Invisible Hands

Lives in the Background
Keep The City Lights On

Billions believe and worship a cast of invisible beings. Yet those who can save the day have no prayer of being seen by us. They walk miles collecting empty, 5¢ cans for recycling, while we just walk. Cities can’t live without their hands, and yet cast their humanity aside. 
Can collector is a thankless gig, for sure; yet, it’s among the most valuable. Here are three composites, who do it daily, hell or high water, the closer one may get from their stories short of taking their place. Here’s Shi, 68; Simón, 21; and Bobby, 40-ish. (Not their real data).
Recycling has been a survival tool for many species; to discard, instead, it’s our motto and we flaunt it like a birthright. We’re the toss-away kind until the time will come to get dumped into the pile too. Robots? We’ve already operating under an automated central.
Throwaway gizmos; we’ve created A.I. to skip the reusing stage. But there’s no more room for our rubbish, no matter how delirious is our faith. Some never knew another way but to live for loving others; they’re all in for the greater good. Others, for a bigger temple.
A lifetime of scarcity-turned-into-commodity, free for the taking, poises choices. Living along millions, indulging in what we had no part making it possible, are two. But someone in the background may be busy turning our garbage into something else: the future.

KEEP AN EYE FOR THE UNKNOWN CHAMP
Shi is the member every family should have, a professional tracker of discarded containers. An ancient stand-in for those she’s lost, according to her Chinese name. One may only guess when she’s become our helping hands; her Disco 77 brand sneakers proves nothing.
A CHALLENGER BUILDING OUR FUTURE
Simón is a force of nature to his 13 relatives. They all live in a two-bedroom apartment in Queens, and some get up with him every day at 4:15am. His run now includes some 54 blocks lined up with plastic bags and without him, 215 or so daily cans will wind up at a landfill.

THE CARRIER’S VOICE & FOOTWORK
Bobby is the silent traveler whose blackness gives itself away on a soul-infused voice; his is a killer version of ‘Get On Up.’ That’s all (more)
_________
Read Also:
* Last Call
* Spoiled Leftovers
* Rubbish Wednesday

Continue reading

Expiring Dates

Ah, the Joys of
Dumpster Diving

No one needs to tell you how tough things are. That is, unless you’re a trust fund baby or an investment banker. Chances are, though, that if you’re reading this blog, you probably think that a haircut is something you get at Astor Place.
That’s why some stuff you once deemed below you, is starting to hold a certain appeal to you. Take expired food, for instance. You went through years without ever considering trying it, but now, what if you take a closer look at it?
Or at least, allow Nadia Arumugam, a food writer at Forbes Magazine, to help you navigate through the sinuous and much overlooked world of supermarket food, after its expiration date.
And since we’re at it, why not take a peek at Dive, filmmaker Jeremy Seifert‘s documentary about the many ways we waste our food, with, yes, stops at your local dumpster? And visit a bit with trash can-dweller Gregory Kloehn, who’s been living in a handmade house he built out of scraps.
What? You didn’t think things were that bad? They may not need to be. Not yet, anyway. But, using an analogy you’ll hate, just because you’re Continue reading

Rubbish Wednesday

Recycling Junk as Art Form
And Tool for Social Change

They say, one man’s garbage is another’s million-dollar art show, but we say, don’t believe it for a minute. We produce so much junk already that if some artist or visionary decides to recycle it by packing and selling back to its source, more power for them.
We, for ones, are not about to enjoy the prospect of waking up submerged in a sea of plastic cups and wrapping paper and, well, you got the picture.
That’s probably one of the reasons why Brazilian artist Vik Muniz came up with Waste Land, a film about the catadores, self-appointed recyclable material pickers at the world’s largest garbage dump, Jardim Gramacho, in the outskirts of Rio.
The film is a series of visual panels, moving photographs of members of the community that lives off the landfill, sometimes enacting famous paintings, such as the Jacques-Louis David 1793, Death of Marat.
The Italian Dario Tironi, on the other hand, uses old toys, discarded Continue reading