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Jeff Whitten: Digressions
editor's notes

I was going to wax and wane at annoying length about Georgia’s new voting law, which has been vilified by some and called necessary by others. Looks like that story isn’t going anywhere, so we’ll back up for a minute and go somewhere else.

First, Colorado. A buddy shared a story reporting some in that beautiful state are seeking to legalize “human composting.” Said friend, who shall remain nameless, included the editorial comment that becoming compost “is the only way some politicians would ever be productive or put food on the table.” Probably true on both sides of the aisle and on every extreme, that.

Anyhow, a story in citing in part the Denver Post notes there is a bill afoot in the Colorado legislature that would allow folks to “turn their bodies into soil after death.” It’s apparently fairly close to passing despite objections from some church folks, who think it’s sacrilegious to want to be fertilizer after one’s time spent using up the planet’s resources is over.

The stories say soil would not be sold or used to grow food, and you wouldn’t be allowed to combine “the soil of multiple people,” into one batch of compost, the People. com story said, I think.

That’s a relief, I think.

Anyway, while the legislation is still not a done deal in Colorado, in Washington (the way out west state, not the one filled with unproductive politicians,) a company called Recompose is already legally already offering the service in what to me look like spacepods and what they call greenhouses.

What’s more, a couple years ago Beverly Hills 90210 star Luke Perry got buried in an infinity burial suit, or mushroom suit, which speeds up the process of going back to nature, according to its Japanese inventor, known as JR on her company, Coeio, website.

While an MIT student, JR “focused on the development of living units, furniture, wearables, and recycling systems to propose unorthodox relationships between the mind/ body/self and the natural environment. Her work critically engaged governmental institutions, industries, and social norms, specifically concerning waste and death and dying,” the website said. So she built a mushroom suit.

While Coeio and Recompose and other companies providing alternatives to the traditional funeral offer may differ in specifics and details, proponents say it’s essentially a more environmentally friendly way to go. Literally.

For more information, check out greenburialcouncil.org, or

Onward: The other day my mother was talking about a neighbor’s grandson who is somewhere in the neighborhood of 18 months old, and “he’s at that age where everything he touches goes in his mouth.”

And so it was she related to me how she sort of escorted this 2-foot-tall kid around her yard while he was steady picking up rocks and sticks and some old marbles she puts in potted plants for some reason. ‘Those marbles are more than 70 years old,” she told me, since she’s had them most of her life, and here this kid is trying to pop everything he can get his hands on in his mouth.

That’s where I’m bound, I figure, wandering around picking up things and putting them in my mouth. This in part because such things occasionally happen to weekly newspaper editors zeroing in a hurry on the big 60 and in part because I tend to kind of look like a hairy overgrown 2-year-old. At any rate, I am glad I am not yet returned to the stage where I put everything I touch into my mouth. Unless it’s covered in chocolate or Carolina style barbecue sauce. Then all bets are off.

Finally, it’s been reported Las Vegas is going to outlaw ornamental lawn grass, or something like that. It’s a matter of water conservation and understandable in a desert.

I do wish Georgia would consider something similar, not least because we’re sitting atop an aquifer which is eventually going to run out of water and the faster the Georgia coast grows the faster it’s going to happen.

More to the point, my acre and some change is about to break me. If it ain’t dollarweed it’s mole crickets. If it ain’t mole crickets, it’s moles. If ain’t any of that it’s we have too much shade or not enough aeration or that 10-10-10 I put out three years ago has quit working. Which leads me to think if my wife reads the composting story, after I’m gone I’m likely to be shipped to Colorado or fitted out for a mushroom suit.

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