Day 85: Release a red balloon.

Okay, I need to start by saying something that might offend some of you:

I hate balloons. Can’t fucking stand them.

Oh, sure, they’re “fun,” they’re “decorative,” they “make children happy” – and I must hate all things good and beautiful if I hate balloons.

Look: balloons are made to be thrown away. They are trash the moment they roll off the assembly line. They are inherently disposable, and that bothers me. Why make something that has no other purpose than to be briefly decorative – in the most insipid way possible – and that makes a horrible squeaking noise to boot – and that’s then unceremoniously thrown away?

Before any of you say it: yes, I know that’s what flowers do, and I can’t hate flowers, right, because I’m all “green” and “eco-friendly” and I ride my bike and tweet about it in an annoyingly smug fashion.

So no, I don’t hate flowers. But balloons are far inferior to flowers; that ought to be so obvious to everyone that I don’t need to go into it. Flowers are part of a cycle of growth, death, and rebirth – the cycle in which, as my father says, “it is the fate of every living organism to be food for other living organisms.” Live flowers provide nectar which bees use to make honey, and dead flowers are broken down by various microörganisms and feed future plants.

Balloons don’t do that; when something eats a balloon, this is what happens.

Really, I hate balloons because they represent the much larger structures of disposability and waste that power our economy and daily lives; trying to resist those structures is why we don’t buy papers towels, it’s why we put Jack in cloth diapers, it’s why I make my own laundry soap and dishwasher detergent and toothpaste, and it’s why I’m so insufferable all the time. But this post isn’t about any of that; it’s about balloons.

So: Balloons are bad enough on their own, but releasing them into the wild is like throwing trash out of your car while you’re driving down the highway – sure, you lose sight of it pretty quickly, and no, you probably couldn’t find it again if you tried, and yes, other people do it all the time, and what difference is one more balloon going to make, and whatever, but it’s still fucking littering.

Sure, fine, laugh. Littering is funny, people who get upset about littering are uptight wankers. I’ll admit that “littering” is a dumb-sounding word, and doesn’t really convey the sort of offense that throwing one’s trash on the ground actually is. Let’s have a simile, shall we? Littering is like pissing on your grandmother’s kitchen floor, at Christmas, while people are cooking and drinking and having a good time – and you ruin all that by pissing on the floor.

Shame on you. Why would you piss on your grandmother’s kitchen floor?

Lord Vader finds your lack of respect disturbing.

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One Comment on “Day 85: Release a red balloon.”

  1. […] Day 85: Release a red balloon. (via Achilles & the Tortoise) Okay, I need to start by saying something that might offend some of you: I hate balloons. Can't fucking stand them. Oh, sure, they're "fun," they're "decorative," they "make children happy" – and I must hate all things good and beautiful if I hate balloons. Look: balloons are made to be thrown away. They are trash the moment they roll off the assembly line. They are inherently disposable, and that bothers me. Why make something that has no other … Read More […]


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