MX Littering Article, Original and Published

My “For What It’s Worth” article was published in MX today, and while it does have most of the same words that I’d written, it was substantially edited. So here’s both the article as it appeared in the MX and the article I wrote in full.

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For What it’s Worth – Littering

Surely in a time when we’re trying to save the earth and those inhabiting it from extinction, in an age when scientific reports are regularly released that warn us of our own impending oblivion. Surely in a time when the fear of climate change and the increase of natural disasters are in our newspapers daily, we should’t have to worry about such small-scale environmental concerns as littering. Surely, if we’re classified as either “aware of our imminent-doom”, or a “doom denier”, we should be concentrating on things of a macro-level, not caught up in something as mundane and 1980’s-schoolyard as ‘littering’.

I was walking home from the city last week when I saw a junkie walking my way. His face was gaunt from years of substance abuse; scabs dotted his neck and the insides of his track-marked arms, and a grizzled expression lay upon his tired-angry face.

Then, from inside a convenience store, walked a well-dressed man with a freshly purchased packet of smokes. He stepped onto the street and proceeded to throw the plastic encasing his future-cancer to the curb.

“Ya f$@king dickhead!” shouted the junkie, before walking into the convenience store himself.

The well-dressed man looked at me with two raised eyebrows that seemed to say, ‘what a crazy world’ then wandered away lighting one of his tar-soaked-cylinders and sucking in the poison.

Now, surely if someone who has raped their veins with a needle for the better part of a decade is taking the moral high-ground over you, you’re doing something wrong.

I mean, who is this guy? This guy who, with such sociopathic disregard for the cleanliness of the street, released his rubbish to the roadside. Does he think he’s cool? Is it an image thing? “Look at me, I’m so important, I don’t even have time to find a bin.” Is he ignorant? Does he think that someone else is going to pick it up? Who is he? Does he go home to his family and put out the recycling bins and cook dinner like a normal human being? Is he that kind of monster?

Whenever I see someone like this, someone who blatantly throws garbage on the street with an attitude so laissez-faire it would frustrate a sloth, there’s a part of me- a big part of me -that wants to pick up that rubbish, race it over to the delinquent in question and say, “Hey, dick-nose, you dropped this” then shove that small piece of plastic into their open palm with an unnecessary amount of aggression as I, with unfaltering eye contact, let out a Mona Lisa smile before walking away.

But if I did that, then I’d be the weirdo.

For a while I thought maybe littering wasn’t so common a thing, just something I happened to notice. But recently I glimpsed a new ad-campaign adorning public spaces that warns the would be tosser that what they are about to partake in is a ‘dirty look’.

So clearly it’s an epidemic beyond my own insanity; clearly people are still littering.

So sign that petition to stop the Shark Cull in WA and take issue with the way   the Abbott Government is destroying the environment and any hope that there will be an environment in the future, but as long as you continue to throw wrappers onto the street, then you’re part of the problem too… Dick-nose.

5 thoughts on “MX Littering Article, Original and Published

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