Buying Diapers

And the reason birds are pooping on Rome
Added: Tuesday, 9 December 2008

watch original V-Blog in Persian

watch original V-Blog in German

There's a really touching ad on TV right now. It features real mothers receiving their babies after birth. There are real tears of joy, real emotions and they sure evoke real reactions from most viewers. I couldn't help but shed a tear of joy myself. It made you smile.

Now the ad is for a famous diaper company and the company's message is that they 'care' for babies and mothers. Wow. I almost ran out and bought a packet of diapers myself. It seemed like the world was a better place because of them.

Then I thought of the future for a second and somehow that future didn't look so bright. I saw kids with asthma, kids with cancer, kids with all sorts of ailments and challenges, mountains of non-decomposing diapers, a strained environment and our babies, now parents themselves, in a world without air to breathe.

So do they really care? If they cared about babies, would they not develop diapers that decomposed, diapers that did not stress the environment? The sad part is, of course, that we all know the answer to these questions and yet we choose to ignore them.

And then in our usual schizophrenia we watch the news at night and shake our heads: Rome is covered in bird poop! The birds are supposed to fly south in the winter, but none of them are doing so because global warming has screwed with their natural sense of timing. Venice is drowning in water because rising temperatures are distorting its climate. Our eco-systems everywhere are collapsing, species are dying and life is ending. And we shake our heads. How awful. But do we really think we have nothing to do with the fact that Romans are leaving their houses with umbrellas every morning to dodge the onslaught of diarrhoea?

The diaper company and its consultants, the ad company that creates the ads we watch, the casting agents who hire the actors to move us to tears, the production companies that shoot the ads, the consumers who buy the diapers, the government that does nothing to regulate the excesses of our societies... and somewhere in there we - are all doing our bit to contribute to the bird poop in Rome, to the disappearance of Venice, to the disappearance of species, of life and of a world that our kids might never see.

So if any of us really care, then let's start thinking about not only our own role in the 'diaper conspiracy', but our role in the bigger picture, our role in shaping new ways of thinking, interacting and governing our collective affairs.

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