Is It TiMe To DeCoLoNiZe YoUr LaWn?¿?
How is this real? Well we must get straight past that question because this is Not the Bee, where the seemingly unreal becomes very real every day.
Now come with me on an adventure as we dive into this surreal gem of an article from the Globe and Mail to find out why, indeed, our lawns are racist and we are terrible scumbag colonizers for maintaining them.
The first two paragraphs of this piece are a thing of beauty:
When most people think of lawns they picture carefree kids playing in backyards, picnics in well-kept parks – perhaps they even feel a sense of pride at how green and immaculate their own swath is.
But the traditional lawn – manicured, verdant, under control – now finds itself at the confluence of two hot-button issues: climate change and Indigenous rights. Some environmentalists, First Nations leaders and even hobby gardeners are calling for a different approach to how we view and treat the ubiquitous urban green space. It is, they argue, a lasting symbol of how settlers appropriated Indigenous land and culture. And the rigid Western ideal we have imposed continues to hurt the planet and, in turn, all of us. The lawn, some go as far to say, needs to be decolonized.
Oh this is so good.
But wait, just WAIT, because it gets better. These next two paragraphs, which are a quote from a man who I can only assume is the biggest balloonhead in all of Canada, will absolutely make your day.
I might print this out and frame it on my office wall:
"What is a lawn but a statement of control over nature?" asks John Douglas Belshaw, a Canadian history professor at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, B.C.
"That's a huge part of settler culture. You see that river there? We can dam that. We can organize that water, we can make that water work for us. It's essentially the same mindset. I can reorganize this landscape, flatten it, plant lawn, find a non-indigenous species of plant, of grass, and completely extract anything that's not homogenous, that doesn't fit with this green pattern and control it ... A backyard with a big lawn is like a classroom for colonialism and environmental hostility."
I can't even dissect those two paragraphs. Like, I want to, but each sentence could be an entire article. Just please, dear reader, do not let those words pass by your eyes only once. Read them again, slowly, and attempt to grasp at some level the sheer insanity that lies at the core in this man's worldview.
Onward we go!
"Arguably, in our urban areas, it [the lawn] is kind of the largest ecosystem," says Dan Kraus, a senior conservation biologist at the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
And that's a large problem, because a monocrop of grass – which is what most lawns are – is vulnerable to disease and drought, and can act as an ecological desert.
Mr. Kraus compares plants to people. "These unknown plants that you think are all weeds but when you actually get to know them, they have their own stories and are as wonderful as any other plants."
DID YOU HEAR THE MAN. YOU SHOULD GET TO KNOW YOUR WEEDS AND LET THEM TELL YOU STORIES INSTEAD OF PULLING THEM OUT OF YOUR LAWN.
Another one (DJ Khaled voice):
"If you want to reduce the number of weeds, reduce the amount of white grubs, and increase the beneficial insects like pollinators, simply don't mow your lawn as much," says Christopher J. Watson, a postdoctoral researcher from University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières.
DID YOU HEAR THE MAN. YOU SHOULD STOP MOWING YOUR LAWN AND BECOME THAT GUY IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD THAT EVERYONE LOATHES BECAUSE YOUR YARD LOOKS LIKE A FUNKY JUNKYARD JUNGLE AND IS AN EYESORE AFFECTING YOUR WHOLE STREET.
Of course, we are not stuck with our yards as they are, and it is not technically difficult to diversify and decolonize a lawn. Most ecologists suggest minimizing how much you maintain it a little more each year and replacing some or all of the grass with Indigenous species.
They're really trying to get your neighbors to hate you.
Lawns, she says, are seen as a way for people to prove that they have their life and property under control and in order. If we can instead start to view long grass and wildflowers as positive things to have in our yards, then we will also begin to promote positive change for our ecosystems.
I mean they're really trying to get your neighbors to hate you.
"It's that social hump that I think is going to be really difficult to get over," Mr. Watson says. "You're likely to be viewed more poorly by your neighbours. That difference can be quite stigmatizing as well."
YA THINK? 🥴
Let's wrap this clownshow up with the Globe article's final two paragraphs:
"It is a cultural thing," Mr. Kraus says. "There is this interesting comparison like, valuing diversity versus sameness."
He continued: "I do wonder if maybe future generations are going to look back, just like 150 years ago, when Victorian ladies used to like to wear dead birds as hats, and ... say: Why, why did you do that?"
Yeah, OK hippie. People are going to look back and wonder why we mowed our lawns.
I think it's more likely that people are going to look back and wonder why normal, sane people suffered and even celebrated GUANO-CRAZY Marxist ideas like those put forth in this ridiculous article.
What a time to be alive.