Sermon on the Mound


A for-profit religion where nothing is sacred, and human sacrifice is obligatory

Eve of 2007

The following sermon was delivered at a 2007 New Year’s Eve bonfire


Dear Worried Souls:

Take Heart! the Worst is yet to come.  Witness this miserable mound of machine age offal.  Wasted resources compounded daily–advertising, packaging, junk mail, paperwork, broken equipment—a sorry heap of worthless Trash reviled by all.  The costs have become unbearable.

It does not live so cannot die.  We must dispose of it anyway, and we aim for the Sky.  We plead for help from the great Mother Earth and Father Sun. Open our senses to the stench of Burning Plastic.  Burn our Lungs with Particulates and Smoke. Singe our eyes with the Motes we scatter.  Spread sparks of Common Sense wherever Smog may go.

On this eve, the Church of the Holier than Thou, Incorporated ignites this sacrificial pyre, in humble apology to the Planet we call Home.  As long as we can live and breathe on this speck of Cosmic Dust, we give Thanks for our Success and Vow to Make Sin Pay.

Thank you, Mother Earth, for deflating false profits and reducing their costs. Our debt to you is incalculable.

Thank you, Father Sun, for your clean nuclear power, the solar system’s eternal source of centralized energy output.

The Loving Lambs of Church of the Holier than Thou, Inc. have watched in Horror as the TechnoDemons befouled the Earth.  Their numbers numbed us.  Their profits (er . . . prophets) preached Winning by Losing, and promised Eternal Hell.  Machine Noise rocked the planet and rattled the Tectonic Plates.  We Bleated in Horror, Fear, and Rage, but there was Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.   We prayed for Peace and Quiet.

We sighed as they Drowned Porpoises, Paved Neighborhoods, Spilled Oil, Dumped Chemicals, Bulldozed Wildernesses, Polluted Oceans, Pipelined Tundra, Gobbled up Farms, Obscured the Stars, and Obliterated the Sounds of Birds and Breeze.  We cried for Mercy as Global Temperatures Rose, Tempers Flared, Ice Caps Melted, the Ozone layer dissipated, and Dynamite collapsed mountains and hills.  We watched Mutations and Health Problems Created for Profit and spreading like Cancer.  We searched in Vain for Recycling centers, Compost piles, and Locally produced goods.

This Mound of Refuse–papers, plastics, boxes, wraps, junk mail, bubbles, baubles and bills–represents countless Murdered Trees and Earthly Treasures that died for junk mail, propaganda, advertising, photo-ops, cellophane, and disposable containers.  Swallowed in the glut (er  . . . gut) of Human Consumption, these plundered assets Writhe in Pain.  Their pitiful Pleas reach us from Roadsides and Garbage cans, raising Taxes for waste removal.  “Stop this Plague upon our Souls,” they cry in tortured sobs.

We at the Church of the Holier than Though, Incorporated, know a Natural Solution when we see one.  We will find a way to uplift this junk into Something Useful, so we can Make Sin Pay.

Yes, the Savvy Saints of the Church of the Holier than Thou, Incorporated have lit the solar flares, at last, but we are weary, wary of yet another trick, a Light too Bright to be Natural.  But Fear no longer.

The TechnoDemons’ Hot Stocks have Cooked their Geese.  The Gold weighs heavy in their Stomachs and Blocks their Bowels.  Take Pity, and sell them fresh Vegetables.

We at CHT, Inc. mean Business.  We will grow the Economy to Scale.  Green leaves and Roughage will prevail.  Put methane in cars, corn in stomachs, trans fats in wheel bearings, and soy in tofu.  Put the mercury back in thermometers and the lead back in batteries.  Shade roofs with solar panels. Generate energy from Landfill. Triple postage rates on junk mail. Clean the ditches with tax collectors. Hire prisoners instead of illegals.  Transform scrap metal to passenger trains.  Make synthetic hormones from oxidized plastic.  Sift sand for silicon.  Collect rain on roofs, or whatever it takes, to Make Sin Pay.

We Lobby you, great Mother Earth and Father Sun, to grant our request for Survival Skills Technology.  Light our way through the Sewers of Human Degradation, as we seek Natural Markets for these discarded Treasures.  We pray for a Healthy Return.

May Sparks from the Fire of this Pyre seed new Trees of Knowledge, wherever particulates drift.  Too cumbersome to be mulched, too poisoned to nourish, too diseased to be safe, this Trash has no Market Value, no place to Go but Up.

With a Match and a Blessing, the Church of the Holier than Thou, Incorporated–where nothing is sacred and human sacrifice is obligatory– sets this Sacrificial Offering ablaze.  We Pray this Fire will spread Sparks of Enlightenment wherever the Smoke may Blow, and dispel the Mind Pollution that hides the Bottom Line.

27 thoughts on “Sermon on the Mound

  1. Sha'Tara

    This is fantastic. I’m going to reblog this in a couple of days – don’t want to crowd my blog or swamp my crowd with reblogs and I just put one up that’s rather lengthy on the problems of DT and pathocracy… so in a couple of days, unless you object, I’ll reblog. Can’t let this go to waste too… 🙂

    1. katharineotto Post author

      Thank you. I had an “aha” moment when I realized I have not been following your blog. What an oversight. That has now been corrected. I always enjoy your comments.

      1. Sha'Tara

        Thanks for “following” Katharine. I don’t expect every blogger I follow to subscribe to mine but if there’s something here that works for you, or you can use, know that it’s here for you – no need to ask permission to quote, blog do whatever. Meanwhhile, thanks again for that great rant.

      1. franklparker

        Katherine, I was,technically speaking, a mechanical engineer. In practice, at various stages in my career, I designed simple machines, developed improvements to more complex ones, managed the maintenance of all the machines in a manufacturing plant and power generating stations; ensured, with others, the timely completion of multi-million pound defence contracts. Which probably makes me someone to despise. I put my responsibility to my wife and son – ensuring they were properly fed, clad and housed – above my duty to the “greater good”, except for a brief period when I engaged in politics at considerable expense both financially and emotionally.
        I am sure you realise that Stark Naked in Tesco was not my original work but that of Rebecca Bryn who is, without doubt, a much better writer than me.

      2. katharineotto Post author

        Thanks for the answer. Have you ever been involved in emerging technology for waste recovery, such as waste-to-energy plants?

        Yes, I know Rebecca Bryn is author of Stark Naked in Tesco.

    1. Sha'Tara

      Yes and thanks Frank. I commented on that already. Still puzzling my dilemma on you-know-what as I want access to yours, and others’ books… Leaving tomorrow for one week of volunteer rebuilding work about 300 miles north of here where the fires hit the hardest. That gives me a week to ponder this moral question.

      1. franklparker

        Good luck with your trip. I hope you are able to help. I’m not sure if Smashwords creates the same moral dilemma as the mighty zon but you will find my books there. Not sure about Rebecca’s.

  2. franklparker

    As a matter of fact, yes! Way back in the early 1980s I worked for a large synthetic fiber manufacturer at their plant in Grimsby, UK. The company generated it’s own power via several small coal and oil fired boilers, the idea being that they would choose to operate on oil or coal depending on price and availability (which came in handy when the miners were on strike throughout all of 1984). They developed a project with the local authority who built a municipal waste separation facility and delivered the combustible elements to us. This was then fed into the boilers with the coal. They further developed the project in collaboration with an entrepreneur who had collected worn tires and had a huge stockpile on a disused airfield a few miles away. He delivered chopped tire pieces to us and they were also mixed with the coal. The pieces of rubber tended to block the conveyor system that delivered the coal to the boilers. It was my job to design a conveyor system that overcame this problem. The emissions from the boiler chimneys were constantly monitored to ensure compliance with whatever regulations were in force at the time.

    1. katharineotto Post author

      This is most exciting. I’m currently researching WTE, to see if its feasible to resurrect the one here in Savannah. I’ve talked informally with the waste management administrator for the city of Savannah, and he likes the idea. The current controller of the plant is a mystery. I would like to know who controls it now, since the former owner went bankrupt.

      Being in the UK, you might be interested in the fact that Germany is importing trash from places like the UK to run its power plants. Apparently, Germany doesn’t generate enough of its own trash to keep them supplied.

      Also, China is leading the world in building WTE plants, I guess. I need to research this more. I’m curious about emissions control.

  3. franklparker

    I’m guessing my experience from more than 30 years ago is not going to help you, except to demonstrate that there is nothing new about the idea. In fact, the town in which I grew up had a waste burning facility before WWII. It was used to heat the public swimming pool. And in Coventry, in the 1970s there was a municipal waste burner that supplied hot water to one of the automobile manufacturers.
    But there are problems with emissions and with possible toxic elements in the ash. I recall reading a notorious case, in, I think, Newcastle-upon-Tyne where ash was used to provide a hard surface on footpaths and was subsequently discovered to contain toxic materials. There is also the possibility of dioxins arising from the combustion of some plastics. I cannot offer any experience with the treatment of emissions from waste incineration facilities.
    It is one of the great dilemmas associated with being environmentally aware: it’s far better to avoid the production of waste in the first place as whatever processes are used to dispose of it generate problems of their own. You will certainly have people in the locality, who describe themselves as environmentalists, who will object to the re-opening of your plant out of fear of the pollution they will expect it to create.

    1. katharineotto Post author

      I would want to be sure, myself, that toxins aren’t released. I have to breathe that air, too. Maybe the newer plants take care of that. I’d like to know more about the ones in Germany. You can bet the Germans won’t put up with breathing lead and mercury, dioxins, or whatever toxic emissions result. I’m sure there’s a way to capture those. I agree with reducing waste production, especially of things like single-use packaging, but I also want to deal with the gyres we’ve already created.

    2. Sha'Tara

      Excellent observations on the subject, particularly, “avoid making the waste in the first place.” I’ve enjoyed living in a technological age but it’s got a Janus face.

      1. katharineotto Post author

        Junk mail. How much does “pre-sorted first class” cost to mail anyway? I get pounds of that stuff–mostly institutional propaganda–every month. Goes straight into the PO recycling bin.

  4. Sha'Tara

    On recycling: people are really quite funny in the practice of not thinking. I know people who take recycling very seriously. They don’t mind buying and consuming as long as they believe that in the end all of their stuff gets recycled. They know nothing about entropy, and have no clue about the energy used in recycling. The effects of recyclling decrease exponentially and entropy is always at the end of the recycling assembly line. There’s “stuff” there but it’s basically junk energy. I guess they don’t teach the 2nd law of thermodynamics in physics classes or regular “science” course!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s