We've learned that chapters of our human tale
Are named for stuff that formed our implements.
And so, we've had the Age of Stone, of Bronze, Of Iron – and we're surely still within
The Age of Coal and Oil and Gas, as we
Now live, scavenging remnants, decomposed,
Of beings past that thrived on radiance –
That even now springs forth as corpses burn.
And all the “plastics” that might indicate
That we should call our times the Plastic Age,
At source, from these – and ocean, air – are made,
And so are many clothes and furnishings,
Plus dyes and drugs – and endless things beside.
And so we could, with right, proclaim that we
Are living still in an Age of Scavenging –
And celebrate this plateau high with glee.
But some would argue for another scheme
And say that we had passed from a Primal Age
To the Age of Herds and Farms – and then, of late,
To that of Industry – and now, they'd say,
We're at the dawn of yet another age,
Where all (in time) are linked by nets that keep
Us so aware of all the rest that we
Can shout, “We're in the Information Age!”
But there's another aspect, some would note,
Examining the garbage we discard,
The things we buy and sell – and all we do
To keep in motion this economy
And so survive – including, constantly,
The merchandising of ourselves. They'd say
We've been, awhile, within a glorious age,
In which the wrapping counts – the gloss, the spin –
Far more than what's within. As Content is
Dethroned, they'd hail – the Age of Packaging!