The Literary Salon

A free salon wherein patrons and passers-by may view or contribute ideas on literary and generally intellectual matters. The blog will strive to maintain its commitment to wit, humour and perspicuous analysis.

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Location: Toronto, now Ottawa, Ont, Canada

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Water water everywhere, and...lots of drops to drink

One phenomenon that has caused me much bemusement and headache, but which I have never publicly ranted about, is bottled water. Ubiquitous bottled water is a sign of a society with too much money but doesn't know what to do with it (Roland Barthes is probably turning in his grave right now).

I just read a brief piece in the local Metro paper, and it begins by stating that for the first time in recorded history, most of humankind, at least in developed nations, has access to clean drinking water. So what do we do to celebrate this? Pay exorbitant amounts for water that is probably worse than regular tap water.

I can understand certain exigencies which would require bottled water: once I found myself out of the house for most of the day, miles from home, and it was hot and I was thirsty, so I bought a bottle of water from a convenience store. However, I would never do that if I were at home or a restaurant. I simply do not understand the mentality behind spending hard earned dollars on this "luxury."

Oh, FYI, just as I have suspected for years: Aquafina, which tastes like shit, admitted that they use simple tap water. What Aquafina and Dasani (Pepsi and Coca Cola, respectively) probably do is use the water left over from processing cola beverages, bottle it, slap a fancy label on it, and charge upwards of two dollars for it. Corporations thrive on stupidity: if everyone in the world were smart, most of them would collapse. Noam Chomsky is probably right: the media is set on dumbing people down, otherwise corporations wouldn't exist.

For the record, I'm no hippie or Marxist: I think most such people are stupid, hypocritical, or both (that's a matter for another day). However, I do believe in exercising common sense (which isn't so common) and not falling prey to the corporate machine of artificial demand.

And people wonder why I don't have cable: f@%k commercials and crappy programming. I had the option of getting cable for free a few months ago and refused.

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Blogger Ranylt said...

Agreed--with qualification.

A lot of people--myself included--are "heavy drinkers". I drink about four litres, easy, of water a day (not counting liquids in food and tea, etc). If I'm in a three-hour class, you better believe I have water with me.

That bottle of water, however, is usually filled with tap-water, because I re-use that handy plastic name-brand bottle several times. (I'm told I shouldn't but I'd rather re-use, for green sake).

I drink from the tap at home--our city has one of the best water-treatment systems in the world--and can't abide even the idea of going through two or three plastic bottles a day, at home (our environment screams). But when I'm away from a house-tap, I can't live without my bottle.

Another point--when faced with the sugary choices in any vending machine or convenience-store fridge (juice, pops, nasty-ass Fruitopia frights, etc), you better believe I'm reaching for the Nestle water, man (Dasani tastes like shit).

So, don't be too hasty to judge folks toting their water bottles, k? Chances are it's tap water inside, or they just got freaking thirsty and don't do sugar/junk drinks.

8:11 a.m.  

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