The April Fools blog on Saturday returned to familiar ground. I'm a little uncomfortable with one of the jokes, which I softened in a later edit. The GPS Not In 88 Electronic Recycler acronym was cringeworthy.
But in backing away, I'm also caving in to the neutering of nuance by political correctness. You see, by nature of my privilege, many say I cannot joke about certain things. Such as the white privilege of those who would criminalize used appliance repair.
Mark Twain's use of the n-word in Huckleberry Finn is still "controversial", at least among people whose IQs are either much higher or much lower than mine.
Essentially, the majority of human beings agree with me and not those who have claimed the mantle of "Steward". But the majority does not have the e-waste megaphone.
Ghana Fair Trade Recycling Album
The strict European definitions that place repair and reuse under "waste management" regulators was a reaction to a false statistic, which was perhaps created innocently but was funded with millions of dollars of Planned Obsolescence, Anti-Gray-Market, and Big Shred money. An obscene amount of money as compared with the number of dollars that ever went to the families of people whose photos among waste were used to pass the legislation and garner those donations.
There is a textbook case for implicit racism behind the movement of these funds, the empowerment of the Europeans, the turning of Interpol's Guns of Enforcement onto electronics repair people like Joseph "Hurricane" Benson.
And until someone else picks this up - and I have no doubt that it happening - my best tactic is to stand on the battleground and play Spartacus. Let BAN tell Chicago Patch I'm lying, or mentally ill. Let Jim tell my good friend at EPA (who didn't tell him she knows me) that I'm a serial exporter. Let MIT undergraduates knock on office doors to set up my company's clients. Let BAN write an entire page, mentioning me by name, implying I exported a GPS device I never exported.
Because when BAN fails to destroy me, as I remind them every April 1st, it emboldens graduate students, professors, regulators and reporters. Eventually they see how obscenely inaccurate the statements about 80-90% dumping are. Eventually, they see the baseline data - the number of households in Africa and China owned 2-3 decades ago explain the waste at their city dumps.
By crossing certain cringe-worthy lines, I may take one in the face. But by surviving, I demonstrate to others that Basel Action Network is an emperor with no data.