It is the local council hard rubbish collection in our area. We have a washing machine, an old wooden tennis racquet, a dead digital display clock, a seized brushcutter (gone), a secondhand desktop computer, a cruddy old basket, two stained Ikea chairs and a dead floor lamp to add to the piles of stuff lying messily and sadly along the leafy roadsides of Belgrave and its surrounds.
We all feel futility at the space in which we find ourselves, with all of this … stuff clogging it all up. Recycling can only go so far, and repair even less, as founder of social enterprise Bright Sparks, Erin Lewis-Fitzgerald, found.
A natural ecosystem like a forest lives for millions of years in a true circular economy, everything being reused and refiltered, nothing to show for itself except for itself.
There are many people working, chipping away, using their minds and their lives to move slowly towards humanity becoming more of a natural ecosystem. It is a very inspiring thing to see the beginning of a new story, which is really a rather old story. We will be much happier in that version. Living inside it and drinking it in will be like Alice drinking the juice that raises her up to her natural, dignified size once again. We will know again our place in nature, learning from its 3.8 billion years of intelligence.
Before that, however, we are consumers, and we are the clients of the local council, which must now make a profit, in the tired business model that’s encroached on our public spaces to eat them all and spew dollars out its rapacious bum for itself.
I don’t even know if that sentence makes sense, but it stays.
The council forbids its clients, the consumers, to ride around picking stuff off the hard rubbish collection and taking it home. It is illegal. It probably carries a fine, as does everything else that happens when a client infracts.
Which is why I felt pleasure earlier when I heard a man calling out to Anthony from the street, asking him if he could take the motor from the washing machine Anth had put out not 10 minutes before. He was after the copper in it, apparently. It seems different somehow when one person wanting to make money goes around picking from everyone’s stuff to sell it than when the council does it.
Perhaps I wouldn’t feel such antipathy if the council, like all of our government departments, was not a capitalist pig like everything else but knew its proper place as a service provider to the people. If it knew the true value of people. Seeing it’s comprised of them.
I can only wish for such a return to sanity. And we must dream and wish. This shitty version of things only appears to be the only way, and even that Thatcherian ideology is beginning to crumble.
So dream I will. Of course, if I was going to keep on that dreaming path, the man would have taken away the whole washing machine because after selling the copper he was going to use the steel from the machine to make the most badass sculpture you ever saw from a repurposed Fisher & Paykel.
Continuing on the dream even further – I’d be making the badass washing machine sculpture myself.
One day. Dream on.