Grass, weed, call it what you will. Bag it or distribute it? Buy it or cultivate it? Bless it or curse it? What can we do? Clearly, we’re addicted to it. Everywhere you go in the South –forget the nation– the subculture is clearly evident. So what should our attitude really be? Let’s put the legal issues aside and think about it rationally.
It’s my belief that most of us adults have now tried it, and should be able to come to some ultimately sensible societal agreement. After all, even those who have never touched the stuff have strong opinions about it. And I want to state that I am vehemently opposed to it. I wish I’d never been turned on to it. Still, the fact that you or I hate it or love it should not dictate our neighbor’s behavior.
Should it be legal? Is it harmful or not? Proponents argue that it makes things look “nicer” and makes them feel better about themselves. They’re actually mesmerized by it to the point of snobbery about what variety they have or where it came from.
Opponents point to its huge social cost and countless lost hours of productivity because of its effect on people. They think people on grass act silly and don’t control themselves properly, and I have seen some truly strange things happen when people use or abuse this substance. Hours spent in pointless activity. And we know the cultivation and use leads to more dangerous substances.
Then, there’s the issue of the huge business that has grown up around this former weed, which has been made stronger and more pervasive through decades of human cultivation. People who choose to be in the “grass” business have huge private arsenal of weapons and machinery, including the chemical variety. Most of these people are small time operators, true, but some of them enjoy the protection of corporate style franchises. Usually, we’re not really aware of them, but they’re always somewhere in every neighborhood, buzzing around in the background. Should we welcome their contributions to an economy already in shambles?
And what about the communities that have already made up their minds and changed their laws? Where I live, you not only have to have it, you have to care for it, usually at huge expense. Between all the water it takes up and the chemicals to make it as strong and pest free as possible, it’s probably right behind electricity as a household expense, especially here in the South. People’s use of this stuff is actually now damaging the environment and making the water supply unsafe, not to mention the huge carbon footprint its culture requires.
Truly this weed makes us schizophrenic to a huge degree, and I submit it’s time to stop the madness. It’s not good for us or our environment to carry on the way we have been. But because of the huge controversy surrounding this issue it’s going to take time and individual initiative to make things right. Each of us is going to have to make a personal decision and make a stand.
So, personally, I’m swearing off grass, and I hope you’ll consider doing so as well. My first official step will be to have a talk with all my neighbors and let them know that I can no longer embrace an attitude that insists upon the cultivation of grass.
I’m canceling my lawn service and xeriscaping my yard. Damn the covenants and restrictions.