Saturday, 19 January 2013

Bins, Graffiti and The Matrix

So I saw some interesting graffiti near where I park my car the other day, in big black writing, quite neat too. It said REALITY IS ARTIFICIAL, that’s quite deep I thought, especially compared to the normal phrases I see like “Dave 4 Emma” and “Kevin woz ere wiv Baz 2010”. Making us think about how our day to day lives are nothing but an elaborate sham in order for us to generate some form of energy for a corporate Godhead figure, reducing all of us to nothing more than a aaa battery, not even the ones that fit in remote controls, the ones even smaller than that. Meaning all of our lives are in fact the equivalent of watching a low budget long running soap opera omnibus without anyone famous in it, like the Matrix but more Office Admin based. Or Emmerdale, but more realistic.

While all of this was running through my mind I noticed that someone had added to this simple but profound statement. What have they added I thought, a call to raise arms and awaken the human race from the slumber imposed on it? a phone number to join a revolutionary army who will overthrow the duplicitous governments that keep us squashed like sardines in a tin, oppressed by doom, gloom and fear? (That sounds like the worst name for a solicitors doesn’t it? “had an accident? Slipped on a step and had you football career tragically cut short Mrs Miggins? Well call Doom Gloom and Fear and we will arrange your compensation claim for you!”)



I was almost temped to call in sick until then.

My favourite ever piece of graffiti, yes I have a favourite, was one I remember seeing at school, carved into one of those old wooden desks. There were three parts to this particularly piece of work, like a decade spanning living artwork that the greatest minds of year 10’s metalwork class had worked on, each one not just casually written in biro but carved into the wood and then coloured in, so much deliberation and thought must have gone into each addition, knowing it was a permanent mark, like a blue peter time capsule that generation after generation would see and ponder at how children before them had possibly gained this knowledge, making them feel humbled and privileged to be sat at the very desk where three separate people had written the life changing words:

then underneath


and underneath that

Anyway what I want to talk about today is Bins, yes Bins. How much of our lives are spent either trying to figure out what goes in what bin, which bin to put out this week, whether beer cans are recyclable and OH GOD is there anything more annoyingly competitive than refusing to be the one and admit to your partner that yes, the bin is full and I shall take it upon myself to rid this household of the foul smelling rubbish monster and throw it from the house, causing harmony and a fresh linen smell to be felt throughout the land. But no you just try and squash down the weeks’ worth of waste – again, so you can slide in one solitary crisp packet, that you have already gone to the trouble of ironing.

And on this goes for days and days like a new Jamie Oliver Kitchen Russian Roulette Show until finally one of you gives in, concedes defeat and decides to try the delicate act of getting the bin bag out of the bin. We don’t choose this lightly you know as the risks involved are enormous and the chances of a BIN BAG SPLIT are horrifying enough that we daren’t even say the words out loud in public in case people hear us, scream and runaway.

And then we have the endless "can I recycle this" "which bin does this go in" conversation. Sometimes I spend an entire day with a pukka box wandering between the bins and the kitchen wondering what to do with it. When my girlfriend witnessed this once she came up with a solution to my rubbish dilemma.
"I have bought a new bin with TWO compartments" she said, as if world peace was about to break out.
"one is for food waste,and the other is for everything else" at the same time looking at me the same way a parent looks at their child when they have just explained how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly.
Of course this being life, my life, it wasn't as simple as this. I walked over to the "miracle box" and put my pukka pie box in the special compartment. Which was now full. You see this special compartment for ALL RECYCLING was approximately the same size as a rabbit. A small rabbit, with small ears, rolled up to the size of a small hedgehog.
Ok the special compartment was the same size as a small hedgehog.
Which meant of course that the entire bin would need emptying twice as much, making life twice as complicated and boring as before.
The next day as I walked to my car I noticed the graffiti REALITY IS ARTIFICIAL again. I pulled a pen out of my jacket and making sure no-one was watching, I wrote underneath it "SO WHICH BIN DOES IT GO IN THEN".

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