"And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works." Revelation 20:1
About this time last year, Kaddifeto aka My Free Range Satanist and I participated in Keep Britain Tidy's campaign The Big Spring Clean Up. Armed with pick-up sticks and plastic bags we did two raids on London’s rubbish. One around Hampstead Heath - about the kiosque and the Dog Lake and inbetween. This upon Kaddifeto's command, as the Heath is his favourite park in London. And a Second one along the River Walk, as it was my favourite local walk - after and despite our clean up it stopped being it. I simply couldn't restore the innocence of my perception of the area after picking all its specific litter.
Since last year this time, all I have done ecowise was: Personally - buy a mechanic scooter and use it as a main means of transport for all distances reachable in an hour. As a household - we started collecting separately biodegradable waste. With the closest brown bin in our hood being at five minutes walking distance - "walking to the brown bin" was a good outing excuse during Lockdown.
Comprehensively absorbed by the COVID situation during the last few months in general; and by the philosophico-religious dylema which I can roughly formulate like "If we hand up to Government the decisions, and the resulting responsibility, for our families during pandemic, then who appears for judgment at Judgment Day? The father alone, if the mother has taken an oath to obey - of say the thirteen year old child that died alone in PICU mentioned by a listener on Radio4 - or the Cabinet? Is it the whole Cabinet that answers at Judgment Day or is it just the PM? Or is the Queen, who is after all responsible for all her subjects? And what if the couple is atheist, or a Contemporary Christian, who at marriage hasn't given the oath to obey? Or an unmarried couple? Is the woman still excluded from Judgment?
This philosophico-religious question becomes even more painstaking when the aesthetic-artistic dimension is added to it. Try to imagine it as a painting. Say if we took Frederic Leighton's painting 'And the Sea Gave Up the Dead Which Were In It (1877–92)', which now I imagine living in semi-darkness in its usual place in Tate Britain, and replaced the man - carrying his wife under one shoulder and his child under his other shoulder resurrecting to be Judged - with Borris Johnson .... Yes, it becomes very funny, with all his wives and children... but now also if we had to stick under his arms all the COVID-regullation-following men with their wives and children.... mort de rire ... we should give him at least a few hundred additional arms until he becomes some sort of monsterous centipede. The same mental exercise with the Queen is somewhat less fun, more ominous.
Frederic Leighton's painting focalises my main problem with Christianity... I would rather have it the Egyptian Way - my heart waighted against Maat's Feather.... For what sort of appearns is this for Universe's singular Big Day - under somebody's smelly arm? And then what if the arm is overcrowded, like Borris', and I got dropped midway?
'And the Sea Gave Up the Dead Which Were In It, (1877–92) Frederic Leighton, Tate Britain
Anyhow today, of all futile COVID worries and abstract religio-esthetic exercises I was delivered by a Sara Peyke and her Trashman, a foodwast sculpture expressing her worry about foodwaste.... I remember myself force-fed under the mantric-reminder of starving African children, whilst Sara doesn't find it tedious to remind us that "There are over 860 million people in the world suffering from hunger"... Which on its turn made me think of Keep Britain Tidy, and rightly so as they do, effectively, have started #LoveWhereYouLive initiative, where one of the suggested themes is " your favourite recipe to reduce food waste" together with " mending, repairing & upcycling things around the home; nifty ideas & eco-friendly crafts".
So here we go, with or without masks, let's eventually turn our noses to some COVID-free questions.
“From dumpsters to art. All the food was collected from only two dumpsters behind supermarkets in Denmark.The installation is called “The Trashman”and took me two hours to create.Over 50 perfect avocados, many mangos and lots of other beautiful products - sent straight to the dumpster. What do you think about this?” @sarapeyk
Follow Sara on Instagram
Love the Planet Day
LAAF asks the mayor of London for one Vehicles Free Day per month. No motor-vehicles on the streets whatsoever. Only tube may go.
First Sunday of every month, to set our priorities right at the begining of each month, Love the Planet Day.
After its Islington Clean-Up, Laaf has to report the following:
1. The combined Keep Britain Tidy and Laaf cleaning mobilisation abilities are ZERO. If these were elections, our Coalition for Clean London would have scored 0% of the electorate.
(For experiment's sake, Laaf might ally with an OCG, Line of Duty I am watching you 👀, and organize a Keep London High party then compare the pulling powers of the two initiatives).
By 1130 Islington Green was spotlessly clean.
2. Parks clean-ups (which means walking around a park collecting rubbish with a pick-up stick and a rubbish bag) are par excellence a Sandy-Summer Fashion 2019 activity (on SSF2019 see the Fashion subpage). Just like when walking down a beach one finds all sorts of natural objects - pebbles, oyster and crabs shells etc and manmade objects - sunglasses, single earings, single flip flops etc; thus at the park clean-ups one finds natural objects - leaves, branches, flowers etc and manmade objects - knickers, socks, pencils and other unexpected items.
Declaring a war on rubbish. (As a whole, the Green was rather clean.)
3. Every garden has its specific rubbish which gives it its particular face. We've read about rubbish-searching journalists and detectives, but you have to experience it to understand it, as unless picked up all rubbish looks the same. We did (my free-range satanist and I. No one else came. Not even our sole volunteer from the Hampstrad Heath clean-up. The one we failed to spot last Saturday and vice versa ) three gardens and they all had very distinctive rubbish spectrum. The acquired knowledge and understanding is so new to me, that I don't even won't to share it! Which on its turn is a new and unexpected experience for me. This is the first time I see myself stingy about information. (Ha! What about that?!?)
St Mary's church yard tremendously dirty. Once a month the congregation should be invited to walk around with pick up sticks.
4. It is like stepping into a parallel reality where one is given a higher security clearance and gets access to tons of pertinent information. The surreal about it is that the information is carried by strange and unexpected hard drives. The magical about it is that one and the same object has two different meanings in the two realities.
The conclusion : Pick up a pick up stick and go for it. What an extraordinary experience.
1300pm New River Path
5. Recommendations : A new Clean London Tax should be created and imposed. The calculation of it should go like this: two taxmen walk around, one with a pick-up stick, another one with a note book and a pencil. Each picked up item sees Clean London tax imposed on it. All fast food chains or single shops. All take away products in all the Tescos, Sainsburys and Waitroses.
Also service charge in cafés and restaurants should be abolished as it contributes much to the rubbish problem.
6. One thing one would have never guessed is what massive polluter the betting shop William Hill is!
Just when London felt great for having eliminated plastic straws, and effectively there were none at the pick up yesterday; what there was plenty en revanche, was an unbelievable number of tiny blue pens around all parks. I have never ever seen them before, but at the clean up I picked up tens of them.
"What are those? And why are there so many of them?" I asked my free-range satanist, the Corduroy. "These are William Hill's Unlucky Pens. They jinx them so that people who use them never win".
William Hull is a massive jinxer I reckon as their Unlucky Pens make also people who don't use them lose - the Battle for Clean Planet.
Christmas Trees Resurrection at Easter
Corduroy and the Christmas tree on its way to resurrection
This is my friend Kadifeto (Corduroy in English). He is self-proclaimed Satanist. By self-proclaimed I mean that he is not a member of any Satanic Church or organization. By Satanist I mean that he had chosen to worship Satan as a god.
"Everybody should have a god" Corduroy would wisely say, "But they should choose their god well. Satan is doing plenty for me".
He would then go and chat a "Black citizen" (as he puts it) and try to convince him to worship Snoop Dogg. "What did Jesus do for you?" Corduroy would passionately ask and while the innocent citizen wonders what to replay Corduroy would excitedly continue "See! NOTHING! Jesus had done nothing for you. Why don't you start worship Snoop Dogg? I am sure Snoop Dogg would do more for you than Jesus. Bob Marley would also do well for a God" and he would go on until the baffled citizen manages to run away from the unlikely preacher.
Being a Satanist looks like rather straightforward business to me: "You do exactly the opposite of what Christians do" Corduroy would say repeatedly, "They pollute the planet - you clean it up." ( Hence the idea to join Keep Britain Tidy campaign in the frame of which we initiated two Clean Up events. Corduroy's Hampstead Heath clean up being the day before Easter . This clean up went rather quietly with only one volunteer, through Keep Britain Tidy, wanting to join us and then failing to spot us in the crowded park. All the Bulgarian friends we've invited to join us failed to attend).
"They sacrifice trees to celebrate their god's birthday - you plant them back on the occasion of his death".
So before Easter, Corduroy roams all the back-common grounds around Crouch End in search for abandoned, potted Christmas trees and "saves them" by replanting them on the public green areas near by. He gives the "sacrificed Christmas trees a second life". Resurrects them so to speak. Much swearing is involved in the process, as Corduroy can't understand why would somebody buy a Christmas tree in a pot if they don't intend to plant it back in nature. He also swears because year after year he waits until Easter to resurrect through planting the Christmas trees back as to not deprive their original owners from the chance to do so themselves by snatching them beforehands. "The planting season in this country is February/March. Now is kind 'a late. Hope it will catch up".
Corduroy waters the resurrected Christmas tree from a 5 litre bottle he had brought for the purpose. Now on he would visit the tree weekly and water it. Before leaving the tree Corduroy wishes it good luck growing and adorns it with a Martenitsa - the Martenitsa is a Bulgarian pagan amulet for health and beauty. It consists of a white and a red thread enlaced into each other. All Bulgarians wear them from the 1st of March until they see a stork or a blossoming tree. Corduroy puts it on the tree and tells it loudly "Grow healthy".
Corduroy and the saved tree
On our way back we pass near a church "Look, how thick are the walls of the tower Jesus needs to protect him" Corduroy murmurs through clenched teeth.
Ay ay ay Jesus, so many trees wait on your shoulders... and so many church walls too.
"We are the other tentacle of the Green Octopus - the children riot (meaning Extinction Rebellion), we clean and plant"
LAAF's Clean up is at 10.30 next Saturday, 27 April, gathering point Islington Green.
This cheerful party of Clean Uppers was spotted on the 16th of April by the Union Canal (between N1C and Camden).
Friendly enough to pose they preferred to stay anonymous.
Getting Ready for the Clean Ups
See Laaf's two clean-ups below
Despite the efficiency and pleasantness of Camden Environmental Team the experience was rather scary because of the...computerised elevators.
Using a computerised elevator I found myself at the 8th floor. There, at the 8th floor, my 2nd-floor-pass wasn't working. Unable to call or use the elevator, with two large packets in my arms, surrounded by people asking me why my pass isn't working and suspiciously looking at the pick-up sticks packets, I had a good sweat bath before finding my way out.
My first contact with centrally managed computarised elevators turned to be a rather depressing experience.
Looking forward to see what AI: More Than Human exhibition (at the Barbican opening 16 May) will say on the subject.