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  #1  
Old 19 March 2011, 05:54 PM
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Dear Babby Dear Babby is offline
 
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Default The Green Thing

In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that plastic bags werenít good for the environment. The woman apologized
to her and explained, ďWe didnít have the green thing back in my day.Ē

Thatís right, they didnít have the green thing in her day. Back then, they returned their milk bottles, Coke bottles and beer bottles to
the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, using the same bottles over and over.
So they actually were "recycled."

But they didnít have the green thing back in her day.

In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didnít have an escalator in every store and office building. They walked to the
grocery store and didnít climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two blocks.

But sheís right. They didnít have the green thing in her day.

Back then, they washed the babyís diapers because they didnít have the throw-away kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-
gobbling machine burning up 220 volts Ė wind and solar power did the drying. Kids often got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers
or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that old lady is right, they didnít have the green thing back in her day.

Back then, they had one TV, or radio, in the house Ė not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a pizza dish,
not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because they didnít have electric
machines to do everything for them. When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used wadded up newspaper to cushion it,
not styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, they didnít fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power.
They exercised by working so they didnít need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But sheís right, they didnít have the green thing back then.

They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty, instead of using a plastic bottle or cup every time they had a drink of water. They
refilled pens with ink, instead of buying new pens, and they replaced the blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But they didnít have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar and kids rode their bikes to school or rode the school bus, instead of turning their moms into a
24-hour taxi service. They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And they didnít
need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from a satellite 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But they didn't have the green thing back then!
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  #2  
Old 19 March 2011, 06:31 PM
RichardM RichardM is offline
 
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Sounds like a glurge to me.

And it sounds more like when my parents were young rather than when I was young. But then, I am only 60.
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  #3  
Old 19 March 2011, 06:33 PM
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When I worked for a city that had a recycling program, I dealt with a number of residents who seemed to find the whole proposition un-American. That baffled me, since most of them grew up returning bottles for deposit, and many of them remembered collecting metal and other scrap for recycling during WWII. Why is it more patriotic to waste, just because we're not fighting Hitler?
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  #4  
Old 19 March 2011, 07:17 PM
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RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardM View Post
Sounds like a glurge to me.
Yes, but it's a good one.

OK, they mixed up stuff like streetcars, and returning bottles. We returned bottles for deposits up through my teens, but I think streetcar we gone before I was born. And old-style TVs used more energy per unit than they do now, plus, I don't think a cashier who would tell off a customer for her bag choice will have a job for very long, it's still a way better glurge than the one my husband got forwarded by a co-worker, involving an ant returning someone's lost contact lens to her, FOR JESUS. I wish I were making that up.

I often do think about stuff like this, but not in a "Git off mah lawn" way, so much as a curiosity thing-- I mean, I wonder why people who are so big on recycling and reusing don't have things like this occur to them, and if they do, it turns out that washing and sterilizing the bottles for reuse ends up putting a lot of bleach and other things in the ground water (you know those bottles were washed with phosphates).

Then, there's the walking and biking to school thing. The boychik doesn't go to public school yet, so I can't personally vouch for stories, but his friends parents, who have older children in school, tell me that elementary schools actively discourage kids from walking and biking to school unless an adult accompanies them. I walked to school beginning in preschool when I was three, but with other kids; however, the oldest was maybe 8. It was just a few blocks. In the fourth grade, I walked or biked what was probably 1/2 mile. I would catch up with other kids, but not by design. I started out with just my brother.

I don't know too many working parents with the time to walk kids to school-- or bike with them, if they wear suits to work, because that might mean going back home to shower and change.

Personally, I think schools are over-reacting. But then you get to a point where, if your child is walking, and is the only one, instead of lots of kids going down the same sidewalks, it feels very different.

Maybe we'll live far enough away, that the boychik will get to take a bus to school.
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  #5  
Old 19 March 2011, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
. . .plus, I don't think a cashier who would tell off a customer for her bag choice will have a job for very long. . .
I didn't get the idea that any of it was directed at the customer, or expressed by the cashier, for that matter. The comment to the cashier is just a jumping-off point, and the cashier is referred to in the third person.
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  #6  
Old 19 March 2011, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
I didn't get the idea that any of it was directed at the customer, or expressed by the cashier, for that matter. The comment to the cashier is just a jumping-off point, and the cashier is referred to in the third person.
Not to disagree, but just because I'm a little puzzled; how do you read this:
Quote:
In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that plastic bags werenít good for the environment. The woman apologized to her....
It's all irrelevant, since the cashier isn't the point of the glurge. It just suggests that as a factual story, it's unlikely. But we all knew that already.
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  #7  
Old 19 March 2011, 07:38 PM
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I wish it wasn't written in such a glurgy 'back in the day' format, because there are a couple decent points in there.

Of course, I drive people nuts because my own personal peeve is car use. I don't often say it out loud (unless I've almost been run off the sidewalk by a pissed off driver during rush hour and I'm ranting about drivers in general), but I do think we rely too much on vehicles for everything. I could write my own glurge about how I grew up walking/biking everywhere and how I make choices in my life that allow me to get by without a vehicle of my own, but I also recognize that this is a personal choice that works for me - and honestly it's mostly a financial decision rather than environmental, even though I'm long past the point where I can't afford a car (after 13 years of not having to pay for insurance/gas/parking, it's painful to even think about taking that on if I don't have to).

So basically - some good points, but why do these things always have to be presented as a lecture rather than tips?
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  #8  
Old 19 March 2011, 08:09 PM
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DH and I biked everywhere except the store when we did our "every two weeks just got paid" stock up, when we went out late at night, and when we took the dogs to a state park, but since we had the boychik, we've been driving everywhere. I never felt safe using those toddler bike seats, and besides, I was tired most of the time.

We're thinking about getting one of these, though:



Buddy bike website. I don't know anything about this particular bike-- I googled it-- but we know some people who have this style of bike, although I don't know the make or model, and they're very cool.
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  #9  
Old 19 March 2011, 11:11 PM
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You can tell it's glurge since it starts off with an incorrect statement.

Plastic is not worse for the environment than paper. It depends on where you are, if you re-use the bag etc.
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  #10  
Old 23 March 2011, 06:25 AM
Assilem Brandywine Assilem Brandywine is offline
 
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"They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty...."

...and were the right color.
Ever notice "Good Ol' Days" glurge never mentions the blatant racism?
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  #11  
Old 23 March 2011, 10:12 AM
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Didn't notice racism, blatant or not, in that particular glurge. It could have been written anywhere.

This said, I recently helped my brother sort out my late parents' appartment, and I found the old plastic container my mom used to fetch milk from the village's dairy (I carried that one as soon as I was big enough).

Then came the first pyramidal milk cartons, followed by the rectangular ones.

Can't say I regret the time. Some stores tried the "green" option by offering glass bottles one could clean and re-fill at a milk machine, but it didn't catch on. Too much hassle. And I say this as a conviced "greenie".

As for drinking from fountains, it's still perfectly possible around here. I do it from time to time.
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  #12  
Old 23 March 2011, 04:45 PM
Assilem Brandywine Assilem Brandywine is offline
 
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I was pointing out how "Good O'l Days" glurge never mentions the bad things about the past. Like racism, sexism, higher mortality rates, etc. Like everything was just as it was shown on Leave It to Beaver and Mayberry RFD.
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  #13  
Old 23 March 2011, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Assilem Brandywine View Post
I was pointing out how "Good O'l Days" glurge never mentions the bad things about the past. Like racism, sexism, higher mortality rates, etc. Like everything was just as it was shown on Leave It to Beaver and Mayberry RFD.
I saw a very strange Andy Griffith Show ep. once that was horribly racist against some gypsies (Romany, I know, but they were "gypsies" on the show) that Andy decided to run out of town. I couldn't believe it. I still wonder if maybe I dreamed it.
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  #14  
Old 23 March 2011, 05:11 PM
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Not to disagree with your larger point, but I wouldn't be terribly surprised to see a plot like that in a contemporary series, TBH. It'd be a bit more subtle, maybe, and probably framed in less obviously racialised terms but I suspect still broadly acceptable.
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  #15  
Old 23 March 2011, 05:18 PM
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GenYus234 GenYus234 is online now
 
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And they might not have been actual Roma anyway. Didn't gypsy refer to any group of travelers regardless of actual ethnic background? IOW, they could have been the '50's version of the Travelers.
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  #16  
Old 23 March 2011, 05:26 PM
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RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
 
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I've seen a couple of shows (IIRC, House was one, and I think maybe Law & Order: CI) where itinerant gypsies were the target of disdain, although not for being itinerant, or even for cheating people for a living (there are plenty of non-Roma people in the US who do that), but for having anti-modern medicine stances, and in the mind of whatever doctor was the focus of the show, being responsible for the outbreak of something or another. I have no idea whether Roma people are like that at all, though.

But FWIW, and in contrast to Europe, it's my understanding, Roma people who have come to the US have mostly assimilated, and are not itinerant. The one who came over during the huge wave of European immigration from 1880-1930 intermarried after a generation or so, and in the 21st century, the US does not have a significant Roma population that is itinerant; the ones that are, are more of a living museum, and sort of put on an old-world show, which means that people in the US don't find them a nuisance, like Europeans still do.

That's my limited experience, and I haven't been to Europe in a while.
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  #17  
Old 23 March 2011, 05:29 PM
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RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
And they might not have been actual Roma anyway. Didn't gypsy refer to any group of travelers regardless of actual ethnic background? IOW, they could have been the '50's version of the Travelers.
In the context of The Andy Griffith Show, they were Roma people, who cheated and stole for a living. Whether that reflected any real people was beside the point-- they were supposed to be real, just like the "Indians" in Westerns were supposed to be real Native American peoples.
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  #18  
Old 23 March 2011, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
I've seen a couple of shows (IIRC, House was one, and I think maybe Law & Order: CI) where itinerant gypsies were the target of disdain, although not for being itinerant, or even for cheating people for a living (there are plenty of non-Roma people in the US who do that),. . .
I don't remember any L&O:CI episode about Roma, but there was one about Irish Travellers. There was a murder, of course, that got the detectives involved originally, and then some other questionable and/or illegal practices turned up.
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Old 23 March 2011, 05:48 PM
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Hmmm. I wonder if that's it. I tend to watch CI only during marathons, when I'm on the couch with a bad cold, or something, so the details tend to blur.

Also, waaaaaay OT, but was there ever a CI ep. where someone politician got killed over his secret cure for Alzheimer's that someone powerful wanted for his son, who had early-onset Alzheimer's? I know I saw an ep. of something with a plot like that, and I was pretty sure it was CI, and a Goren ep. at that, but I've been through the TV.con episode list, and I can't figure out which one it would be.

I was watching it when I was laid up with something, or maybe when the boychik was a newborn, and I was in that up-an-hour/down-an-hour haze, so I slept through part of it, and I really want to see the whole thing.

[/off topic]
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  #20  
Old 23 March 2011, 05:54 PM
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Yes, it was something like that. Very sad.
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