Tuesday, September 28, 2010

THE day…Coastal Clean Up Day.

This is our Ramadan, our Easter, our Diwali, our Yom Kippur. And this is a day of days for us, we being the poster kids for the 2010 CCD.

Today is warm and windless. No fog. Glassy four-foot swells roll in… and in. . . For the novice the beach looks pretty clean, but for us, the slightest glimpse of shape and color gets us stooping and scrabbling in the sand. We have become virtuosi at finding interesting things, almost invisible things, lost in the sweep of sand. We're always on the hunt for things that open up the big story of plastic — the synthetic background of our world. In the fall when the plastic is minimal it takes a well-practiced eye to pickthings out of the organic debris.
A speck of blue pulled from the sand reveals bitty sunglasses from a Bratz® doll. The Bratz® family is burgeoning with over 500 members carrying names like Roxxy Spice and Sugar Shoes Dana. Bratz® superseded Barbie® as the #1 seller and she's blatantly sexualized even compared to Barbie®. She's a very liberated young woman all right, but seems liberated to dance around a brass pole. Her outfits come right out of a stripper catalogue. Fishnet stockings, platform shoes and leather miniskirts caused the American Psychological Association to raise an alarm in their report—APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls.

The Bratz® girls, it turns out, are also no strangers to the courtroom. She's endured many and ongoing copyright lawsuits, accusations of racketeering, and the National Labor Committee reports that workers who make the Bratz® line, labor 94.5 hours a week earning $48.20. http://www.nlcnet.org/reports?id=0254. After a year's hiatus, on 10/10/10, a new line of Bratz® will be released, keeping the flow of desire gushing. Oh, the world of manufactured desire, plasticizing the hierarchy of our profligacy, equalized by a glut of disposable goods.

We are always in a kind of Ayn Randian competition to be the supreme master of finding. Our animus for being the best began with "disposable" lighters but once we had found hundreds, our hierarchy inclined toward the most unusual, the hardest to spot, the piece that tells the best story. Today was a good day for all categories. The Bratz® glasses tell an international story of toy intrigue.

The beige bull, well camouflaged in the sand, emerging as if out of a prehistoric cave has all the look of a victor for it's concealed placement in the shadow of a log.

The toy tank with a crust of Bryozoan houses speaks of age and the allure of detail. http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/bryozoa/bryozoa.html

But, the diminutive pink spoon with a heart speaks of the part of this journey that is a love story.
The little pink heart...
When we arrived at the cliff that marks the end of "our part" of the beach—after all that stoop labor—we lay in the sand and slept for a bit curled like seals. As we walked back with our load for the day we were unintentionally silent. It's a fine thing to be with another in a silent reverie — continuing our vocation at Kehoe Beach.

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