Do you remember the Love Summer on 1975? I do. It was a great time, Disco music was terrible, though. But the Great Ice Age was coming and we had to do something to prevent the entire world from freezing over.
We had to protect the earth! Protect the trees!
I was working at my very first Real Job at a grocery store, I think was called, “Grocery Cart.” Well, it was an original name, give you that, and customers knew what they were getting when they walked into the front doors. You want groceries? We got groceries!
Bring the whole family down!
I was working as a “Bag Boy” at that time (an occupation that has probably gone the way of the Doo-doo bird) and was so excited to have my first job. Next step for me, was slicing sandwiches at the deli section. After that I was going to next be a french fry cook. There was room to move as a french fry cook! Next stop? Manager! And from there, King,… God!
Having grown as relatively poor (but very happy), I was a definite penny pincher and that is a good way to be even today, I figure. When I bagged groceries for old folks, I always meticulously packed their bags so that they were full, but not so full.
But being seventeen, I had not understood how the mass media and big oil had plans for me. I mean the world was going to freeze! We were all going to die! Cutting down millions of trees to be turned into paper bags was bad for the environment.
We had to stop using paper grocery bags!
But as people are wont to do, they are creatures of habit. People didn’t like the new plastic bags the stores were offering, people liked the tried and true paper bags.
How to get people to change their habits? Well, first off is an huge ad campaign, lots of shots on TV showing people proudly using their plastic bags, and just how strong the plastic bags are that they won’t rip open as everyone feared.
No one looked homeless in 1975 using a plastic bag, because all the homeless used paper bags.
In 1975, the very first “Pet bottle” had arrived. While dad drove a car (I didn’t) and huge lines at the gas pump and surging oil prices, the first polyethylene terephthalate (PET) disposable soda bottle was introduced. Yippee!
We were saved from the earth freezing over! We were saved from becoming frozen fruit bars!
Then came the part where Mike Bag Boy is used like a CIA MK-Ultra plant.
At that time, “They” started using almost no glue on those paper bags and when the customers took the bags laden with a loaf of bread, a small bag of chips and a tub of margarine to their car, the bag would break. And the groceries would spill out on the parking lot.
And a very upset old lady!
Followed by: Customer complains, manager gets mad at Mike. Customer gets a plastic bag and replacement groceries for their troubles. Customer goes home happy. Mike loses his job.
Customer now realizes that, “Yes! Plastic bags are better than paper bags.” Grocery store has a loyal customer, customer is happy. Mike not so much.
Was it my job to tell people that they better use the plastic bags? I mean, I asked them which they preferred, and they told me, “I want a paper bag.” Should I have done my own “quality control” and checked each bag to make sure they had at least a dab of glue on them?
I should have said, “OK, lady, paper bags it is. But don’t come crying to me when your unglued paper bag comes crashing down like the 1929 Stock Market.”
I was pissed off that I got fired for that (the only time in my life I have ever been fired from a job). But more than that, I was very disillusioned. Even at that time, I was suspicious of the poorly glued paper bags. They were OK just a month ago! What happened?
Big business and big media happened.
Somewhere on Madison Avenue, some suits got together and decided that, “For the sake of humanity and the world, we HAD to stop using paper bags.” Plastic bags were the future… As well as the future for their profits.
How well that little idea worked out well for us Homo Sapiens.
Now, plastic bags are everywhere. They even charge us for the plastic bags (to save the environment, of course)! Plastic bags in grocery stores, convenience stores, department stores, restaurants, in landfills, in the oceans, even in the throats of dolphins.
And it’s not just plastic bags, it’s plastic straws, plastic cups, Pet bottles, plastic this and plastic that. Oh, what happened to paper bags?
This current “plastic crisis” has gotten out of hand. But what should we do?
Actually, I don’t know what we should do. But I do know that everything we see and hear on the mass media has an ulterior motive. It doesn’t matter whether or not it is the death of paper bags, the rise of plastics, the invasion of Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Ukraine, Covid, whatever.
You name it. The media does what its overlords tells it to do. Most people just suck it all in.
The media probably don’t even realize they are pushing an agenda. Most “News” people I have met over the years were, well, idiots. They just do what they are told. And what they are told is the most profitable in the short term. We can worry about the repercussions later…
And why not? Those suits at Madison Avenue won’t be in their positions in 30 ~ 50 years. The money to be made is now!
Ah? 1975! Good times. Good times.
Like the old saying goes: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”