This is the year. This is the Valentine's Day you nail Cupid's wings to the wall. You've reserved a table at the perfect restaurant (Il Giardino di Oliva), composed the sexiest bedroom playlist ("Vampire Sex Jamm [The Remix] vol. IX"), and crafted a roleplay outfit based on your partner's favorite anime (Admirable Dragon Slut Momoko).
You have this V-Day V-down, and nothing can stop you from properly romancing your woman, man, polyamorous commune, or other. I just hope you can sleep tonight, knowing that all of your innocent romantic plans just contributed to destroying the world. No, seriously ...
#6. Flowers Are Destroying Nations
Come on, how did planting flowers ever hurt the enviro-
Kenya is a great place to grow flowers, but a lousy place to find a drink of water. Thanks to the former, the latter's become an outright emergency, with rivers and lakes drying up due to overuse.
Visit Kenya! Main exports include flowers and corporate malfeasance.
The flowers are shipped to the Netherlands, sold in lots, and then resold to the U.K. as "Dutch" flowers. I leave it to wizards to explain how greenhouse flowers cost more than several ship cargoes through a middleman, because economists can't.
The U.S. is not complicit in such a tragedy, because we grow our own flowers in -- oh, shit! California! Droughtland, USA! Better import 90 percent of our flowers from Colombia and Ecuador, instead.
Don't worry; Colombia's not at risk of drought, just exposing their underpaid employees to carcinogens, illegally firing them if they get pregnant, and smashing their attempts to unionize.
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Breathe deep the heady perfume of lavender mixed with wage-slavery by another name.
The Good News:
Working conditions are maybe getting a little better? Except probably not.
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"Thank you for these flowers that have surely contributed to my country's woes."
But that's irrelevant, because the real good news is the farm of the future: A Japanese plant physiologist devised a way to coax huge yields out of plant crops without pesticides. In addition to slashing waste, Shigeharu Shimamura reduced water consumption to 1 percent of what's required by traditional farming. Right, but when I try taking the human body to these extremes, I get labeled a "monster" by the press.
Once these techniques are applied to flowers, you've got 100 times the productivity minus any of the pollution or exploitation. Now maybe the ever-deepening pit in my soul can finally be filled with sweet, sweet opium.
#5. Chocolate Supplies Are Running Low
Grab your cocoa nibs and AK-47s and head for the hills, because we're in a full-fledged chocolate shortage! Humanity has been on a centuries-long chocolate bender with no sign of stopping until Bobby calls us back and tells us what a mistake he made in tossing away our love.
The problems are numerous: From a farming standpoint, cocoa can't compete with rubber on the profit vs. effort scale. But rubber can't compete with cocoa on the Cadbury-Mars Chocolicious Index, so short of substituting chocolate for rubber, we're kind of screwed. There's a huge increase in demand for chocolate in new markets like China and India, which are countries referred to in the scientific community as having "a shitload of people." Trees are suffering fungal disease, and even Ebola threatened cocoa futures for a minute there.
Now you can honestly say Ebola ruined your life.
Even traditional markets demand more suckle from the cocoa teat. The United Kingdom eats so much chocolate per capita you'd think one golden ticket hadn't been found yet. By 2020 the shortage is expected to really hit its sugar-buzzed stride, and Wonka will start hiding chocolate tickets in gold bars.
Of course, the readings on U.K. consumption are skewed because their candy still has chocolate in it. The average American candy bar is slab of emulsified palm oil that gets custody of cocoa powder only on weekends.
Plus, have you noticed that everything is chocolate now? There are chocolate Skittles. SKITTLES. A candy whose only defining characteristics were "fruit flavor" and "jaw fatigue." That's just wrong. There was already a chocolate Skittles, and it's called M&M's, king of the shellacked candies.
There's no hope! Indonesia tried to jumpstart its chocolate production with a $350 million army of cloned cocoa trees. They died, just like the clones in Star Wars, another product for children that adults can't relinquish.
So no fears about the clone uprising just yet.
You'd think they would have tested a few trees out first.
The Good News:
It's probably for the best. Chocolate, like everything else, leaves a swath of destruction in its wake. If we can't control our chocolate intake, then the world is making that decision for us.
I didn't research the impacts of cocoa farming, because I think we can all agree up front that no secret is too dark to dull our craving. The entire cocoa industry could turn out to be a satanic, baby-trafficking blood cult, and our only concern would be if Gorzo the Seven-Headed Goat Lord prefers infants raw or cooked.
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If we anger him, he bequeaths us only white chocolate.
So let's say that there are two good uses for $350 million worth of dead trees. That's a lot of good compost. But cooler than that, bio-energy is probably the disposal method of the future. Your computer is going to enjoy the sugar rush denied to you.
#4. Lingerie Is Undermining Your Self-Esteem
Victoria's Secret walks a tightrope every day. On the one hand, they want customers to feel comfortable in their skin so that they'll buy sexy intimates. On the other hand, too much self-confidence and you might be immune to advertising telling you, "You're flawed, but perfection is within reach."
The lingerie-maker has a definite type, selling only up to size 16 and leaving everyone else's money on the table. And when they lined all their models up in a row, this was the accompanying sales slogan.
Juxtaposition is the enemy.
"The Perfect 'Body,'" referred to the "Body by Victoria" line. Its intended meaning was that there exists a Body garment for any look. (Unless that look is bigger than size 16, because ... come on, big people have a right to look good too now?) Since the models showcasing their catalog ranged from a size 4 to a size 4 with bigger boobs, and willful misinterpretation is the center square in Offended Internet Bingo, the company earned enough flak to change their slogan.
not exactly Victoria's Secret
Though, if you ask me, this one's much worse.
The Good News:
People like Alli Reed exist:
She's generally always right.
I can't tell you society grew up and stopped tying women's worth to their appearance, but I can tell you that the only opinions about your beauty that matter are your own and those of whoever makes sex-hips at you. Everything else is irrelevant, even if it's complimentary. Yes, even if it's your parents -- I AM DOING LEG LIFTS EVERY DAY, MOM, ABS DON'T JUST HAPPEN.
If you're unable to overcome your shame of existing without looking like an underwear model, take heart. Women who fit Victoria's Secret's standards are actually having less sex than larger women. Dang, girl, maybe Victoria's Secret doesn't make lingerie in your size because it would give you an unfair advantage. Now "All About That Bass" just seems like a mean taunt.
It's almost like there are a lot more ways to be attractive than the one that helps advertisers sell stuff. But none of it matters, because nobody dares have sex, thanks to ...