General Question

WakeUp's avatar

Is the manicured lawn a shrine to the false notion that man is no longer at the behest of nature because he has killed god and conquered his enviornment with science and technology? Is it a standing challenge, for God to prove man otherwise?

Asked by WakeUp (421points) July 26th, 2008

The manicured lawn is the ultimate in vanity in an age of manufactured poverty. Useless, time-consuming, and empty, the manicured lawn is a pinnacle achievement of passive-aggressivism.

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37 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Sigh. Sometimes a lawn is just a lawn. While I agree with you that the use of chemicals on lawns and vanity watering must stop as a waste of resources, man’s impulse to groom his own little slice of wilderness is ancient. Look at the Olmstead Brothers and the park legacy they left.

cage's avatar

I think god left us a long time ago, and if he’s still up there he doesn’t give a f**k. Why do I think this? I don’t really I’m not even Christian.

I think if a guy wants to make his garden look nice, then go ahead if thats what floats his boat. I don’ think we need to read into too much.

AstroChuck's avatar

You’re damn right!
That was rhetorical, right?

willbrawn's avatar

I think you think to much. And I think your just either angry at God or don’t really believe in him.

Dog's avatar

Interesting concept. Where I live the homeowners association dictates our yard design and how we keep it. So would this then be a reflection on the vanity of the HOA?

Perhaps it is a sign of healthy finances rather than a manly show of domination over nature.
I tend to believe this- as those around around me who are entering foreclosure are evident in the appearance of the lawn.

BTW: If I had my way it I would not have lawn at all. It is only as decent looking as the worst spot on it because that is where the eye goes. If it is meant to stoke my vanity then it achieves just the opposite in my case.

tinyfaery's avatar

Man didn’t kill god, man created god. And they (not me) are still creating god(s) to give a rationale to their ideas, desires, and beliefs about the world. There is no better proof that what they think is right, then having it be a dictate from a god.

In L.A. they site you for using your water so frivolously. Next year, rationing. Oh my!

PupnTaco's avatar

20 points for the longest rhetorical question ever.

jlm11f's avatar

@WakeUp – Are you trying to get out of lawn mowing duty? psst. I don’t think your mom/significant other is going to fall for that one…

aaronou's avatar

@PnL – I think I actually laughed out loud at your response, thanks.

I honestly don’t see much of a difference between grooming a lawn and all the other decorative pasttimes (such as adorning your house) that we Americans are so fond of. Aesthetic pleasure may lead us to a number of extremes and excesses, so certainly this is something to think on, though very difficult to avoid in a materialistic-loving empire.

Consider even our infatuation with decorative clothing…“And though you seek in garments the freedom of privacy you may find in them a harness and a chain” – Khalil Gibran

jlm11f's avatar

@aaronou – i have my moments. i am happy that i was able to make you laugh :)

boffin's avatar

What’s wrong with “Curb Appeal”...
A nice yard adds to everyone’s enjoyment. That’s why many folk spend so much time in Parks or strolling the grounds at Universities, Museums and even Capitol Buildings. Having a well kept home is a sign of “Pride of Ownership”.
Consider the alternative… If your not sure what that might be, cruise through a ‘Crack’ and ‘Druggie’ neighborhood. And, I’ll bet even in those neighborhoods there is at least one well maintained home and yard.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar


Does your statement mean that banks should come and take care of peoples lawns? How many people do you know actually own their home?

wildflower's avatar

Thank you!! For giving me the perfect excuse to be lazy about my gardening! And noone’s going to dispute it – they’ll be too busy catching their breath and wiping tears from laughing!!

loser's avatar

How did you get all that crap from a lawn?

WakeUp's avatar

I find it interesting “boffin” that the only alternative to a lawn you can imagine is some undefinable degradation that only poor people have the lack of taste to accomplish. I just see it as a vain waste of space. Which it is. It is only for looks, it serves no other purpose.

In my opinion, the manicured lawn is necessary for the individual to reconcile the submission into oppression needed to obtain the lawn in the first place. It is necessary for him to in turn apply the type of control that has been applied to him.

To even be able to get a house, you have to allow yourself to be “fucked” (figuratively in this sense) by lawyers, realtors, and most importantly, your boss, or should I say, erastes.

And once you have the house, (social status) it is expected that you switch from the passive role, muliebria pati“to submit to what is done to women”, to the active role, hubrizein, a verb meaning ”to treat with wanton insolence”.

So as a symbolic act, one of your first responsibilities/rewards as a new member of the hubrizein is to “treat with wanton insolence” the lesser aspects of society as they are represented literally and figuratively, in your new household i.e. your wife and kids, employees, and nature, mother earth, the feminine creative goddess aka your lawn, must be degraded and regarded as lesser and subordinate, designed only to be used and manipulated by the upper echelon of society for its own pleasure.

So the false idea that Man now controls God, which expresses itself through the domination and suppression of the feminine, reaches its pinnacle sublime manifestion as the manicured lawn.

loser's avatar

Have you ever considered the possibility that you think too much?

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Maybe we don’t think enough loser.

btko's avatar

I like your answers and questions Wakeup.

@Chris6137… I was thinking “whoa that’s harsh..” when you said “we don’t think enough loser”... but that’s the name haha :p just thought id share

boffin's avatar

I don’t care if you own, rent or squat.
Whatever gets you off. Take some sort of pride in your surroundings.
At least the neighbors will appreciate your efforts.
When I go camping, I try to leave the site better than I found it.
Plus, I’m not trying to one-up my neighbors either. I do care what the place looks like. The same reason I shower and shave.

PupnTaco's avatar

WakeUp: you could be the next Unabomber with manifestos like that.

btko's avatar

he does have a good point, and he isn’t saying that we should be slobs and throw our garbage and dirty needles everywhere. You can take care of your surroundings but not feel the need to control it out right.

nina's avatar

Yes, it is a shrine. And – no, G-d is not going to bother, so you can keep your lawn manicured without the fear of incurring G-d’s wrath. Or so I think…

aaronou's avatar

Ok, so have we decided that I’m allowed to mow my lawn or not?

btko's avatar

It’s the act of having a lawn.. not the actual mowing.

WakeUp's avatar

btko is right. Its a condensation of the worldview of the Western Individual that all of the rest of the world was put here for us to use and manipulate.

However, I would add that the mowing rite is a ritual akin to female circumcision, as the lawn will not reach its God-given potential of development, just as female circumcision ensures that a woman can never reach her God-given potential to experience orgasm/extacy/union with the creator/God, as a result of an act of Man (once again, man kills God, mans will succeeds over God’s will). This leads directly to the egotistical experience of one’s self as God, in lieu of true divinity, which has manifested in ways as detrimental to human progress as Divine Authority or Divine Mandate.

This same impulse of control led to the church in its current manifestation of “Divine Bureaucrat”, middleman between the “common” folk and the direct experience of God. It pushes the same button in the psyche of the dominator.

By removing the woman’s/the people’s ability to directly experience God, they are forced into accepting the interpretation of the husband/the priest as the truth about the Divine and their relationship to it. For all intents and purposes, this method results in the perception of the husband/priest actually being God, de facto. To be the man, you have to beat the man, hence, Man believes he has killed (or at least imprisoned) God.

Poser's avatar

Then the same could be said for all forms of botany and hybridization. I guess my grandfather spent his entire life as a farmer killing or imprisoning God, since all the corn he harvested and all the cattle he slaughtered never reached their God-given potential.

WakeUp's avatar

Well, I wont argue with the cattle part of the statement (guilty myself, I eat meat), but the corn did, in fact, reach its potential. It grew, matured, and produced offspring to continue its lineage into the future.

Corn requires cross-pollination to ensure full ear development (as the kernels are the seeds of the corn plant), so the moment you hold a finished ear of corn in your hand, that specific plants job is done, potential has been reached.

Poser's avatar

The same could be said then for sod. The moment sod is laid down in my yard, it’s job is done, it’s potential has been reached.

WakeUp's avatar

No, because thats what YOU see its purpose as. Corn’s purpose of growing and producing seed HAS NOTHING to do with what you want from it.

You have proved my point by seeing sod as something that has no other purpose than to please you. The grass can grow much higher than its allowed to, and reseeding a lawn is commonly an annual activity BECAUSE the grass is not allowed to reproduce and set seed itself.

Poser's avatar

Of course, by holding a finished ear of corn in your hand (presumably with the intention of eating it), those seeds are not going into the ground to produce new plants. Therefore, haven’t you prevented the corn from reaching its full potential by selfishly eating the seeds? How about that cow? Are we killing God by drinking the milk and eating the meat of cattle? How about a hen? Her full potential will never be reached. She’ll spend her entire life squatting out unfertilized eggs for the consumption of ruthless God-killers.

For that matter, aren’t your clothes the same thing? Here we cultivate cotton in an effort to control our environment—a challenge to God. We clear the land to plant huge fields of the stuff—row upon row of perfectly cultivated cotton. Then we use our technology to harvest it, process it, spin it and weave it into shrines of vanity called Calvin Klein, Echo, Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren.

While we’re at it, let’s discuss how we spit in God’s eye with the countless drugs and products we use to hinder the joining of sperm and egg in our own species. Each time a man ejaculates without fertilizing the egg of a woman, isn’t he, in essence, failing to reach his own potential? Aren’t condoms and birth control pills merely man’s attempt to “conquer his enviornment [sic] with science and technology”?

By your definition, how is manicuring a lawn any different than all of man’s endeavors to control his environment? Every animal affects things around it.

btko's avatar

Are you really including God in your equation WakeUp or just using God to make a point? I think your questions would be well suited without the use of God.

Poser's avatar

Further, @WakeUp, who are you to tell others what is “useless, time-consuming, and empty”? Do our lives not belong to ourselves alone? Who better to decide what is or is not a waste of an individual’s time than that individual himself?

WakeUp's avatar —Penn and Teller Bullshit! S7Ep8: Lawns

Dr_Dredd's avatar

No, a manicured lawn is just a really tidy piece of grass.

LuckyGuy's avatar

This season has proved the true value of a lawn: Mosquito control. If I walk in my woods and tall brush I get eaten alive, but step out onto the lawn and I’m safe.
The swallows skim back and forth, inches above the surface, grabbing anything that ventures above the surface of the grass. It is wonderful.

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