Monday, 9 February 2015

He Has A Point…

David Sedaris, who obsessively carries out eight-hour litter picks in Pulborough, said many discarded items he finds were “the cheapest” .
The American author and broadcaster, who denied being a snob, has a council rubbish truck named after him in honour of his efforts.
*stifled giggles*

I confess, he sounds just like the sort of earnest bore that you’d avoid at a party as he hoves into sight, clutching a soft drink and with a sheen of perspiration and a fevered gleam in his eye at the prospect of buttonholing a victim to listen to him spout off about his hobby horse.

But…is he wrong?
While giving evidence at a House of Commons inquiry into littering, he said: “If I am looking at things I find at the side of the road, I haven’t found opera tickets.
“There’s a Waitrose not far from me. I found one Waitrose bag last year. There’s a Tesco Metro that I think of as a litter-supply store not far by and I find Tesco bags all the time.
“I don’t find containers that nuts came in. It’s fast food, crisps, candy bars.
“Of all the cigarettes I find, I find more Mayfair than any other brand. And are Mayfair not the cheapest cigarettes?”
“I’m not trying to sound like a snob but there is no denying the things you’ve found.”
It would appear there isn’t, though I bet there’s a lot of progressives trying to find ways to do just that.
He also suggested authority figures like teachers and judges were to blame for poor education on littering. He described how one headteacher said asking children to pick up litter would be “demeaning” .
Mr Sedaris added: “Why should everyone have to live in a teenager’s bedroom?
“It’s bad for your spirit – I don’t care where you live or how much money you have – to have to walk through filth is no way to live.”
It seems, though, that some prefer to live that way. Isn't it about time we acknowledged that?


Jim said...

When I was kid (and its not that long ago, I'm 44) the headmaster of my primary school would periodically send the entire school out (it was only a small one, 50 pupils max) on a litter expedition round the playground and sports field. Not only did it save on staff costs, it taught us that litter was bad and should be picked up.

These days it would be against health and safety I suppose, and probably considered racist if you asked an ethnic child to pick up litter.

Macheath said...

Britons now drop litter as cows defecate in fields, or snails leave a trail of slime. That is to say, they do it naturally, without conscious reflection.
(Theodore Dalrymple: 'Litter: The Remains of Our Culture')

Perhaps it's a sign of shifting attitudes in society, but I know of a school that saw a dramatic increase in littering after a system of 'community punishments' sent pupils out to pick it up - it appears that the presence of the patrols meant that more pupils felt free to drop litter knowing someone else would pick it up.

Jim, health and safety has certainly meant that any pupil collecting litter must now be issued with a set of tongs and rubber gloves (always assuming no latex allergy!). There is also the not insignificant risk that an indignant and potentially violent parent will confront the member of staff who has inflicted such a 'degrading' punishment on his or her precious offspring.

Furor Teutonicus said...

The fact that every thick arsed bastard can now go to some ponced up night school that now calls its self a uni for a degree in shoe lace tying, and because it is now edjookatid so does not want to sweep streets, but wants to be the head of some international finance company, or even worse, a fucking "social worker," has fuck all to do with it, right?

(Not mentioning the point, they have sacked all the street sweepers any way.)

Northish said...

i was once the passenger in a car full of dolescum (don't ask). One of the threw some litter out of the window. I asked why they had done it and was told, "It will keep a litter picker in a job". I replied that the cost of the litter picker meant that a life-saving operation on a baby would have to be cancelled. I had them for a while until the numbers finally crunched.

andy5759 said...

FT, local authorities in this country do not exist to provide services as a primary function. Their whole purpose is to gather revenue, something at which they are very successful. After paying inflated salaries to an inflated workforce and paying inflation linked pensions there is very little left over for mere "services".

Anonymous said...

Is he any relation to Amy Sedaris, Lenor's famous TV "laundry expert" ? (no, me neither)

Anonymous said...

A yob tried to mend the Electric Light
It struck him dead: And serve him right!
It is the business of the wealfare man
To give employment to the artisan.

JuliaM said...

"These days it would be against health and safety I suppose..."

They could always wear hi-vis, like the 'crocodiles' of schoolchilren I see being shepherded on out of class activities?

"... it appears that the presence of the patrols meant that more pupils felt free to drop litter knowing someone else would pick it up."


"I had them for a while until the numbers finally crunched."