When things are investigated, knowledge is extended. When knowledge is extended, the will becomes sincere. When the will is sincere, the mind is correct. When the mind is correct, the self is cultivated. -- Confucius
Politically correct ideals are garbage: true wisdom comes from decades of deep thought and neutral observation. Only a so-called sociopath could ascertain wisdom from this crazy world in a neutral way. Cool thoughts- uncorrupted by modern politics, social norms, or societal ideals- are required for wisdom. Questioning everything, and going against the grain on all universally accepted norms is the path to true intelligence. The Gods notice this.

8/5/10

Why Mow?

Lawn mowing has to be among the top five crazy things that societal humans do.

It has become such a pervasive habit, it is even required by law in most communities. If you let your yard grow more than X amount of inches, the city will take a picture of it, mail it to your landlord, and give you X amount of days to mow it. If you do not comply, they mow it for you- for 300. per hour! That is how it's done where I live, and is typical of other towns as well. Someone living in northern Africa, far northern climates, or other places with little or no grass may find this surprising.

One really has to marvel at the illogicity of it. What is the idea behind it all? Grass is mowed because it makes it look better, supposedly. But how plants chopped to within one inch of their lives look better than their natural state of a tall, healthy, complete plant with seeds etc.- that is beyond me. Natural is always more normal and beautiful looking with anything. It is also mowed ostensibly to reduce insects and ticks. Of course, any wild animal- whether a gazelle or a beetle- will either adapt to its surroundings or move elsewhere. It will not just disappear into the ether. So the fantasy of 'reducing' bugs is actually quite laughable. Believe me- the bugs are still around. As well as the ticks, which actually live in trees and drop onto people. Should we start cutting down all the trees then? I better not say that, it may start a new fad.

A good question then is what if we didn't mow? The average lawnmower pollutes more than eleven cars at once! If we did not mow, mass quantities of gasoline would be saved per year. An enormous amount of hydrocarbon exhaust would never be created, not only from all of the mowers and other equipment, but also all of those lawn company trucks driving around all day. The world would start to look like a majestic prairie again, as it once did before the invention of mowers. Wildlife would flourish, especially birds who would sit on the tall grass and munch the bugs all day. Snakes would love it, not getting chopped to pieces; flourishing without hell from above- eating all the mice and rats they could muster. The ecosystem would change, for the better.

All we need is a path from our front door to the garage or street, and mailbox. This could be cut by hand like the old days: with a sickle, scythe, or bladed weed cutter tool. No gasoline or oil needed for them. No expensive lawnmowers, weedeaters, edgers, leaf blowers, baggers, or illegal mexican labor either. Just a few minutes of exercise per week would be all that is needed to maintain the path.

All lawn service companies nowadays make you sign contracts, and are quite expensive to boot. Many also dupe people into paying extra for monthly fertilizer treatments. Good idea- then they have to mow more often, which you will also be charged for. Some provide the 'service' of aeration. This is where they use a machine to stab holes in the dirt so the grass roots will get more air. Since they are designed by Nature to grow completely surrounded by soil, one has to wonder what the logic in this is. People pay for it though.

Weedeating is also absurd. We wouldn't want a "weed", which is a grass plant that is too tall for the city's liking, to touch a tree (another plant), or a human structure, or a sidewalk edge, or a street curb, or a fence. After all, these plants-o-destruction may spit acid on them and destroy those items we hold so dear. If grass is that destructive, then why grow it at all? Maybe the weedeater crowd should just till up their yards and replant moss. Or they could do like one house I actually seen once in Kansas City: pave the yard in cement and paint it green. At least one person had some sense to break the cycle. Those who obsess over their lawns have a touch of OCD, and should seek help for this neurosis.

Now that leaf blowers have become the latest fad that all so-called professional lawn care people can't seem to do without, I wonder what gadget is next. Just like the weedeater that never used to exist, and the riding mower, the gas mower, and even the old push mower with the whirly blades.

People should at least consider mowing less often. Most mow weekly, but I mow monthly. This is enough to stay out of hot water with the city. So I use 1/4 the gas and cause 1/4 the pollution of most people.

Here is a better idea: stop inventing gadgets to further man's obsession with complete control of nature, and start allowing a lush ecosystem that will be loved by wildlife and help to filter our poisoned air just like trees do. They always say to plant trees, and letting other plants grow bigger would have the same effects. This combined with the factor of so much less energy use to cut it to start with- over and over again in an obsessive cycle- would greatly help the planet, and thereby, ourselves.

While our yards are not big enough to become prairies, we can do our part on a smaller scale...



see this article

(c) james platt

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