PUBLISHED: SNAP! Montreal, Issue 19.
An article I wrote regarding recycling has just been dropped in SNAP! – a fashion-art magazine from Montreal. It’s hard to read up there, but check out the full issue at the link below where you can zoom in for easy readability:
And just for fun, here is another article that I wrote for the same issue but wasn’t accepted. Un-edited:
Rod Stewart Lied To You aka: Our Innate Need To Degrade
By Ben Wannamaker
Why do ‘plastic’, ‘synthetic’ and ‘man-made’ hit the ear with such negative force? Perhaps it’s because these things don’t degrade and are unnatural. And according to all sources of intelligence, everything should have a life span with a start, middle and end: going through distinct phases which each have a distinct place in their lifetime’s grand scheme.
But still, we fill landfills with what could be recycled – rejecting the intended ‘end’ – and cover the contents in dirt to trap the gases; our society plays favourites too, trying to preserve people: outlawing euthanasia, believing Rod Stewart over reason and roaring – in unison – the lyrics to Forever Young while we stuff our tits with silicone and date someone ever-younger as if their genitals secrete some secretive life elixir.
Let’s imagine that no one ever died. According to the Popular Reference Bureau there are approximately 7 billion people living in the world today and that is only 6.5% of people that have been born over the course of human history. Logic informs us that the herd needs to be thinned, empires must fall and we need to die – ego be damned – otherwise there would be upwards of 107 billion people fighting for Mother Nature’s limited resources. And in the same vein, 2,500,000 plastic bottles are used every hour in the U.S but unfortunately 30 billion of them still end up in landfills rather than being recycled. That is a herd which cannot thin itself and undoubtedly requires our consideration to do so.
Just as when human bodies die, they’re used in nature’s highly developed recycling program that has no need for incentives. A self-trimming system where big eats small, strong conquers weak and scavengers eat the dead if unable to catch the living; all are absorbed into the earth’s eloquent orchestra of omni-present participation and decadent decay.
However, in saying that we need to die and stressing the importance of smart-degradation, it should be noted that, ironically, nothing really goes away, and this includes ideas. And at the risk of sounding like a high school guidance councillor, intelligently recycling everything from the densest polystyrenes to the intangible ideas of our previous generations is of paramount importance; re-using what we can from both, for fodder and new fertilizer.
Because if we don’t intelligently recycle and understand how to properly let things go – continuing to lock up and ball-gag the elderly, conflating the importance of a young generation’s context with that of an expendable income – then the future may have nothing to offer but a soft-skinned search engine that’s unable to find any worthwhile content (and landfills over-scoring the forests.)