Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Leaving it all behind at the shore

From the NY Times:

The area is next to a National Parks Service bird sanctuary, and nearby, two sanctuary maintenance workers picked up refuse on the beach and put it into garbage bags, always a big chore on Mondays because of the Hindus who gather on Sundays and make ritual offerings of flowers and coconuts and brightly colored flags of orange and yellow.

“It’s not so bad, except for the coconuts,” the first worker said.

The second worker added: “Yeah, they’re heavy and they weigh the bag down. It’s tiring.”

The first worker looked at Mr. Mangroo, wiped his brow and said, “Yeah, you got all types in this city.”

Mr. Mangroo walked down the shoreline staring at the water and stepping over a small statue of a ganesh on the small shiny rocks by the water’s edge. He said he was a Hindu, with all four of his grandparents from India.

“In Hindi, we call it puja,” he said, looking at the colorful flowers strewn all over the sand. “It’s a religious ritual, an offering. You offer these things — flowers and such — to the sea.”


In English, we call it "littering".

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Way to be rude again towards other religions.Pick up your pop cans,bottles,gum,oil dripping from car on to the street,plastic bags,paper bags,and glass.Boy your really digging as always to bitch about someone foreign.Pretty xenophobic, but not surprising coming from this source.Slow day at the news search??Theres a big car crash on the LIE, and one earlier at Queens blvd. Maybe they could say leave less dirty flowers?Criticizing Hindus just like Bengalese.What a twist

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, You're obviously not the the guy who has to clean it.

Fred said...

I guess these folks need to learn that throwing ornate flags in the ocean is bad for the environment.

Anonymous said...

And dumping fruits on the beach is good for expanding the rat population.

Anonymous said...

Guess what else the vibrant religious mosaic does down on the beach? Santeria! That's right, they're sacrificing animals right in Broad Channel in 2008.

Anonymous said...

I can't help but notice that the NY Times chose a photo that doesn't show the cloth they throw in the water. It washes back up on the shore filthy, and some of them have frills on them that separate from the item and could pose a health hazard to fish and other creatures of the sea.

Anonymous said...

Of course, the NY Times is only going to show you pretty flowers strewn on the sand. It looks and smells like a dump there on the weekends.

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with expecting them to clean up after themselves?

Anonymous said...

You offer these things — flowers and such — to the sea.

The sea doesn't seem to want them as it spits them back up on shore.

chief bongo wongo said...

Excuse me.
Did someone just accuse me of "bitching"...eh?

I'm a headhunter (hee, hee, hee) and it's part of my tribe's sacred religious ritual to eat my enemy's heart and cast his head into the sea!

Is that not a freedom protected by the US constitution?

The crabs strip the flesh
and the only part a beachcomber has to pick up is a neatly cleaned skull (which could bring some $$$ on the open market).

NWA said...

The trash is almost as bad as it is after the New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square or after a St. Patrick's day celebration or after one of those Canyon of Hero parades for a sports team.

Anonymous said...

The waterfront parks in Howard Beach are also littered with the puja debris. Freedom of religion is absolute, but that does not mean that the locale of the observance can be anywhere the observer desires nor does it mean that observers may violate civil law at will, in this case those laws that govern what manner of material may be placed into tidal waterways.

Wade Nichols said...

If our society is willing to tolerate wanton littering in the name of "tolerance" and "diversity", then far worse practices will soon be allowed as well.

When polygamy is allowed in the United States, who do you think will challenge the current law in the Supreme Court, and succeed? White Mormons, or followers of "the religion of peace"?

Why do our mamby pamby "Mandarins" in the NY Times publish this drivel without any editorial comment? How can they preach "saving the environment" on one hand, yet turn a blind eye to foolish religious practices that pollute the oceans? It's not acceptable whether it's Indian Hindus, Irish Catholics, or Iranian Shiites desecrating our shores, so spare me your criticisms.

When the Hindus in India wished to follow the barbaric custom of burning widows alive on a funeral pyre (sati), British General Napier knew how to respond. He was a man confident in his own culture and civilization, he didn't believe in "tolerance" and "respect", he laid down the law in no uncertain terms:

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."

Is it too much to ask for enforcement of our littering laws, instead of our political leaders constantly praying to the triune gods of tolerance, diversity, and multiculturalism?

Anonymous said...

The Brits actually knew quite a bit about tolerance and respect - at least on a tactical level. How else does a small island nation rule over 700 million colonial subjects?

You're really going to quote an excerpt normally used to typify imperial exploitation? The premise most used to justify the righteousness of the white man's burden? Speaking as a white man confident in his culture and civilization, that's what I call classy.

The part equating litter on a beach in Queens with burning people alive in India is a particular favorite. For all the MANY reasons our beaches are always a polluted mess, I'd rather it be over flowers, fruit and divine offerings than six-pack rings, used condoms and self-indulgence.

Ridgewoodian said...

ANONYMOUS: The part equating litter on a beach in Queens with burning people alive in India is a particular favorite.

Damn you, you beat me to the punch.

Mr. Nichols has always said he has a well developed sense of humor, so perhaps he’s making a funny.

Here are some questions I have:

1) What damage does flowers and coconuts really do to the environment? They ARE organic, and they’ll quickly break down – unlike the aforementioned sixpack rings and used condoms.

2) What are the prayer flags made out of? If they’re made out of some kind of natural fiber they’ll probably break down rather quickly, too.

3) If flowers, flags, and coconuts really ARE deleterious to the environment it wouldn’t be unreasonable to ask the community who use them to clean up after themselves or to pay to have it done. Has either of these options been considered or tried?

Or is it just more fun to excoriate inferior people?

Wade Nichols said...

C'mon, are you 2 stupid ass holes really that desperate to prove your politically correct bona fides?

I'd rather it be over flowers, fruit and divine offerings than six-pack rings, used condoms and self-indulgence.

Personally, I'd rather see nothing whatsoever that isn't part of the natural beach environment thrown about. That includes: flowers, fruit, six pack rings, used condomns, or any other article associated with superstitious religious practices.

What damage does flowers and coconuts really do to the environment? They ARE organic, and they’ll quickly break down – unlike the aforementioned sixpack rings and used condoms.

It's always an honor to be graced by the presence (at least electronically) of the great environmental biologist, Ridgewoodian! Not only is he an expert on the environment, but he's also an anthropologist, and a linguist in his spare time!

For that matter, Ridgewoodian, why not allow sacred cows to wander freely about the shoreline? After all, cow shit is also organic, and will eventually degrade as well.

What are the prayer flags made out of? If they’re made out of some kind of natural fiber they’ll probably break down rather quickly, too.

Why stop just there? Why not allow a conceptual artist such as Christo to come and drape all of the shore of Long Island in a giant piece of hemp cloth? After all, hemp's a natural fiber, it will eventually break down also, right?

If flowers, flags, and coconuts really ARE deleterious to the environment it wouldn’t be unreasonable to ask the community who use them to clean up after themselves or to pay to have it done. Has either of these options been considered or tried?

Yes, it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect those who throw their "religious offerings" in the ocean to pick them up. Obviously, they AREN'T picking them up, or else this wouldn't be an issue. Why don't you volunteer and ask them yourselves, since you're obviously a high-minded "tolerant" individual?

Or is it just more fun to excoriate inferior people?

Those are your words. No one else on this blog said anything about IQ. There are quite a bit of high IQ Hindus working in science, medicine, finance, etc. But that doesn't excuse the fools who throw this shit on the beaches.

If it was a bunch of Irish Catholics throwing palm leaves in the ocean on Palm Sunday, you'd be the first one bitching about the "white trash" and their silly superstitions.

Queens Crapper said...

Wade, send me an e-mail, I have something funny to send you back.

Anonymous said...

Oh Crapper, send it to me too not just Wade.I bet its delicious racial humour so local to the queens folks.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ridgewoodian,

I like your tolerance. I wish you could be around to explain to my mom why dads's grave was used for Santaria, you know, blood and featers from chickens, eggs, clothing strewn about, and red paint marking the stone as an alter.

Thanks for your typical liberal understanding.

You asshole.

Queens Crapper said...

The whole point of this post was that most people were raised to pick up after themselves and litter can create a public health hazard. That's why we have anti-litter laws. If these folks want to have their rituals they should at least have the decency to clean the mess they made after they're done.

Anonymous said...

"Or is it just more fun to excoriate inferior people?"

Who said they were inferior? I think they should have to abide by the same laws that the rest of us do. That makes them our equals.

Ridgewoodian said...

WOW! Lots of droppings of the A- Bomb tonight!

Okay:

WADE NICHOLS: C'mon, are you 2 stupid ass holes really that desperate to prove your politically correct bona fides?

I can’t speak for Anonymous but for myself, I have no particular PC bona fides to prove. I ain’t PC, baby. I’m just not a jerk about it, at least not in public forums. At least not most of the time.

WADE NICHOLS: Personally, I'd rather see nothing whatsoever that isn't part of the natural beach environment thrown about. That includes: flowers, fruit, six pack rings, used condomns, or any other article associated with superstitious religious practices.

Well then you’ll never see anything there because you won’t go to the beach because you yourself are not part of the natural beach environment. If you can deal with the loss I’m sure everyone else can as well.

I do agree with you that religion is superstition and to my thinking has long outlived any usefulness it might once have had, and if I could take that Harry Potter wand in hand, waive it around once, twice, thrice, and completely eliminate it from the world I would – like THAT.

WADE NICHOLS: It's always an honor to be graced by the presence (at least electronically) of the great environmental biologist, Ridgewoodian!

Yes, it is an honor for you and you should treat it as such.

You’ll notice that in my last post I posed a number of questions. Chief among them: what kind of damage do flowers and coconuts cause to the environment? I honestly don’t know the answer to that. I strongly suspect that it’s little or none. The sanctuary maintenance workers mentioned in the story sure don’t act as if they’re dealing with toxic sludge. And I bet if the congregation was doing something really destructive that was affecting a National Park, or hadn’t at least worked out some kind of arrangement with the proper authorities, hoards of federales would have long since descended on them. But I could be wrong. We could all be wrong. Show me the evidence and I’ll admit I’m wrong. Until then, snarky bitchery is no argument.

WADE NICHOLS: Not only is he an expert on the environment, but he's also an anthropologist, and a linguist in his spare time!

I’ve never claimed more than the most basic knowledge about these subjects but thanks for the compliment.

WADE NICHOLS: …why not allow sacred cows to wander freely about the shoreline? After all, cow shit is also organic, and will eventually degrade as well.

Why not, indeed? If it doesn’t hurt anyone, as you imply it wouldn’t, or the cows, what exactly would the problem be? (Not that anyone seems to be asking to do any such a silly thing…)

WADE NICHOLS: Why not allow a conceptual artist such as Christo to come and drape all of the shore of Long Island in a giant piece of hemp cloth? After all, hemp's a natural fiber, it will eventually break down also, right?

That might actually be pretty cool, if it were an engineering possibility, which I doubt (Long Island being, well, LONG). I loved The Gates. But, I doubt that Christo and Jeanne-Claude would do it. After all, they already wrapped a couple of islands (beautifully, I think), twenty-five years ago. Why repeat themselves? Also, part of the effect of their environmental pieces arises from the juxtaposition of the natural settings with the very obviously artificial materials. I doubt hemp would be very good for that. Also, their installations generally run ten days or two weeks and are completely disassembled at the end, so they wouldn’t want the wrapping to break up by itself. But, nice to see that you have the heart of an artist.

WADE NICHOLS: …it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect those who throw their "religious offerings" in the ocean to pick them up…you're obviously a high-minded "tolerant" individual?

Again, thanks for the compliment. I think you must have a soft spot in you little artistic heart for me. But what’s with the “quotes”?

WADE NICHOLS: No one else on this blog said anything about IQ.

Not talking about IQ.

WADE NICHOLS: If it was a bunch of Irish Catholics throwing palm leaves in the ocean on Palm Sunday, you'd be the first one bitching about the "white trash" and their silly superstitions.

And your evidence for this statement is WHAT? I can actually tell you what my reaction would be: “Huh, wonder what they’re going to do next Ash Wednesday?” Yet another instance of you not knowing what the fuck you’re talking about. Ass.

ANONYMOUS: I like your tolerance. I wish you could be around to explain to my mom why dads's grave was used for Santaria, you know, blood and featers from chickens, eggs, clothing strewn about, and red paint marking the stone as an alter.

Thanks for your typical liberal understanding. You asshole.

Well, if your dad was a stupid, ignorant bastard like you he probably made an enemy of the wrong damn witch. Probably he’s her zombie slave now. Want to avoid that fate? Amend your ways or make sure they cremate you on that happy day when you depart this earth. Ass.

Anonymous said...

Now "Ridgewoodian" (or is it his other schizoid manifestation "Salvatore") bares his open disrespect for the sacred dead!

I hope I outlive you so I can piss on your grave!

I wouldn't mind so much if he practiced some brevity in his commenting.

Anonymous said...

Flowers are, indeed, biodegradable "Ridgewoodian"but so is shit and organic hospital waste and dumping is ILLEGAL! Period!

Anonymous said...

Maspeth Moms says...

They should certainly pick up the mess after the ceremony. I am sure the "Gods" won't mind since it is the Earth "they created", that will stay clean, and the humans who live on it will benefit.
Littering in the name of religion just to much too swallow, even if you do come from the bowels of Calucutta. !!

Ridgewoodian said...

ANONYMOUS: Now "Ridgewoodian" (or is it his other schizoid manifestation "Salvatore") bares his open disrespect for the sacred dead!

Actually, I was being distrustful towards the dumbass living.

ANONYMOUS: I hope I outlive you so I can piss on your grave!

So you're no better than me in any case. And I suspect, much, much worse. Anyway, I plan to be cremated. If it was good enough for Achilles and other heroes, it's good enough for me.

ANONYMOUS Flowers are, indeed, biodegradable "Ridgewoodian"but so is shit and organic hospital waste and dumping is ILLEGAL! Period!

Are you truly telling me, "Anonymous," that you don't know the difference between flowers and shit?

Wade Nichols said...

Ridgewoodian: Anyway, I plan to be cremated.

The sooner, the better. Perhaps a public cremation at Jamaican Bay? I'll make an exception to my opposition to public littering, but just for this special occasion, as it's in the "public's interest". Hell, I'll even charter a fleet of buses to transport all the Queens Crap readers who'd wish to see the spectacle!

Ridgewoodian said...

WADE NICHOLS: The sooner, the better.

With any luck I’ll be around a long, long time to call you and your kind on your bullshit. And when I am finally gathered to my ancestors I’m sure I’ll rate more than a gaggle of belly achers and Archie Bunker bitches. I’m thinking something like THIS.

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