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Letter to the Fat Man 2000

Observations from the Edge
Robert T. Nanninga
Coast News
December 20, 2000


Dear Santa,

Once again I find myself compelled to seek your assistance, as all avenues of recourse have proved to be futile. Considering that your a cultural icon I believe it's in everyone's best interest if you would stop mucking around with the toys and bring us monkey children things we actually need.

Now I realize that you are faced with environmental problems of your own, what with the North Pole melting under the effects of global warming. But this should only serve as incentive for you and the elves to do some create problem solving, lest you are forced to adapt your sleigh for ocean voyages and teach the reindeer to swim.

First up on my wishmas list, is that this election thing turns out to be nothing more than a bad dream. Kind of like you did for Pam Ewing on Dallas. As important as humor is in the world, the last thing America needs is to be made a laughing stock because we put an idiot in the oval office. In keeping with you policy on naughty and nice, George W. Bush should have received a lump of coal, not access to America's nuclear arsenal.

Or perhaps George W. is America's lump of coal. Could it be that he is our punishment for being so greedy and self absorbed? I realize that America has yet to sign the Rio Agreement or ratify the Kyoto Protocol. But granting the wishes of America's corporate polluters is a little over the top. Not only are you punishing Environmentalists of the world, you are also punishing the world which has never done anything to you except provide the natural resources you use to produce all those mind numbing toys you bring each year.

Where I realize that even you will be hard pressed to overturn a Supreme Court decision, let me just say that it would not be hard for you to gift George W. with a few pounds of cocaine and a bottle of Jack Daniels so that he can busy himself with his first calling. An intern would also be useful in correcting this holiday blunder. Reindeers maybe able to fly, but again I ask you, can they swim?

On the local level the population of San Diego's coastal North County is no longer sustainable. This year when filling stockings "hung by the chimney with care," please be sure to include plenty of birth control pills and condoms. As I sure you know winter weather has a tendency to make suburban monkeys a bit frisky, and there is not enough room in our class rooms as it is now. Another holiday gift would be to give everyone who insists on driving an SUV (sports utility vehicle) a clue. Because like our schoolyards, our transportation infrastructure cannot handle anymore people.

Also on my wishmas list is the hope that you can find a way to get Californians to realize that there is no power shortage but an over consumption of energy resources. The sun provides all the energy humans could ever need. Considering the wizards of television have woven a spell around the populace convincing them that self sufficiency is a bad thing, I suggest underneath every tree you place a copy of the Solar Living Source Book and a Real Goods Catalog.

If it is not to much to ask, Can you also do something about the collapse of coastal ecosystems. Here in Southern California beaches and kelp forests are disappearing, the water is toxic, and runoff from human communities continues unabated, while pandering politicians and the Building Industry refuse to confront the problem due to an imaginary bottom line that pales in comparison to the real cost of inaction. No amount of foot dragging is going to repair the damage that has been done, nor will wishful thinking clean our oceans.

So Santa please forgive me if I do not deck the halls with senseless sentiment, as I have more pressing things on my mind. And if I seem preoccupied with the state of the planet, which you have probably discerned, I am. Let it serve as no reflection on you, but I am so over this whole Christmas thing I could puke. The trees, the lights, the spending frenzy, and poinsettias, do little more than irritate me.

The ultimate of the Hallmark holidays, this commercialized ritual is so out of hand, everything seems as hollow as the shiny ornaments littering trees everywhere. So for Christmas next year I am asking that we skip the holiday altogether, and concentrate on healing our tattered planet.

Yours in Chaos


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