The United Nations is one of those organizations that set out to stop the apocalypse but only ever end up raising the price of plastic bags. They are a dynamic bunch, however, and they know their target audience. So, perhaps with me in mind, they have published The Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World. I read the indications with the best of intentions fighting back my laziness, while it keeps whispering in my ear: “Why on Earth should it be you who changes the world?” Sometimes Jordan Peterson even appears to me in dreams, yelling, “Start with making your damn bed first!” The worst thing is that he is right.
The UN is telling us lazy people to stop printing bank statements and receipts and to pay our bills online. And I have no objection. I never know where to put my receipts, and I often end up throwing them on the floor while exiting the supermarket, pretending to drop them by accident while putting my wallet away. I have a well-rehearsed surprise/annoyance face.
One of the rules says, “Shop vintage. Brand-new isn’t necessarily best.” I guess that explains why the UN is buying so much communism.
The UN also suggests that I install solar panels (and I will do it as soon as I can use them to grill hamburgers in the garden) and that I turn off all the lights: “Your TV or computer screen provides a cosy glow, so turn off other lights if you don’t need them.” Well, I tried it and I wonder if the UN is going to pay for the stitches I needed above my eyebrow after trying to set the table in the dark with only the TV light and smashing my head against a solar panel that I had yet to unpack, in the middle of the living room.
In their UN Law Commandments, they tell us to “Shovel snow manually,” and just reading that has started to make my back hurt. Isn’t this supposed to be a guide for lazy people? If lazy people are advised to shovel snow, what are they recommending active people do — “Fly up to the ozone layer and wipe it clean with your tongue?”
“If you see an interesting social media post,” they say in another of their rules, “about women’s rights or climate change, share it so folks in your network see it too.” I don’t doubt their good intentions, but I have to wonder what the relationship between climate goals and women is, other than the fact that some women, like Maria Sharapova, are clearly leading humanity towards global warming. Whatever.
The UN recommends letting your hair and clothes dry in the breeze. Just goes to show that none of the billionaire bureaucrats and hippies have come down from their luxury jets for a minute. Here in my town at least, with its 100 percent air humidity, most of the year, if you let your hair dry out in the open, you’ll be picking chanterelles out of your curls the next morning. I’m pretty sure the idiots think that’s great: “Compost!”
And when it comes to agriculture, they tell us that “composting food scraps can reduce climate impact.” I guess that’s why my neighbor’s beautiful vegetable garden, since composting has become fashionable, looks more like a pizza crust and banana peel plantation. And there’s no denying that compost smells about as good as Bill Gates’ plans for the future.
Of all of their tips, my favorite is “Buy Funny Fruit.” According to the UN, we only buy fruit that is pretty. It’s time to pick out that Hiroshima-model triple kiwi, the white orange, the bumpy lemon, and the 10-stemmed pear at the grocery store. Be it as it may, I’m not sure which of the 17 goals for 2030 this measure contributes to — ending poverty, reducing inequality, or life under water.
Sticking with food, our guide for lazy people suggests that when we go to a seafood restaurant we call the waiter and ask him (literally): “Do you serve sustainable seafood?” In my opinion, however, the waiter might be a capitalist pig willing to lie, so it’s best to ask the cod directly. If it’s fresh enough and not overcooked, you can get some very suggestive answers.
Somewhere else they ask you to make a financial contribution to buy climate credits to erase your carbon footprint. This is the first miracle of the UN: I have never bought something nonexistent to erase something invisible!
I read in another rule: “Shop vintage. Brand-new isn’t necessarily best.” And I guess that explains why the UN is buying so much communism.
By the home stretch, the editors must have been drunk. That is the only explanation for telling you first to ride a bike and a couple of lines later to “Maintain your car.” As for the instruction “donate what you don’t use,” I now know what I have to do to save the planet: donate the UN.
Finally, as far as hygiene is concerned, they are like pigs. They want you to take a shower without wasting water, which is a very special skill that only Antifa members seem to have mastered, and they also want you not to use napkins in fast food restaurants: “Take fewer napkins. You don’t need a handful of napkins to eat your takeout.” Upon reading this, I felt a sudden urge to ask them: “And what the hell do you know how many napkins I need?”
Be that as it may, their most ambitious initiative in favor of personal cleanliness is disturbing to say the least: “Lend your voice to talk about the lack of toilets in many communities around the world!”
I get the impression that all these Commandments of UN Law are not too sound, which must be why they need to shout them out. In fact, another phrase they shout out with a loud exclamation point is “Voice your support for the Paris Agreement!” And I inevitably respond the same as with all their previous exclamations and demands: “I’ll do whatever I damn well please, you cretin!”
Itxu Díaz is a Spanish journalist, political satirist and author. He has written nine books on topics as diverse as politics, music, and smart appliances. He is a contributor to the Daily Beast, the Daily Caller, National Review, the American Conservative, The American Spectator, and Diario Las Américas in the United States, and is a columnist for several Spanish magazines and newspapers. He was also an adviser to the Ministry for Education, Culture, and Sports in Spain. Follow him on Twitter at @itxudiaz or visit his website: www.itxudiaz.com.
Translated by Joel Dalmau