February 24, 2011: Let Go, Let Sheer Fantasy

Today’s musing/sheer fantasy is courtesy of two, seemingly random but inexorably-linked-in-mysterious-ways-that-we’ll- never-understand phenomena:

1. Oil is now  $100 a barrel.

2. The snow has melted sufficiently so that the city crap of the past three months is now blatantly, festeringly obvious.

So, today, walking to Inman Square and over and beside and around trash, trash, trash, I remembered during the Great Leap Forward (1958 – 1963) when the Chinese people were exhorted to build backyard furnaces to create steel for all the new and modern Leaps Forward that required steel. (This homemade steel turned out to be pretty shoddy goods. For many reasons, including bad luck with the weather, the GLF was a bust.) And I looked at all the trash in Union Square and along Webster Avenue, 95% of which was made of plastic—a petroleum product, soon to become, perhaps, prohibitively expensive? And fantasized about some miracle technology that could transform all the coffee cup lids and Pepsi caps and plastic bags and the rest of that crap into STUFF WE ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY NEED!

Wild, huh? And here’s where it gets even crazier: Since We the People would be collecting this stuff to be  somehow transformed, WE get to say how this suddenly valuable commodity is used!

Okay, that’s nuts. But here’s a little something re trash that’s true and profound: Now that the Egyptian people feel that their country is theirs, trash has become a political statement. When the Egyptian people felt hopeless, they threw their crap on the streets.With a growing, collective sense of ownership and empowerment, the Egyptian people are reminding one another to clean up their mess.


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