Morroco and Rocco and Your Rococo Life

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Morroco and Rocco and Your Rococo Life
Better late for a date in the desert than an ornate necrophilia
by Rocco and his Lonely Planet friends

Let’s take just one example. Let’s say… 4WD vehicle fun in the sun in… Morocco. It could be any number of places, and it could be with a focus on something other than 4WDs, but… for the purposes of this article… I’m going to assume that you’re intelligent enough to extrapolate on your own… using this one example as a point of departure. [And I'm gonna assume that you'll enjoy some play with language, with stuff like the "Rocco" in the title meaning me. And so on ad infinitum lyrically midst The Horror Show which this article addresses, the urgency which must be embraced immediately.]

The dire state of the Moroccan environment is something in which we are all implicated. An example of this is the invasion of the desert by tourist 4WD vehicles in a process known as the ‘Toyotarisation’ of the Sahara. With their large wheels, 4WDs break up teh surface of the desert, which is then scattered into the air by strong winds. By one estimate, the annual generation of dust has increased by 1000% in North Africa in the last 50 years. And in case you thought that those 4WD tracks across the sands would soon be erased by the winds, remember that tracks from WWII vehicles are still visible in the Libyan desert six decades after the cessation of those abominable hostilities. Airborne dust is a primary cause of drought far more than it is a consequence of it, as it shields the earth’s surface from sunlight and hinders cloud formation.

The consequences of our impatience in the desert extend far beyond Morocco and its desert communities, far beyond those of North Africa. The stirred-up sand threatens to envelop the world in dust, with serious consequences for human health, coral reefs and climate change. Plankton on the surface of the world’s oceans is also being smothered by sand, with devastating implications for marine life. Dust storms are increasingly common in cities like Madrid and the dust-laden winds threaten to transform 90% of Spain’s Mediterranean regions into deserts. Once these deserts gain a European foothold, the process of desertification will be extremely difficult and costly to reverse. Sand from the Sahara has even reached as far away as Greenland, settling on icebergs and causing them to melt faster.

Exploring the desert by camel is infinitely more friendly to the environment, quite apart from the fact that it forces you to slow down to a desert pace, free from the intrusions of the modern world. It’s also the best way to ensure that you leave behind nothing but easily erasable footprints in the sand.

And yet… when we speak of FOOTPRINTS… we must also consider what we’re doing with the very air travel that brings so many to places like Morocco. [Pause.] But let’s not bring up stuff at this juncture that’s likely to overwhelm my already overwhelmed readers. The citizens of the world — who routinely hide from all this with a narrow national mindset – have too much on their plates. And they don’t really want to see the sand that’s about to settle onto their daily bread.

Speaking of which, I’d like to conclude on a personal note. Yes, everyone needs to be concerned with their income, their personal sustenance. I play that game too. That said, when I recently tried to hook up with some sweet Moroccan souls for the purpose of promoting singular travel packages to Morocco… I learned that my “colleagues” were already engaged with some limited travel plans for others… which would include catering to typical North American tourists. And I wondered afterwards whether or not they would draw the line at not catering to requests to 4WD their precious desert. Not cater to the typical tourist’s taste in wasting water at 4-star hotels. I tried to imagine them turning down tourist dollars because a certain traveler’s profile seemed to guarantee that they would contribute to the downfall of Morocco and much more. I haven’t yet confronted them on any of this. We’ll see.

What I do plan to do immediately, however, is to get in touch with my oldest boy, Aja, who is currently in Thailand taking advantage of some decent, inexpensive dental work. I’m very proud of Aja, my surfer/papparazzi dude living in Kauai. What an amazing soul he is. I wish he’d call more, but… that’s really okay; he DOES make sure he visits. And last time, or the time before, he even paid for Sis Noelle’s travel to make for a fuller family reunion. [Pause.] The thing is, when I talked to him on the phone recently he told me that he was riding an elephant in northern Thailand, doing some photographic something with some (seemingly) sedated tigers thereabouts. All this whilst historic riots were preparing to take place in the south of the country. It was all I could do to not bring up that political blah blah midst his having fun… and that was probably why I didn’t ask him to question whether or not his activities were hurting anyone, any living creatures, Mother Earth. [For years I've stayed away from forcing him into a discussion of Hawaii's environmental degradation of his beloved surf... being too timid to disrupt loving father/son blah blah.]

But I will now. Just as I ask you to go beyond Morocco in your thinking. As I get ready to confront my new-found Moroccan friends respecting their parameters for tourism in their native country, I ask YOU to explore the nooks and crannies of your own “Morocco”… doing everything you can to do away with the “Rococo” mindset… encouraging one and all to be better than “Rocco” is at all this.

I do love you. And I can’t wait to meet you. [Pause.] For we will all meet one day, yes?

Rocco can be reached at 831-688-8038 or at any hour. is about just one of the great many injustices in this world. In my previous posting on the Iamazighen I pour my heart out because their plight is not only fully, organically connected to other cries for independence, but very definitely blended with the abominations being inflicted on Mother Earth, such as what is touched upon here. One simply cannot kick back with one’s cell phone and be oblivious to where and how the high tech corporations secure their radiation-spewing horror, the horrid momentum involved ‘cross the board. Rapes of women in the Congo, rape of that landbase, and the rapeseed/patent dilemma are all connected to desertification and your Wi-Fi. Ask me why. Don’t go rococo on Rocco.