Aesthetic Selection

“There’s something soothing about seeing an even expanse of green grass that just seems to lower our blood-pressure a bit.”

-American Lawns

A weed is not the same thing as an invasive species. In 1999, former president Clinton signed Executive Order 13112 officiating the definition as “an alien species whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.” In unofficial parlance, an invasive species is one that doesn’t occur in a specific area. A weed on the other hand is a plant that grows in an area where it isn’t wanted. Although it may grow naturally in the area, it is considered undesirable, unattractive, or troublesome. It must be gotten rid off. We weed out our closets when they become full of things we no longer want or find attractive. In the suburbs, we weed our gardens in order to uphold the American aesthetic tradition of a well-manicured lawn.

Weeding represents an authoritarian, top-down, aesthetic-driven relationship to our natural surrounding. This is an approach that is inexistent in the natural environment where aesthetic is based on the functionability of the entire system. The suburban tendency to view the common Quackgrass as an undesirable inhabitant of the great American front yard is no different from the political dictator practicing genocide. Mr. President, who is the real invasive species?

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  1. […] our neighbors crazy. Utopiography makes some great points about what she’s coined “Aesthetic Selection“. Personally, I think of grass grass the human forced invasive […]



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