I have often complained that the town where I live proliferates with half-vacant strip malls and mostly deserted office parks, so imagine my dismay a few weeks ago when I heard the familiar drone of construction cranes scraping what was left of the grassland by the water retention pond in back of my apartment building. Even though the office buildings slightly to the north of my building are twenty-five percent full any given day, with nary a car to be seen in their vast, expansive, new asphalt parking lots, the tiny patch of grass where coyotes and rabbits hid from land developers was just too much nature for suburbanites to handle and has now been scratched off like a scab for yet another group of office buildings.
I have also found out that fracking will probably be OK'd in Illinois soon.
I know you feel the same frustration I do. There is no use voting, because both sides of the faux-fight between Democrats and Republicans are rigged. There's no going into politics unless you have the independent wealth it takes to buy a seat in one of the houses. We are not heiresses and inheritors of great estates. This is not an Austen novel. We cannot fund nationwide vegan restaurant chains or animal sanctuaries, nor can we get a CVS to build up rather than out, even with petitions. Hell, we can barely make rent every month. However, I'd like to propose an idea.
The next time you see a new construction site in an area that is already flush with empty stores, abandoned townhouses, and spooky, desolate office parks, leave a sign somewhere on site that says "Welcome to Mordor."
For the single person out of a million who has not seen Lord of the Rings, Mordor is a nasty place in a quasi-medieval sci-fi epic where all horror originates. The denizens of Mordor are a bunch of angry, cannibalistic trolls and evil giants. They hate nature, therefore they usurp it so they can live in a blasted, bald, poisoned, blackened, treeless landscape where the sun never shines for the gray smog choking the air (Beijing?). In this unholy place, all cower under the watchful eye of arch-villain Sauron. Constant war is Sauron's scheme. He likes sending his minions far and wide to terrorize any innocent creatures who would otherwise be minding their own business. We can't have that! Reminiscent of a certain country that used to be thirteen colonies under another empire's thumb, Sauron's plan is to extend his empire until all of Middle Earth is consumed by Mordor and lives in the Mordorian style, no matter the ecological expense.
So do leave a Welcome To Mordor sign, won't you? Perhaps one day, the aliens will land on our charred, empty husk of a planet and they will find the spray-painted remnant of an old construction crane. They'll wonder, "Hmmm, what's Mordor?" and upon that will discover an old, miraculously still-working ebook reader. And that will be the way aliens discover the works of J.R.R. Tolkein, thanks to you.