Pulp Blogging about Recycling: 16 Short Paragraphs

Pulp Non-Fiction.   My career, developing recycling infrastructure.  Markets, participation, and logistics make recycling more economical. People who want to recycle, and mills which can use waste materials as resources, working together.  You know, the alternative to cutting down rain forests.

Who is really poisoning and destroying his brothers?
The success of recycling, in many ways, is no more important than the establishment of an infrastructure for laundromats.   There weren't washing machines all over the country one hundred years ago.  Now there are.  They have created countless spare hours for poor women to use in more productive careers, education, etc.  Like internet cafes in Africa, they bring tech access to the masses.  But what could be more boring?

Part of the challenge for recycling culture is to accept our success and become boring.  We were part of an environmental sustainability movement.  In many ways, we were the most important part, as recycling saves carbon, energy, forests, and species, and creates wealth where there is poverty.

The temptation over the past ten years has been for recycling people like myself to try to find a new controversy, a new battle, a new war.  We are like retired colonels who miss the days of bravery and grandness. The temptation to set off on a new crusade is understandable.

For me, the pursuit of recycling infrastructure has become about erasing national boundaries in order to make the solid waste hierarchy more efficient.   We reduce mining by extending the lives of products already mined, for example.  In doing so, we bring internet cafes to dark places.  Others stay in the USA, and see "overseas" as a new adversary.

It has been passionately exciting to me to see those places become hotbeds of thirsty freedom.  Libya, Tunisia, and Egypt, just to name the African continent revolutions, happened to be built on the recycling infrastructure for used computers in the USA and Europe.

washing machine time
But blogging on and on?   Risks polluting, burying or camouflaging...  that insight has already been captured and written.  Posts like Motherboard Why We Should and Monkeys Running the Environmental Zoo shouldn't have to compete with some of the crap I've thrown up on a third glass of wine.

This is life without an editor, and it's the future of journalism. Tarantino news.   I can tell you this, recycling has had far more than its share of sexy press.   If you compare the number of articles about recycling to the articles about laundrymats, pollution from textiles, and mining/smelting, there's no comparison.  Recycling has had Twenty-five minutes of fame, and counting.

But journalism itself is wobbling.  And thus we go into a de Tocqueville era, where bloggers like me write about what's really happening, from the inside.  I've never been to J-school and can't see how I'm doing anything but hurting myself with some of the blogs I write.  But the mainstream press has gotten some things horribly and terrifically wrong in places like Indonesia.  People I do business with are afraid, they are losing their likelihoods, and there is no safety net.

Nice clean clothes from the laundry cleaner
This is just the last chapter in the book about recycling.  Chapter 1 begins with the second arrowhead, recycled from a mastodon kill.   The last thing interesting to read is when environmentalists turn inward upon themselves, and in a fit of hubris, carry down Ezekiel 25:17 wrath upon the geeks of color.

Blogs are cheaper than pulp.  As paper and printing became cheaper and cheaper, editors became less vital.  I went through shelves and shelves of paperback books from my dad's high school years, comics and science fiction, short stories.  Yellowing pages of the cheap paper used for the cheap paperbacks.   Comic books for the masses.

Blogs are like comic books, on even cheaper paper, even cheaper printing presses.  If someone really wants to write drivel, there's no one to stop him/her.

What we have to eliminate are subsidies (Bureau of Land Management) and monopolies (patent exhaustion principle lawsuits).  Then I can find an even better way for women in northern Mexico to sort small parts and coppers and metals by hand.  And they can buy washing machines made in America, and create employment for their sons, who won't join drug gangs.
I said, I'm from Vermont.  You?

And everyone will get the cub scout badge for recycling and fixing and tinkering, no matter what color they are or what language they speak or what kind of shoes they wear.

When American women lost their jobs washing clothes by hand, they didn't wind up poorer, and they weren't "exploiting" the labor of the people who made washing machines on assembly lines.  They went to college and got better jobs and run companies.  That's just the way it works and how long do journalists continue to reprint stories by idiots who think that laundromats cost jobs, or internet cafes are environmental disasters waiting to happen?

Yeah, I'm a pretty undisciplined writer.  But it's kind of fun, in a Bruce Willis Diehard way.  And meanwhile we have a business we are growing in Vermont, and we have good people and good employees, and I wake up every morning ready to defend them from some asshole who saw 60 Minutes and thinks they have to change our practices.  Then having given themselves that role, they are afraid to say yes to anything because then they'd be responsible.  And they are paid several times what my staff in the trucks and on the lines are paid to remove screws, test parts, and actually recycle.

They are editing my movie, and I'm having the throes of a writer-director.  But it's just pulp recycling.  Tarantino-de Tocqueville-Twain.   But who's my favorite writer-blogger of the year, so far?  CRACKED.com  John Cheese.   Read his post 5 Common Anti-Internet Arguments (That Are Statistically BS) and you'll see what I aspire to do.  Write about recycling, taking my cause seriously, without taking myself too seriously.  Oh, and that's where I found most of these stills from Tarantino's Pulp Fiction.   Rent it again on Netflix, I just did.  And read Mr. Cheese to see why the internet isn't stealing Quentin's property when we use stills to talk about it.  You may learn, as I did, that it helps to put a number in the title of your blog.

"The producer says we should show the audience what's in the briefcase."  (Pentium Pro CPU chips.)

"exploiting" equals "fucking"
"trade" equals "making love"

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