Here’s a preview of my annual pictures of Washington Square Park after the Pride March and Queer Liberation March. More pictures and commentary below. Also, pictures from last year: After the Pride and Queer Liberation Marches 2022: Washington Square Park wrecked again. I could cry. and the year before: “Pride Destroyed the Park”, Washington Square Park after a parade (Video).
The camera can’t capture the smell of urine and already-rotting garbage, but at least organic waste decomposes. The plastic takes centuries to.
By the way, in case it isn’t obvious, this post isn’t about people’s sexuality or preference. It’s about equality, fairness, and love, not least to and for the people on the receiving end of the pollution and depletion in these pictures, as well as the people displaced from their land to extract the resources to make it. I would identify any group that paid for and caused that harm. Moreover, I believe openness and not hiding one’s behavior is the best way to act on it if you believe there’s something wrong with what’s in these pictures. Do people stand behind the results of a march they named?
So I dedicate this post to equality, fairness, and love, not least to and for the people on the receiving end of the pollution and depletion in these pictures, as well as the people displaced from their land to extract the resources to make it.
Look in all the pictures. I predict you will find nothing necessary for life or a good time. All waste. Everyone could have enjoyed themselves more without buying or bringing anything you see poisoning our environment.
Last fall I met and spoke with the organizers of the Pride March and Queer Liberation Marches. They sounded begrudgingly interested in reducing the waste, but they threw out terms like safety and accessibility to imply they had higher priorities, but those are just buzzwords since pollution and depletion undermine safety and accessibility.
This year the police closed off the park the next morning, which is now. One officer said it might be closed all day. Another officer offered to take my camera and take pictures from in the park for me, so some are special non-civilian access.
You call this living better than kings before?
People say people today live better than kings of yesterday because we can fly and even poor people have cell phones and color TVs. Well, everything is good if you only think of the good parts.
When it all comes from energy sources and materials sources that kill people and wildlife and threaten even our species with extinction, are we really happy for billions of people to die, but with the false sense of comfort and convenience of being able to carry water in plastic bottles?
I’m Extreme for Taking Years to Fill a Load of Garbage, But This Garbage Is Normal?
People call me extreme for taking years to fill a load of garbage, yet our ancestors for 300,000 produced zero plastic garbage. To call me extreme makes this stuff normal. Stop using mainstream American behavior as normal. If you use disposable diapers, drive an SUV, buy packaged food, order takeout, fly, or otherwise fund extracting nonrenewable resources, you’re participating in this mess. You’re doing it as much as the people who left this mess here.
The point is not how Washington Square Park or my neighborhood looks. It’s that we’re funding more poisoning. Should it be normal to kill animals so we can waste their flesh like this?
Can We Return to Parades and Parties That Leave It Better Than You Found It?
Try to imagine the leadership of a march or parade signaling to all attendees: “leave it better than you found it.” Imagine all participants bringing nothing disposable and even bringing out garbage if they found any. Imagine a parade that left the space cleaner than they found it. Imagine that any vendor who sold plastic rainbow flags, doof, or even packaged food couldn’t sell anything because no one bought it because they brought all they needed. Imagine any sponsor that gave our paraphernalia couldn’t give it away because no one took it.
I know it’s hard to imagine it, but it’s possible.
The Images (Prepare to vomit or cry)
I hope you’ll use these images to stop ever buying doof, packaged food, or disposable one-use anything. You don’t need them. You’ll prefer life without them. We can reverse this culture. In all fairness, this year’s garbage was less than the past two.
Read my weekly newsletter
On initiative, leadership, the environment, and burpees