselves was the right thing to do? Was the person who sold them the car or tobacco? Was the one who produced it and allowed for its promotion and distribution? Yes of course they were but only to some degree, as for most of them, they are, same as the final consumer, just a product of poorly designed, poorly managed system.
A system where if I feed the poor it’s good, but if I ask why the poor have no food and how can we change that, they will call me a communist, or an anarchist, or n extremist, or tell me I’m against the government, well, of course, I’m against the government and so should you.
So should you if you care about any other person besides yourself, or if you care about the animals or the environment. because your government knows it’s idiotic that the world still runs on fossil fuel while we have so many other clean energy sources, It’s not like we have one or two, we have more than 10, hydrogen, solar, tidal, wave, nuclear fusion, hydroelectric, wind, geothermal, radiant energy, biomass, etc. and your government knows it, yet they don’t implement them.
I remember once while hitchhiking in Finland some 5 years ago, got picked up by a driver who was driving a water powered car, he had been working on it for 20 years and showed me the whole mechanism and how it worked.
It was very strange for me as I had never seen anything like that, so I asked him, of course, why doesn’t he share it with the world, so he told me the story about how they took his friend that had helped him develop it, and how all the people who develop renewable energy powered cars seem to just mysteriously vanish from the face of the earth. He told me stories of some famous Russians and North Americans who had been taken together with their inventions.
Of course, I didn’t believe him, so when I got home I googled everything and it seemed he was right, everyone who tried to share it had disappeared.
Back to the park though, I keep walking and what do I see? The same thing i see every day, lots of office buildings, and construction sites (where they are always building new office buildings), the area is called Nangang. The city, Taipei.
Have you ever wanted to sit in an office for 10 hours a day? No? Me neither, but that seems to be the Taiwanese dream right now, a business related job. If you have that job you are considered to be a successful person here.
Basically, most of the times, sitting in front of a computer, sending a few emails, making a few phone calls and doing some paperwork, and that is, in fact, the idea that Taiwanese have of a successful person.
It’s just a trend of course, and it changes every decade, before it was engineering, before that it was medicine and in 10 years it will be something different.
These people say they like money and they do it for the money, yet most of the times they barely make enough to survive. They don’t really have much money but in their mind is all money money money.
Of course I tried to tell these people to ride a bicycle instead of car, to stop smoking, that money doesn’t make people happy and that success is measured by how we interact and thrive within our environment, instead of being measured by how we trash things up or by how much time we spend in an office causing some trouble to others.
And what do I get for that? They look at me like I’m a lunatic and belong in a mental asylum or like I come from mars and speak the tongue of my people. Others will say “you just don’t understand the real world” or “that’s how the world works”.
“That’s just how the world works” it is, after all, just a phrase assholes use to justify doing awful things, but what to say to these people who think they live in the “real world”? Well, it’s my world too, I also live in the real world and I’m tired of you and your government polluting the air I breathe, the water I drink and poisoning the food I eat.
Air and water are like the very basic thing you should be trying to protect, if not for you at least for your descendants. Instead of that, you are a thrashing machine. As soon as you wake up you make sure during the day you can cause as much pain and trouble to me and to your environment as possible.
First in your car when you go to work making my air dirty, then at work creating some sort of bureaucracy or paperwork to make my life more difficult while making sure you contribute to the waste of resources and the destruction of my planet in as many ways as you can.
Well, you know what people from Nangang? I’m sick and tired of you, and your office buildings and your cars, and your construction workers building more offices and your factories building more cars.
And even though nobody living in Nangang is reading this right now, and that person smoking in the park was probably not even aware he was polluting my air, this post will remain here, on the internet, as a silent protest from a person who always feels like he has no voice in this profoundly sick community.
One that, for the record, I feel very ashamed of belonging to.