Anthropocene: a prescient story about plastic litter, our warming oceans and individual health.

At some point in life, you might discover yourself having walked far enough outside the map that plots the discourse of the common life that society expects all to follow beyond their birth, and at this point of discovery, this is where you might realize that you can cut out all the distractions of the buzzy bees, and the perceived connotations of what people stubbornly claims to be “just how it is”, all while they seemingly refuse to see how things actually are.

And once you do, the void of white noise and people without words of meaning to express, all the colors and moving shapes from all the non-essential patches that weaves together to raise a banner of hollowness will start to dissipate.

Slowly disintegrating from that inner stage where they all battled for your time and attention until you have found yourself with enough focus and vivid clarity to notice that the smallest strand of grass and all the atoms that you never managed to see before, all of a sudden are clearly visible, forming a world encompassing strand of grass that transforms into a towering tree of life. 
Stretching around the world as it ties it all together.

[ Oceans run the risk of having more total weight of plastic than fish.]

As always, photography and writing by Mike Koontz

And in that moment, if you look just to the right of you, beyond the soil you have dug your feet into, and instead allow your gaze to see the slowly moving surface of this world’s wet water, you will clearly start to see the plastic litter that now lives inside the fish that keep swimming in a blue-tinted room with walls that slowly seem to be closing in. 
Depleted oxygen keeps being replaced with pieces of plastic litter, plankton that give sway to even more man made garbage, changing levels of salt, currents of warmth and cold changing place and relevance.

And further out, in an old boat, an old fisherman sits beneath the burning sun. 
He is talking about the warming weather, the relentless heat and torching light. 
“this is not how my summers used to be,” the man tells his phone, or perhaps, more plausibly, he is talking to a living breathing, human being on the other side of that sheet of glass and metal. 
Seemingly oblivious as the conversation drags on, he drops a bit more plastic into the sea. 
And beneath the boat, just below the surface, a nearby fish slurps it all up, every piece of litter that bounces into its watery realm.

The fish does not particularly like this food, but it is hungry and the ocean is so warm and unpleasant these days, it is hard to breathe, and all the new baby fish the last couple of years seem to be so strange and weak, and ever fewer of them seem to be born each year. 
And this strange food that makes it quite ill and tastes so dull and tepid is everywhere, so it better try and eat it because nothing else seems to be around. 
After all, bad food has to be better than starving to death.

And as this scene plays out in all its sad glory, behind the old man, a couple in the prime of their life, the wonderful 40´s, fit and toned, and sexy naked, seem quite busy on their laid out towels, not with fishing but with the joy and pleasure of something quite NSFW. 
Unaware of the man, or the wind, they keep on grunting, in sweaty moans and pleasures, as the wind rips a plastic bag away from their strawberry picnic, and as they climax, the bag lands afloat out in the water. 
Later that day, once they have finished their NSFW fun, they seemingly forget to pick up the bottled water they brought with them. 
Leaving a can of plastic to dissolve and breakdown in the sand and rising tides for the next 500 years.

A few weeks later, the old man finally catches that same fish, not with his net, or his rod. No, this strange fish just jumped into the boat, and silently quacked with its swinging tail and open mouth as it seemed to say, “please end my suffering, I can not stand this toxic water for much longer”. “I am starving and I am ill, please kill me”. 
Later that night, the old man grilled his new found catch, carving the tasty scent with his mind as he grabbed his fork and knife, and carved into the fish, he finally noticed after a bite or two, that its emancipated insides were in fact filled with nothing but plastic litter.

Read the rest of the article to get the low down on the actual real life situation behind our fictional story.

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