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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 3/9/13

In Trash We Trust; Free Advertisement; "Corporate Personhood"

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One by one, as I walk throughout Berkeley, I notice it.  Not to pick on Berkeley, because they've done their best, keeping the littering of corporations out, but they are here now, and in force.  One by one, phone companies pop up like Plantation Whorehouses in Jazz-era, World-War I New Orleans, Louisiana.  Minus the selective morality play Parish Priests played at the time, from participating and profiting to admonishing and condemning, simply because no longer could they prosper from the Navy sailor's natural urges to spread their seed, or at least fling it all over someone paid to receive it, allegedly.

But back to stuff that is not as much fun: walking down a beautiful morning Berkeley street, seeing corporate garbage along the way.  One by one, picking them up.  I know there will be a trash can somewhere down the road, so why not.  And it's always the same corporations: McDonald's and Coca-Cola are the two usual suspects in this should-be-a crime drama.  Their logos litter the streets and sidewalks of this town, as well as other places in this nation.  Not only is this free advertisement but it's littering, too.  Yeah, yeah, I know... it's not McDonald's and Coca-Cola's fault their product's garbage ends up on the streets and sidewalks of our cities and towns... uh, I beg to differ. 

Cue: "Corporate Personhood": If they weren't a multinational corporation and there was as much garbage floating around a town I am betting the local municipality would send them a letter, telling them to tell their fan base something to the effect of, "Tell your customers to clean up their mess when they're finished.  We're tired of having to pick it up for you."  And if you, as a citizen, decide you want throw your personal garbage in some corporation's trash can, or just in the streets in general, you can bet you'll get a phone call from the Sheriff's Department after they get your name and address from a torn bill envelope... again, allegedly.

Again, "Corporate Personhood" is in effect.  Right now these Criminal Corporations posture while participating and enacting laws that benefit their interests over the Peoples' interests.  Therefore, if they are claiming "person" status, they need to pay like individual citizens where littering is concerned.  They are claiming individual rights, which means they also take individual responsibility when their product's empty vessels litter towns and cities everywhere.

Their litter is every where and it's in every thing; it's floating around our oceans, festering and polluting at the bottoms of our oceans, stagnating slowly in our landfills, drifting and contaminating those making contact with in our streets and sidewalks, and that's... fine?  I don't think it should be fine

Just like alcohol corporations exclaiming, "Please Drink Responsibly" or the even more maddening, "Please Live Responsibly," simply out of legal maneuvering, not really caring when someone dies in a smoldering wreck someplace not near the front gates of their gated community and mansion.  I believe accountability needs application concerning these corporations, when their patrons litter our neighborhoods or consumers consume too much and ram their two-thousand-pound bullet into mine or others' unsuspecting spines.

Oh, and fellow Cannabis consumers, you too!  I see empty packages everywhere!  When we do the same thing we are no better than they are.  We need to throw our garbage away too.  Unless you leave something in it, of course, then, by all means, drop it.  But if you've smoked it all up, or have eaten the contents therein, throw the remaining container away, please

I do know one thing: littering seems "normal" or "average."  And that's sad.  I'm not going to tell you I've never littered in my life, that would be a lie.  But I do not litter any longer; I learned years ago in Salt Lake City, Utah.  I employ the "pack-it-in, pack-it-out" method-of-operation, where, if I can't find a trash can immediately, I will hold onto the contents until I do find a suitable place for it.  And there are trash cans all over downtown Berkeley, so there is usually no reason for littering out there, where I see most of the trash?

You would think that, if you put a trash can on every single corner, the littering would either drop or cease altogether... seemingly.  Then you think about human nature as a variable and that formula gets tougher to control.  Too many components in that pie I guess.  I have seen trash, five feet away from the trash can, and I have seen garbage on the ground right next to the trash can, as though someone made a token effort, but when they saw their cheap, half-ass attempt failed, kept going, most likely with a look of annoyance and frustration or, at the very least, complete and total indifference.

I say we begin fining establishments who can't tell customers they are pigs, not only for eating their disgusting (non) food, but for discarding the contents of their poison any place they deem fit.  The next time you are out walking around, take a good look at where cars park, see where the garbage sits as correlation to where the car was, and you will see the person parked there shoved the contents under their car.  They shoved the trash under the chassis of their car, just before they backed up and continued polluting the planet with oil.


-James Richard Armstrong II

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I'm a homeless student, writer, and activist... currently panhandling my way through school (and life.).
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