Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Go Climb a Tree

Most people read Dr. Seuss and think about his important messages of equality (Star-Bellied Sneetches) and environmental consciousness (See: above) before returning to their daily routine. Others, however, consider Seuss' work canonical -- our culture's moral compass. Like the Lorax, they speak for the trees.

"Get out of that tree and take a shower, you dazed, dirty scum! Shoeless, vegan freak. You're symbolic act of defiance forces our society to consider the depletion of its finite natural resources. That frustrates me and I don't like ideas that threaten my comfortable lifestyle, Hippie."

Before you mindlessly condemn this protester, take pause. Weren't you the one who smoked a bowl, gazed with wide, dreamy eyes at 'Planet Earth' and slowly declared, "Whoa, bro. This is NATURE."

Yes, these tree-sitters probably got high in their perch atop some old-growth forest and said the same thing, but you know they grew their own organic stuff and carried it in a hand-stitched burlap sack. No wasteful, non-biodegradable plastic baggies for them. They have conviction! They made their own trail mix and are resting in some crappy, Swiss Family Robinson-style fort right now making sure there can be a Planet Earth 2.

SoT thinks the tree-sitters realize a few centuries-old trees are inconsequential. Hell, knock them down and sell the wood to Papermate so we can write poems and mission statments. They strive for more than just the preservation of a few big trees. Looney as they may seem, they force us to consider our consumption of nature. Are we being responsible?

You planted a tiny seed in 2nd-grade science class, watered it every day and kept a journal tracking your sprout's progress. You sighed after hearing about polar bears that float into Arctic waters aboard melting icebergs then die of exhaustion when they try to swim back to land. You grimaced at satellite images of eroded soil floating out to sea, never to be replaced.

Now you thoughtlessly side with the chainsaw-toting guys driving bulldozers? The logging company? That's like rooting for the pompous Princeton kid to nail every Daily Double on College Jeopardy, the other two state college contestants to finish with negative amounts and fail to qualify for Final Jeopardy and the Princeton kid to chuckle, shrug and concede, "Well, I do go to Princeton." As a general rule, you should think long and hard before supporting people with chainsaws and bulldozers. And people who put too high a premium on their alma maters.

Pros: This kind of conviction plays really well with the hairy-legged, free love set who you'll easily woo at Burning Man.

Overcome fear of heights.

Subject of an excellent 'Hey Arnold!' episode. Screw Bob's Beepers.

Mock brainwashed, bourgeois society. What you're doing is real, man.

This is what Thoreau and Emerson meant. This is it, man. You're totally doing it.

Cons: Spiders. Allergies.

Uh, toilets?

You now rely on a series of carabiners, tarps and planks to prevent you from falling through foot after foot of sharp pine needles into the handcuffs of aggravated police officers. Sweet dreams. Don't let the bed bugs bite -- seriously, there are insect colonies beneath the bark.

Tree extractor is an actual profession.

In case you forgot, you are stories above the ground without toilet paper or showers hoping the contractors paying their union bull dozer-drivers by the hour don't get too antsy.

If only we all remained so ideological, carefully heeded Dr. Seuss' fables and sat in solidarity with our coniferous brethren. Tree-sitters may be self-righteous dreamers who you can't hang out with because they'll judge your every decision and action ('Really? carrying your lunch in a paper bag? Hhm.'), but they bring attention to our environment. And that is a public service.

Stability - 4/5 Unless of course someone gets trigger-happy with the chainsaw
Cool Factor - 4/5 No matter how little it means, you're a genuine activist.
Difficulty - 4/5 How do you get up there?
Perilousness - 5/5 See: Cons.
Added bonus - 3/5 You'll lose weight.

Overall rating - a civil disobedient 21/25.

1 comment:

  1. Tree sitters just more proof that enviromentalism breeds all sorts of nuts and Julia(Butterfly)Hill is'nt the only one