Yup, my wife found this nine page document from Cheshire East Council yesterday. Yes nine pages of A4 on waste reduction and guess what? This is the second one they sent out. So that’s 18 pages of A4 for the bonfire.
Let’s take a look…
Q1. Who is responsible for sorting/putting out the rubbish in your household. Please cross one box only.
 Male adult
 Female adult
 Joint adult responsibility
 Other (please specify)
What the bastarding Horlicks does anyone need to know that for? What sort of moron concocted this survey? Why the fuck does Cheshire East (note not East Cheshire but the much more dynamic sounding Cheshire East) council need to know the age or sex of who puts the wheelie bin out? I’m tempted to tick “other”. Why else do I have flying monkeys? Well apart from revenge, obviously. Although I do find vengeance comes in quite handy for that too.
The “Home Composter Volunteer Scheme” consists of volunteers (keen home composters) who attend various events and meetings to explain composting and answer questions.
Q18. Would you be interested in joining this scheme… Please cross all that apply.
 …as a home composter.
 …to attend home composting events held by Cheshire East.
 …to receive newsletters and literature about home composting.
 …I am not interested in home composting.
Oddly enough the first three options are hi-lighted on the form. The last one isn’t so presumably if you tick that you are somewhere morally south of Pol Pot. But… Indulge me. “Keen home composters” and “various events”. Many years ago I realised that decadence - real decadence - is not cocaine-fueled orgies with supermodels (that ineffable cow Naomi has a restraining order out on me anyway) but this sort of thing. Modern decadence is not booze and buggery but self-righteousness. It is essentially about feeling truly smug because you wash your trash with Ecover. The fact most of the “recyclables” are quietly land-filled in China is irrelevant because this has nothing to do with “saving the planet” and everything to do with feeling morally superior. To most intents and porpoises proper religion is dead in Europe. So praying to The Almighty has been replaced by washing your trash to “save” porpoises. Christ! My local Co-op sells - I shit ye not - “ethical water”. What the fuck is “ethical water”? Is it a refreshing beverage that can also write an informed essay on the moral philosophy of Baruch Spinoza? I don’t know. I do know that it is presumably only bought by profound cunts.
Quite what the mechanism is here is mysterious but then religion has to involve mysteries. In the case of real religions the mystery is pre-shipped - I have known enough cosmologists in my time (Old astrofizz saying about cosmologists - “frequently in error but never in doubt”) - to know that the “big questions” (”Why the sea is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings?”*) are essentially mysterious. I mean there is a reason why all the great religious traditions posit a God who is essentially unknowable. Religion therefore has it’s rituals - praying in the direction of Mecca, reciting “Hail Marys”, Buddhist prayer wheels etc. Green has washing trash and putting it in a box as an offering to Gaia. Or composting. It’s like “The Good Life” except in the ’70s that was a piss-take on “sustainability” yet the dream of Tom Good has come true. It’s an interesting show. It’s the sort of show that wouldn’t be made now. Tom would have to be the hero these days yet in the series he comes over as an over-bearing control freak who treats his wife like shit and his grand schemes invariably have to be dug out of the mire by Jerry and Margot because for all Tom’s rhetoric about Jerry being a “wage-slave” under “Sir” Jerry gets the best line in the entire series. Tom has a go at him for toeing the corporate line and asks Jerry why he does it. Jerry hits back with, “18,000 a year (this was in the ’70s - not bad) a company car and an expense account”. Touché!
Essentially what “The Good Life” shows is “sustainable” living is only sustainable if it ponces off genuinely sustainable living. Tom and Barbara couldn’t manage without Jerry and Margot. Moreover it demonstrates that such poncing about is only really doable for the middle-class and higher (I wonder if Prince Chuckles reads this?) and that living “sustainably” is essentially living as a parasite. And fundamentally that is what I mean by true decadence. I read an interview a bit back with Brian May, the guitarist from Queen, and he mentioned parties in the ’70s where dwarfs were employed to wonder around with saucers on their heads with cocaine for the guests. Just the right height for a snort you see. Now that could be seen as decadence but is it really? Queen got up to such stunts because they were enormously successful. I mean they were packing out stadia and shifting vinyl at industrial rates. That’s sustainable in the genuine sense and it isn’t decadence because real decadence is adopting a business model that doesn’t actually bring home the corn without government subsidy.
I have railed here and elsewhere about the theft of the word “liberal” from us but “sustainable” is another they have stolen from us. Let’s talk about sustainable business. Sustainable doesn’t mean poncing off genuinely profitable business in order to worship Gaia in a cack-handed manner. I spent my honeymoon largely on Key West. I snorkelled the reef there. It was brilliant. I came face to face with a barracuda and spotted a 2.5m nurse shark. That holiday in the USA (also took in DC for the Smithsonians**) involved six flights. Now is that “sustainable”? Yes, it is. If it wasn’t for people like me turning up in Florida (how common? We should have gone to Laos to plant organic Fairtrade mung beans or something to be truly righteous) nobody would care about that reef. I mean I didn’t even know until I got to Key West that just off-shore was the third largest reef on the planet. My point is that by being a tourist there is one of the reasons the Keys remain so astonishingly gorgeous. Because quite simply the place being gorgeous means that folks who own land there know they are onto a good thing and have a vested interest in not fucking it up.
Part of my stay on Key West incorporated “Fantasy Fest”. Again I knew not what that was beforehand. I certainly didn’t know that it involved naked (but for body paint) girls walking the streets (some very attractive, others not but hey! this is Florida and not Muhammed’s sky brothel - definitely not - I suspect very few on Key West were virgins***) whilst I was wearing an outrageous Hawaiian shirt and clutching a margarita in one hand and a cigar in the other. I didn’t know but I’m not complaining. Is that decadent? Well, it’s fun but I don’t think it’s decadent or at least it isn’t as decadent as being Green. That is real decadence because it isn’t just indulging oneself but forcing others to pay for that indulgence and moreover whilst I’m not exactly ticketty boo with requiring the tax-payer to pay for folks to have fun I really dislike the idea of the tax-payer having their arm twisted to pay for the washing of trash which is something that only true perverts can enjoy. I guess what I’m saying is that if a naked chick in Florida (painted in tiger stripes) has paid for that holiday off her own bat and wants to pose before my camera lens then fine but if the council wants me to grub around like some sort of peasant and wash trash in order to feel righteous then they can fuck off.
I know which I’d go for every time.
And so do you.
*If you think that piece of Carrollianism is daft then I urge you to read anything by Andrei Linde. Much of his cosmology is unashamedly and in principle not empirically verifiable. And I mean “in principle”. To my mind that puts it below Medieval demonology. I mean that is testable because you either have the right incantation to summon Azaroth or you don’t. If Azaroth doesn’t pitch-up after you shook dem bones (or whatever the fuck you do to summon demons - I have to say having only a comprehensive education I don’t really know) then fine. If on the other hand his Hellish Majesty appears then chalk one for the demonology!
**Don’t tell the missus but it really was a pilgrimage to see the Smithsonian NASM. Oh gods in heaven was that good!
***How fucking gay do you have to be to regard paradise as spending all eternity with 72 sexually inexperienced women? That and the finest wines but no one gets pissed. Mohammed Atta - knock yourself out!