And I want to cry.
How hard is it to keep rubbish in your car?
Clearly, the answer is quite hard.
Picture the litter-lout or litter-bug. Why in the UK we (or is it just me?) use lout, which is male and defined as a man or boy who acts boorishly or with aggression and without consideration towards others, is a puzzle, because I suspect littering is not an entirely male habit. Anyway, back to the lout who, in his (or her. But I will use his and let you assume his or her) first act of loutish behaviour, broke the law eating while driving. And probably thought he was driving safely - it didn't cross his mind that eating may have been, perhaps, a little distracting. Why would it have been? The wrapper unwrapped itself, of course! The ring-pull tugged and folded itself against the can; the crisp packet yawned itself open and the dozens of probiotic drink bottles (yes!!) pulled their own foil caps off. So there was nothing to distract him during the driving-with-one-hand-on-the-wheel eating process. But lest the conscience perched on my shoulder pecks a hole in my head, I will move on quickly. What the lout did find distracting was the litter lying about inside his car. Or was it clamouring at the windows to be released? Perhaps the lout was performing a charitable act under the banner - Freedom for Wrappers! Perhaps he was aiding the tortured (crumpled), victimised (torn), discarded (... discarded!) bits of paper and plastic and glass and foil and aluminium to escape from their temporary detention centre (the lout's car). How kind!
Do litter-louts believe that if litter can't be seen, it doesn't exist?
It does. I can see it!
Cans and bottles
And crisp packets
Numerous probiotic drink bottles
And coffee cups
All this litter and littering reminds me of George Shaw's atmospheric and thoughtful paintings, currently on tour following their exhibition at the National Gallery (nationalgallery/nationwide-tour): he saw litter in woodlands and took it as an allegory to hint at ideas of faith and frailty and damage. Striking though his paintings were, seeing litter here in my environment makes me seethe. There is something pitiful and poetic in some of these photographs but my visceral response is rage. There is no motivation behind littering other than absolute laziness. To suggest that the litter-lout is a slothful human being is an insult to sloths. His laziness is far worse than that of the harmless sloth. Tinged with an utter disregard for nature, the litter-lout shames the rest of us who care what our countryside looks like. He is interested in one thing only and in the pristine perfection of its surrounding airspace. He doesn't care a fig about the rest of us. He probably doesn't know what a fig is. Nor how it is grown. The only figs he has seen are the ones squeezed into biscuity rolls, cocooned inside the sort of wrappers that he throws away.
I bet he leaves the engine running when he's waiting to collect someone.
Huh! Engines running; fossil fuels; pollution and climate change ... is that where this procrasti-rant is going?
... No, not yet; I need to gather my facts ... Facts! ... Huh! How do we know which facts to believe? When is a fact not a fact? In the world of making-things-up-as-you-go-along-and-saying-something-different-the-next-day and lying-about-irrefutible-statistics and taking-an-opposing-view-to-the-old-adage-that-a-photo-never-lies and gagging-anyone-who-disagrees-with-you, it is hard to see the wood for the trees.
So no, not yet - climate change is for another day. Another rant. Though I may just drop this in for now: earth-day-2017
Walking the dogs is meant to be about this
And - changing the subject - don't get me started on this
I'm off to write and edit and weep for the trees. Flailing is saved for another rant. On another another day.
Perhaps, I should be grateful that we have trees left to flail