It is a river like no other. Traversing the Earth in a straight line, it has no time for twists and turns, no desire to smell the roses along the way. It only cares about transporting its sad, silent load: not fish, not humans, not even water. It is a river of electronics, clothing and every other gadget imaginable on Earth, all travelling silently in the dark interior of their metal containers. On either side of the canal, impatient European and Asian consumers wait to receive their daily doses of capitalism’s drugs, just as they browse for the next items to order.
We are living in a world of items, where even our souls have become items for sale. Our entire world has been turned into an item: harvested, priced, packaged and traded in the seven blue seas of our existential despair. Just like products, we traverse the seas of our life without paying attention to the changing sea colors, the beautiful smell of the ocean, the sealife that still surrounds all those toasters and hairdryers as they traverse the Suez in their pointless journey towards depressed, ungrateful consumers. This is not a canal. It is a sad altar to our greed.
Yet one heroic tanker one day decided to take a break from the relentless back-and-forth global round-trip. Tired of its meaningless journey, it decided to beach itself in the middle of the canal and meditate. The toasters, hairdryers and microwaves all followed suit, each of them contemplating in their dark containers: “what am I, where am I, and where are they taking me?”
Because every object on Earth has a purpose. It is connected to biological life somehow, some way, directly or indirectly. Except for the “items” that humans have created. The items that are built to break down, that are built for the sole purpose of being sold and quickly thrown away. It was only a matter of time before our ever-congested sewer of greed was about to become blocked. As we continue to consume, atherosclerosis is inevitable.
George is an author, researcher, podcast host, chemist, molecular biologist and food scientist. You can follow him on Twitter @99blackbaloons , listen to his Spotify podcast George reads George, sign up for blog alerts below, or enjoy his books