New Times / Shredder
The following articles were printed from New Times [newtimesslo.com] - Volume 28, Issue 24
The Shredder you deserve
I’ve always thought of blue as the color that best expresses depression, but my mood these days would most aptly be called brown. Before you let fly with the poop jokes—and shame on you, when I’m discussing an important issue like the possible, most likely, almost definite destruction of Earth—take a peek outside your window.
I can wait. I’ve got nothing better to do. (I know that sounds sarcastic, but I live in a closet beneath a staircase the better part of the week, when I’m not being chased by dragons and eating booger-flavored jellybeans. … There’s a chance I fell asleep during a Harry Potter marathon last night, and it’s altered my perception of reality. Or the only way to account for the relentless swath of brittle brown chaparral across the Central Coast is the fact that dragons have been released from the alternate universe they were once confined to in order to punish us for our wickedness and perfidy. I’m looking at you gay marriagers and people who drive with their blinkers on for half an hour even though they clearly have no intention of turning.)
That had to have been sufficient time for you to steal a peek outside. What did you see? Unless you’ve completely missed the cue about the brown landscape and have been staring at our sparkly blue coastline, which is the envy of the Midwest, if not the entire world, you’ve probably been staring at some parched property. If you’re like me, it’s a sight that makes you a little sad, and maybe a little thirsty for a margarita.
I’m not alone in my alarm. A couple of weeks ago the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration upped the Central Coast’s status from creamsicle to Strawberry Short Kook—or, if you don’t speak ice-cream-truck lingo, from orange signifying severe drought to red signifying extreme drought. We’ve long since left behind abnormally dry and moderate drought, and there’s only one more box to go before they’re going to have start inventing new boxes. And I’d like to go on the record saying that if the government needs dedicated citizens to create new drought boxes, I’m your writer. I’ve got a radioactive shade of purple in mind that’d knock your socks off, and names that would actually terrify the citizenry into doing whatever it is they’re supposed to do during extreme drought conditions. Recycle our urine? Panic and start drinking seawater? Dammit, now I’ve gone and revealed the secret ingredient in Shredder’s Saltastic Margaritas. And I also mentioned the “r” word (shhhhh … radiation) which is getting everyone riled up on account of the fact that no one seems to have agreed on how much of the atomic uh-oh from the Fukushima disaster has made its way to California. I don’t know why the radiation would bother coming here; did you know they have Mountain Dew-flavored Cheetos there? If Diablo does one day decide to blow, probably on account of the fact that it’s on several seismic fault lines that it probably wasn’t built to withstand, I’m hoping the strength of the blast propels me in that direction. I’ve always had a deep respect for Japanese culture, especially when I learned it was the birthplace of Godzilla and videogames.
I know what you’re thinking. If Shredder loves Japan so much, why doesn’t Shredder just marry it and have its babies? Or, at the very least, get the hell out and leave America to the people who would never even consider looking at another country because it’s so clearly superior to all the other countries? Unfortunately, I can’t afford a plane ticket. Also, in 2009, I was added to the Transportation Security Administration’s Do Not Fly list. It’s a long story, and I would get into it here because I know you have nothing better to do, but I think I’m supposed to be driving toward some sort of point about something so I’d better get back to that.
California lawmakers have been calling for Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency, which wouldn’t exactly open the floodgates of the sky and give us the rain we so desperately need, but might open up new avenues in terms of how we respond to the crisis. Loosen the rules a little bit. But Brown is apparently reluctant to declare a state of emergency until we’ve cruised through another four months without rain and can safely and definitively state that we’re screwed.
Meanwhile, there’s all this rain and snow in the Midwest, prompting some geniuses to argue that global warming was all just a big conspiracy by environmentalists.
So these are your choices: drinking seawater or trying to convince your golden retriever to mush through snow to get you to work each morning. Worse still, you’re getting your news from me, and I can’t seem to focus on a single thought or issue for more than did someone see my creamsicle? This isn’t the Shredder you want; it’s neither uplifting nor coherent. And it isn’t the one you need; again, with the lack of coherence and also facts and any kind of logical progression of thought. But until you stop telling one another to leave the country every time you disagree and dismissing the value of science, this is the Shredder you deserve.
The point is, if we want to address these issues—global warming, drought—we’re probably going to have bid farewell to our penchant for turning everything into a bipartisan bickering match. We’re going to have to wait until we understand the science, and have at least heard the facts before sounding off on Facebook, and I know that’s a downer when there are cat videos to watch and four-letter insults that don’t require any facts at all. In fact, you don’t even have to reveal your identity when you insult people now. *cough cough* But we’ve tried sounding off without knowing what the hell we’re talking about, when the only fact we need is whether the person we’re conversing with is a liberal or conservative, and the end result is that we don’t converse at all, just jam our fingers in our ears and make profoundly moronic comments about how a polar vortex in the Midwest discredits global warming. Because a polar vortex is cold.
Shredder’s willing to share that margarita recipe. Send ice—if you can find it—to email@example.com.
Welcome to fire season: Summer fires hitting hard and early--in climatology terms, 'we're screwed' New grand jury report details problems with medical intake process for inmates at Santa Barbara County Jail Proposed Casmalia Superfund settlement announced; feds seeking public comment Fire in the sky: Drought and new fireworks ordinances force Central Coast to rethink how it celebrates the Fourth of July Political Watch 6/30/16