If you want to save yourself the effort of reading this, then watch this.
One of the things that is probably a consequence of that old red regime our parents used to put up with is that most of us have developed the sickly condition of associating waste with civilization.
Yes, there were no colorful plastic wrappers, McDonald’s, Nestle or Coca Cola products, no single-use bags or chewing gum, no paper cups or ice cream on a stick. Forget the fax, car phone, flexible training shoes, gyms. All in all, there was a lot of shit out in the world that we never got our hands on before the 90s. And it is my theory that this delay in our access to them generated this immense hunger that is yet to be satisfied.
Why is Bucharest one of the most polluted cities in Europe? Because people can’t get over having a caR. Most of them didn’t grow up with one. It’s a social status thing. Riding a bike is healthier for them and the planet, but it just doesn’t go with what you want to wear every day. And of course, you have to show off what you wear, because you probably grew up in chinese slippers bought from some dubious fair or town market.
There’s this desire in people to show that they’ve moved further from their simple roots that puts so much distance between us and the relaxation inherent to any truly civilized society. It is that relaxation that keeps foreigners on the grass in Helsinki. It is that relaxation that is the key to the patience of putting up with the garbage you yourself produced, long enough so as to dispose of it properly. And it is our idiotic pride that finds joy in showing that we do NOT, in fact, care.
There’s something amazingly sad in a society whose members pride themselves on NOT caring, on NOT doing and on NOT listening to anyone or anything.
I’m a big fan of freedom, to the point of civilized anarchy, but fact of the matter is that freedom from all others is not achieved by brutal disregard, but through the generalization and mass consumption of common sense.
And there’s another difference here: the one between the solitude into which our ignorant arrogance and disregard throw us, and the deserved “acquisition” of valid, lawful, peaceful private space.