Conversations in art about ecological collapse and our place in the changing world

Conversation 67

Plastic Parts to Help with Life
M.A.C. Farrant

We wanted to be in a happy place. So we bought a Lego Farm set and moved in. 

A Lego Farm is an environmentally friendly and vegetarian farm where there are no slaughterhouses, no feeding operations, no toxic lagoons, and no ill-paid migrant workers. The sun is always shining and it’s always an optimistic day.

The set comes with a farmer, a young girl, a farmhand, a yellow cat, a mouse, two brown and white cows, five chickens, a Border Collie, a riding mower, and a tilting wagon. 

In two hours we build the farmhouse. As long as we’re in this habitable zone life is promising.

Before this, each of us was having upwards of eighty bad moments a day. We called the ambulance a lot and once Josh was airlifted to the hospital. When I say bad moments I mean moments about seeing the darkness, the sadness, and the bleakness of the world. Moments on steroids, bigger and more dangerous than regular moments, overtaking us like a drug. 

Now we’re feeding chickens and gathering pretend eggs. Or wandering the farmyard listening to the special soundtrack that comes with the set. We put in the ear buds and soon we’re mooing along with the cows, squawking with the chickens and feeling pretty great – privileged, on holiday, filled with fun.

Come evening we turn out the lights and everything disappears – the night sky, our subterranean dread. We’re safe beneath a blanket of calm. We’re not seeing the billions of stars or thinking about their billions of reasons. We’re not losing our minds over the lunatic moon. Because you know what happens if you fall in love with moonlight, don’t you? You end up living in cheap apartments forever.

Good thing we found this benevolent place. 

And here comes the miniature farmer with good news, along with the miniature girl and the miniature aw-shucks farmhand, who once starred in The Wizard of Oz. We can build the mower! It’s time to harvest the hay!  

Finally, we’re in a place that’s just plain liveable. Be happy for us, Marion, all right?

The Lego instruction book guarantees that the farm figures will always be cute and silly enough to give us a thrill. That their plastic parts will remain durable. As long as we don’t put the plastic parts in our mouths, we’ll be safe. As long as we don’t chew off the mouse’s tail, all will be well.


“Plastic Parts to Help with Life” from The Great Happiness copyright © 2019 by M.A.C. Farrant, Talonbooks, Vancouver. Reprinted by permission of Talonbooks.
Join this conversation
Contact us