Tagged: overconsumption

How to Be Happy, in Three Easy Steps

1) Surrender all ambitions to make, do, or build anything truly great. Trying to achieve greatness will lead to certain failure for everyone, except maybe Tiger Woods. The odds are so stacked against you — like, I don’t know, 10,000,000 -to- 1? — that you’re going to fail in this lifetime and probably the next...

Poem: Much Ado

Should the gratuity be fifteen or twenty per cent? And does the fixation on such matters say something Deeply troubling About the man who would care to cogitate The difference in dollars, paper money, symbolic trinkets — when, in a hospital and upon A battlefield, and in a classroom filled with yearning minds, and somewhere...

In Anticipation of Labor Day

Thank you to the Dads and Moms, toiling at home or in an office, on a truck or in a field. Thanks also to the Thais and Turks and Filipinos and Sri Lankans, the Malaysians and the Indonesians, the Bangladeshis and the Vietnamese, and of course the Chinese, who make our clothes and shoes and socks....

Poem: The Tomato

Evidence of an unwanted visitor: hunks of green flesh missing; pockmarks and scrapes, like the residuals from a Bad case of acne; Ants crawling inside the formerly impenetrable husk. The tomato has been breached, Probably by a rat Or maybe a bird, an enterprising finch, who pecked and poked and discovered that the emerald fruit...

Our Unusual Species

Thanks to sciences like biology and books like the Bible, we humans see ourselves at the apex of nature’s dominion, and not just because we’re at the top of the food chain. We’re special. We’re chosen. We’re God’s favorite of all the creatures. We have feelings, and languages, and the ability to make things that...

Is There a Correlation?

We invite scientists looking for fresh hypotheses to prove (or disprove) to investigate these suppositions, applying academically rigorous methodology in the pursuit of truth. Or we can all simply agree that they’re true, knock off early from work, and have a glass of red wine. Is there a correlation between a person’s tendency to litter and...

The Charity Enigma

I saw a beggar (and his dog) on Sunset Boulevard the other day. They — well, the human — were soliciting cash donations for “food” from pedestrians. A well-meaning but foolish fellow threw a few bucks at the doleful couple, thereby cleansing himself of whatever sins he had committed in the name of acquiring his...

Why Global Warming Tends to Go Unnoticed

CLIMATE STRIKE WEEK at MICHAELKONIK.com, 9/15-21 Daniel Gilbert, a professor of psychology at Harvard University, explains how our brains abandon us when the fate of the planet is at stake: He says that no one seems to care about the upcoming attack on the World Trade Center site. Why? Because it won’t involve villains with...

An Inconvenient Truth

Global warming is not a speculative theory. It’s a proven syndrome, despite what so-called “skeptics” (read: those with financial interests in carbon dioxide producing industries) claim. Former vice-president of the United States, and possibly the rightfully elected president in 2000, Al Gore, has toured the world for years giving a power-point slide show that cogently...

South American Travel Notes, Part Four

To those who haven’t experienced the beast outside of its natural habitat of strip malls and gated communities, the Ugly American seems an outlandish caricature, a literary device employed to make a point about modern capitalism. Unlike Nessie or Sasquatch, however, this monster really exists. You can see him every summer in Europe, and at...