Frankenstein and his plastic fantastic monster

I would have made things a lot easier for myself if I had been willing to use plastic more, but I’m not. I have talked about this before and today I will elaborate.

It’s easy when faced with the pollution and environmental disaster that plastic is causing to simply dismiss it as an evil thing, but that’s not the reason, not in itself. The problem with plastic is not only that it’s unpleasant to touch, that is has no smell, doesnt reflect or contain the light, and because of that, its invariably garish colours. It is an aesthetical pollution even when not thrown in nature. But the real problem isn’t plastic in itself. The real problem is the dream of the everlasting.

Plastic is a result of our society’s fixation on conservation, but conservation like butterflies are conserved in a jar, dead, hollow shells. It is a result of the christian ide of the eternal kingdom, our idea of heaven is a place where nothing ever changes, even though most of us really would find that to be a hell.

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example of things with very different timeline, some more vapid than others

It is deeply imbedded in our culture that creation is good and destruction is evil. And even if we have found ideas from older cultures, and can repeat like parrots that without destruction, there is no creation, we don’t understand it, not emotionally. What is made is not without implication, for every thing that is created, something else isn’t. And I will say this again; matter is not infinite. 

The problem with plastic is that it is locked in its form. Even if it is recycled into other things, it can never be anything else than plastic, its basic building blocks are frozen, and those building blocks are made from something. By making more plastic, we drain the world of recourses in more ways than just the process, we kill the would in more ways than just by the suffocation of nature. We drain it.

Myths and literature has always warned of this, the nordic myth of the åsgårdian gods’ attempt to take Balder out of circulation and lock him in eternal existence, narrowly prevented by Loke. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and his attempt of pretty much the same thing as those gods, creating an eternal form, taking matter out of existence. Today, the monstrosity of this is often presented as physical deformity, but the monstrosity of Frankensteins monster is in it being matter out of place, out of existence.

I am, of course, devastated every time I break a treasured mug etc. I do appreciate the beauty of things, living or not. But to appreaciate things is also to leave them alone, to care for things while they exist and also to see what they consist of and that those things one day can be completely different, as you too shall be.

 

Purism and plastic, struggles with the self

I’m trying as far as possible to avoid using plastic for anything in the house. This is not merely an environmental statement, nor a result of the tactile visuality I so desire (Plastic reflects nothing, absorbs nothing, it is a dead material), but mostly that I’m just simply sick of it after years of coming across it everywhere. It’s a kind of aesthetic allergy.

I’m not denying that plastic as a material has its uses. It doesn’t rot, it’s waterproof (unlike my ceiling) and it’s lightweight. This last issue is of course a great concern of mine as every ounce counts when you live on wheels.

I’m trying not to get mental over this, but as long as I can find any other material than plastic, I will.

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Not plastic, but not really working very well

The biggest problem is the water tank. I have tried a wine barrel, but they’re quite heavy and gives the water a wooden flavor. I have tried a stainless-steel pot made for brewing beer, but they’re either too small or too large. Finding a stainless-steel water tank just made for storing water has proved ridiculously difficult, so it seems like I might be stuck with a plastic water container untill I stumble across a better option.