“Disgusting”

August 4, 2012

Trash bags piled near street

Copyright 2012 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

I have continued my early morning walks to photograph trash.  It has been interesting these past couple of weeks as on two separate occasions I have talked with some local residents who both used the same word to describe their neighborhood and the debris left from the night before:  disgusting.

While the following subjects may not be considered very disgusting on a visual or olfactory level (for that, please see some of my previous posts), it is the fact that so much trash is left behind, on a consistent, daily basis, and with such seeming indifference, that is found to be disgusting.  A sample:

Can and crust in street

Copyright 2012 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Thrown away Budweiser can on shelf

Copyright 2012 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Crushed Budweiser can in street

Copyright 2012 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Magazine dropped in street

Copyright 2012 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

City paper in street

Copyright 2012 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Plastic bottle dropped on ground

As usual, it is not just this particular Baltimore neighborhood whose streets are used as an outdoor bin.  The photograph below is from a different part of town…

Plastic bottle dropped in leaves

Copyright 2012 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Plastic bottle and vine

…while the one above is from another state altogether (West Virginia).  Arguably, it takes no thought or effort to simply drop trash on the ground or set it on a ledge and walk away.

Can in bag hanging from tree branch

Copyright 2012 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

However, it does take some effort to hang it from a tree branch-this  had to have been a deliberate act.  Perhaps it was a means of saving the contents to be consumed later, as it does remind me of hanging food in a bear bag while backpacking or camping in order to keep it safe from predators.  I have to admit, I would not have ever thought of seeing this along a sidewalk in the city.

Hearing the comments and seeing so much trash got me thinking more about values. A value is that which is considered right or wrong, good or bad, acceptable or unacceptable and becomes the basis for the value judgments we make.  Saying something is “disgusting” for example, is a value judgment.  Many Sociology 101 textbooks reference Robin Williams’ 1970 research that was used to determine the “Core American Values“.  As defined here, core values are “…fundamental driving forces.” Williams found that Americans hold “practicality and efficiency” as a core value.  Unfortunately nothing is more efficient than simply using the ground upon which one is walking or standing as a repository for trash.  And that is disgusting (from a judgmental standpoint).

Take care.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: