PUBLISHED 09 July 2017
Trash! Don't Pick It Up - Don't Take My Life Away!
In the attempted suburban order of the United States - Trash has always represented freedom to me. Participation in the system & its dehumanizing, mild, material rewards has always been irrelevant & centrally - overtly - painfully - obviously - not the point of life & so, to embody things antithetical to that system dodges or at least tries to dodge those awkward moments when adherents to the system try & remind you that you're breaking the rules. When you refuse their judgment they are quick to call you trash, as I have been called countless times for not participating. Trash is a great ice builder in this way.
A lot of my favorite books as a kid involved kids adventuring in garbage dumps & scrap yards - places where the normal rules of society & the dull buzz of the machine were barely apparent. These were places to build things, break things, places to organize kids into gangs & create new culture, they were the urban wilderness - populated by rats, raccoons, sea gulls & junk yard dogs. Growing up in any of the post-60s collapse cities like my hometown of Oakland, California, or where we're at in Portland, Oregon now - a veil had lifted & the rotting cities become playgrounds for kids, criminals & all manner of degenerates. It wasn't until the 80s & the national tone changed to try & bring some kind of order back into the trash cities.
But for us that lived it or are living in the places that are collapsing now - or are on the outskirts of those orderly areas - the trash is still there & the trash is still freedom. Trash, falling into the category of chaos has a value in its disorder, it is not a value unto itself, it is a tool. When orderliness is not serving you - chaos is your friend. You can get too bogged down or ensorcelled by chaos & then it becomes very difficult to gain a foothold out of the swirling, degenerating, madness. If we are going to look at trash as a social or moral judgment - we must acknowledge several things. Every day we each generate quite a bit of trash - but it is our social expectation to hide it. Most Americans now add the minor salve to their trash sin by categorizing their trash as recycling - even if the majority of what they think they are recycling ends up in landfills. The point is - we all make trash but society wants to hide & deny it - so - overt trash is a way of upsetting the apple cart.
One of the reasons we decided to call PORK magazine PORK was that the pig turns TRASH INTO CASH. The pig is happy to eat all of the food waste of the farm house & transforms this garbage into the most delicious meat. This mentality cuts through the trap of society & creates ORDER OUT OF CHAOS. But it is on our terms. The same society that out consumes us on the lower end of the economic scale looks down its nose doubly at using what you've got, selling things is gauche, selling trash is just trashy! You're supposed to hide it! Don't you know anything? These are the same people that hide PORK magazine from you on the streets & don't want it in the businesses they frequent. NOT THIS THING. PORK MAGAZINE IS TRASH.
Here's the deal. 80 percent of the world lives in poverty. Almost half the world, over 3 billion people - live on less than $2.50 a day. At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day. So - poverty is the situation that the majority of the world lives in & poverty walks hand in hand with trash. The undesired members of the human family are derided as trash - the mess that shouldn't be seen. While there is an obvious freedom to having money - the place where you must play the game in order to maintain that economic freedom is a particular price that people choose to pay in order to not be swept under the river of trash & to become one of the unseen. As someone who is part of the global 1% (not the American 1%) I feel that it is my responsibility to not participate in the judgment against trash - & instead - to normalize trash & to remind people that just because they can't see it, doesn't mean it isn't there.
- Sean Äaberg